Updates on legislation, alternative crops, Karnal bunt and methods to thwart on-farm bio-terrorism will highlight the fourth annual Southwest Crops Production Conference, scheduled Feb. 5 at the Lubbock Civic Center.

“This should be one of the most diverse seminars we've put together for the conference,” said Ron Smith, editor of Southwest Farm Press, a co-sponsor of the event.

“Southwest agriculture faces significant challenges over the next few months and even for several more years,” Smith said. “We've seen record low prices, devastating weather events, intense competition for domestic and overseas markets and legislation that fails to protect this country's farmers.

“We hope that by conference time a new farm bill will be in place and that legislators begin to view agricultural production as a priority instead of an afterthought.”

The daylong seminar, which begins at 8 a.m. with registration and signup for continuing education credits, will feature a farmer panel discussing the advantages of diversity with uncertain weather and markets.

In addition to the seminar, the event also includes an agricultural expo, featuring some of the areas top suppliers of agricultural products and services. Attendees will have ample opportunity before the conference, during breaks and at lunch to view the latest in products and technology.

Registration for the event is free. Lunch will be provided for a modest fee.

Sponsors encourage early registration to estimate lunch needs. Participants who pre-register will be eligible for door prizes.

In addition to Southwest Farm Press, sponsors for the Southwest Crops Production Conference and Expo include: Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., The Texas Cooperative Extension Service, The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Tech University, and USDA-ARS, in Lubbock.

For more information on attendance or to reserve booth space, contact Southwest Farm Press at 662- 624-8503.