The Southwest Crops Production Conference and Expo, scheduled February 25 at the Lubbock Civic Center, offers growers an opportunity to fine-tune production systems before planting season. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. and the conference and expo runs until 5 p.m.

“This conference provides farmers a chance to refresh information on crop production and to review data from research and demonstration plots from last year,” says Shawn Wade, communications director for the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., a co-sponsors of the event.

“This is a chance for growers to evaluate what worked last year and what did not,” Wade says.

“As growers begin to implement plans for 2003, they can use this information to tweak strategies to squeeze a little more profitability out of their crop,” Wade says. “This is a good chance to review techniques and technology one last time.”

Wade also said the meeting, which draws from a slightly larger area than some of the other winter meetings, brings farmers with different production challenges together.

“They always seem to mingle during breaks and share ideas,” Wade says. “They'll also hear from other farmers on a moisture management panel discussing techniques to use water efficiently.”

Specialists will discuss cotton production, including pest management and weed control. Calvin Trostle, Texas Extension agronomist, will provide updates for grain sorghum production. Kenneth Stokes, Extension economist will discuss the new peanut program.

John Ganaway, Texas A&M cotton breeder, will discuss what's on the horizon for High Plains cotton farmers.

Growers also will hear updates from FSA representatives on farm program sign-up requirements and deadlines. “We'll be close to the April 1 cutoff for establishing acreage and yields,” Wade said. “Farmers can take this opportunity to learn a bit more about the process if they have not already signed up for benefits.”

Growers may qualify for as many as 4.5 continuing education units.

The conference also features a product and services expo where local and regional agricultural companies display their latest offerings.

Sponsors encourage early registration to allow for adequate planning for refreshment and lunch needs. Early registrants will qualify for door prizes.

In addition to The Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., other sponsors include the Texas Cooperative Extension Service, the Texas A&M Agricultural Research Station, the USDA-ARS station at Lubbock, Texas Tech, and Southwest Farm Press.

For more information call 662-624-8503.