Pros and cons at Southwest Crops Production Conference, Expo FARMERS LOOKING at crop options for 2001 will get a good opportunity to weigh pros and cons during the third annual Southwest Crops Production Conference and Expo Feb. 13 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

In addition to production and marketing updates for cotton, growers will get the latest data on grain sorghum, sunflowers and soybeans.

"Although prices are still a sticking point for most growers, rotational benefits and the opportunities that sorghum residues afford in managing erosion keep sorghum on the table for many growers," says Texas Extension specialist Calvin Trostle.

"We will touch on sorghum seeding rate guidelines," he says. "Many growers plant too much. We'll also discuss hybrid selection, and for those who irrigate, we'll talk about optimum timing for limited irrigation for sorghum to get the most return."

Trostle says farmers also will get hear about an available "last recommended date" planting guide, which lists sorghum hybrids according to the latest dates they should be planted in a particular region.

"This is something that becomes important when we deal with failed cotton," he says.

Trostle also will provide an overview of the sunflower market prospects, particularly confectionery.

"I will also include some brief results from our sunflower trials at Halfway and touch on targeted plant populations," he says.

"New soybean work at Halfway in 2000 addressed planting date and the soybean maturity group to plant. I'll touch on these, based on our first year's data. This discussion should address questions we often get from farmers, not only for full-season soybeans but also when planting soybeans after failed cotton."

The conference also will include an update on the Sorghum PROFIT program, as well as latest production recommendations for cotton.

The conference will offer participants an opportunity to earn four continuing education units from the Texas Department of Agriculture, two credits for the general category and one each for laws and regulations and integrated pest management. Continuing education units for Texas Certified Crop Advisers also will be awarded.

An agricultural Expo offers conference registrants an opportunity to visit some of the areas top equipment, chemical and service dealers to learn more about the latest in ag technology.

The conference, now in its third year, is a joint effort of Southwest Farm Press; Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Lubbock; the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University; the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station; the Texas Agricultural Extension Service; and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service.

Registration for the Conference and Expo is free. Lunch will be available for a nominal fee. Sponsors encourage pre-registration to help plan for lunch. All participants who pre-register will be eligible for a door prize.

Conference registration begins at 8 a.m. and seminars begin promptly at 9 a.m. The Conference and Expo will close at 5 p.m.