The 61st Mid-South Farm and Gin Show gets under way tomorrow (Friday, March 1) at the downtown Cook Convention Center in Memphis, offering more than 400 exhibits of the latest equipment, products, and services for the 2013 farming season.

If you’ve not done so, you can still pre-register online at farmandginshow.com, making it easier to obtain your badge and move quickly into the show. Simply click on the “Attendee Registration” button on the website, complete the information, print out the bar code and bring it with you to the show to get your name badge printed. Show staff will also be on hand to assist with on-site registration.

There is no admission for the show, but a badge is required to enter the exhibit areas. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The show is sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Foundation, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor.

In addition to a convention center packed full of exhibits, there will be the usual Ag Update sessions Friday and Saturday, focusing on marketing, legislation, and other issues, and both days will feature special seminars on topics of interest to growers.

“There are many issues farmers face each year, from production and marketing, to legislation,” says Tim Price, show manager and executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, which sponsors the event. “The show gives us the opportunity to bring together experts in these areas and provide farmers critical information about the challenges they will face.”

The Ag Update seminars Friday and Saturday will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby meeting room. Friday’s session will feature industry updates, supply/demand outlooks for rice, wheat, and cotton, and market outlooks for all major Mid-South crops. The new president of the National Cotton Council, James F. “Jimmy” Dodson of Robstown, Texas, will provide an update on cotton issues; Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods, Stuttgart, Ark., will give the market outlook for rice; and Joe Nicosia, Allenberg Cotton, Memphis, Tenn., will present the cotton outlook.

Saturday morning session

For the Saturday morning Ag Update seminar, Richard Brock, Brock Associates, Milwaukee, Wisc., will provide his unique insight and analysis of grain markets and offer marketing recommendations for the coming year, along with insight into the political environment and the farm bill and its impact on agriculture.

Once again, show attendees will also be able to download a mobile app to their smart phone or other electronic device to enhance their show experience. The app features show schedules and updates, as well as maps and exhibitor information — all designed to enhance the showgoing experience.

The 2011 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show featured one of the first mobile apps available for farm shows, and was very popular, Price says. “We’ve continued to improve the app and make it even more useful and functional.

SCGA events Thursday

Member associations of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association will be holding several events in conjunction with the show.

The annual meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. today (Thursday, Feb. 28) in the Venetian Room at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. The meeting is open to anyone who has an interest in the topics presented.

Program participants include Richard Kelley, Tennessee grower/ginner and president of the National Cotton Ginners Association; Richard Byler, USDA Cotton Ginning Laboratory, and Tommy Valco, USDA/ARS cotton technology transfer and education coordinator, both at Stoneville, Miss.; and Mike Watson, Cotton Incorporated. They will provide updates on ginning research and on maintaining U.S. cotton’s fiber quality for customers worldwide.

At 6:30 this evening, in the Forest Room at the Peabody Hotel, the association will hold its honors reception and banquet (tickets are required).

Harry Flowers, Mattson Gin, Mattson, Miss., will be honored as the association’s Ginner of the Year. The SCGA Memorial Scholarship, honoring the late Melio Sandroni, Shaw, Miss., ginner, will be presented. There will also be a memorial salute to an industry pioneer, the late A. L. Vandergriff, for his service to the cotton industry.

For more information about the the show, seminars, and related events, visit the website at farmandginshow.com, or the show’s Facebook page at facebook.com/farmandginshow.