Today’s the big day! The 64th Mid-South Farm and Gin Show opens its two-day run at the downtown Memphis Cook Convention Center, with more than 400 exhibitors awaiting the thousands of visitors who come to the event each year.
“Every available space, indoors and out, is sold,” says Tim Price, show manager and executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, which sponsors the event, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor. “With market uncertainties, higher interest rates, the presidential election, and a host of legislative and regulatory issues confronting farmers as they begin the new season, this show offers farmers an opportunity to not only see what’s new in equipment, products, and service, but to hear from industry leaders who will provide their take on markets and issues.”
“This is an event ag companies want to be part of,” Price says. “Companies listen to the decision-makers who attend this show each year, and develop the products and services they need to continue to do what they do best — produce high yield, high quality crops. Farmers attending the show will have the opportunity to get a firsthand look at what’s new in the industry — new technology, new products, and other new developments in agriculture.”
The show is designed to incorporate exhibits and education, Price says, providing attendees one place to see the latest technologies and innovations, as well as learning about emerging issues and marketing techniques.
This year’s educational seminars include:
• The Mid-South Ag Forum: “Profitability and Stewardship Together–Through Technology,” will be held Friday, Feb. 26, at 1:30 p.m. Featured speakers include Dr. Mike Daniels, Environmental Management Specialist, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service; Dr. Bill Robertson, Professor and Cotton Extension Agronomist, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Newport, Ark.; and Steve Stevens, Farmer, Desha County, Ark.
Learn about production techniques that enhance profitability while protecting and enhancing natural resources from Extension specialists and farmers who are seeing results.
• Southern Corn Production Success–486 Bushels Per Acre and Counting! This seminar will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, featuring 2015 National Corn Growers Association corn yield contest winner Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Ga. Dowdy’s production strategies focus on maximizing corn yields by minimizing stress plants experience throughout the growing season.
The Valdosta, Georgia farmer’s forward thinking approach to corn production challenges traditional accepted practices and focuses on extracting as much yield from each seed planted as possible. This seminar will cover Understanding Plant Physiology and Components of Yield; Capturing Genetic Yield Potential; Alleviating Inevitable Stress a Plant May Face; Nutrient Uptake: Understanding Timing vs. Availability; and Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone.
• Special rice marketing seminar—“What a Rice Farmer Needs to Know to Prosper, will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Milo Hamilton, co-founder and senior agricultural economist of Firstgrain, Inc., is the speaker. The formation of the rice price in the Delta is not well understood, he says. Rice futures are an Americas, not an Asian contract, and a lot of the hype and worry is misdirected. Climate trends, water and relative value of rice to other things will drive the acreage planted in the U.S. and the profitability of growing rice in Brazil or Arkansas.
All special seminars will be held on the mezzanine level of the Cook Convention Center.
• Ag Update Seminars are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The sessions feature commodity outlooks and marketing information for grains and cotton, as well as comments from industry officials. Featured speakers for the Friday Ag Update session include Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods, and Joe Nicosia, Louis-Dreyfus. Saturday’s session features Richard Brock, Brock and Associates, who will give his in-depth insight and expertise on grain marketing.
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Saturday. More information is available at www.farmandginshow.com, where youcan pre-register for the show and be eligible to win one of two $1,000 cash prizes.
STATE AG OFFICIALS MEET AND GREET
Also at the show, State Farm Bureau presidents and Commissioners/Secretaries of Agriculture from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee will hold “Meet and Greet” sessions.
The Meet and Greet” events are as follows:
• Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach and Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward will be at the Farm Bureau booth from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Friday, Feb. 26.
• Mississippi Farm Bureau President Mike McCormick and Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture Cyndi Hyde-Smith will be at the Farm Bureau booth from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Friday.
• Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken and Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson will be at the Farm Bureau booth from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Saturday, Feb. 27.
“These sessions will provide an opportunity for farmers and others to have an opportunity to meet and speak with these key agriculture officials,” Price says. “It’s important for farmers and others to have access to these individuals and to be able to express their concerns or raise important issues.
Cash prizes: Attendees are eligible to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes that will be awarded daily. Many exhibitors will also have prize drawings, so be sure to visit their. exhibits and sign up for a chance to win!
There is no admission charge to attend the show, but a badge is required to enter the exhibit areas. If you haven’t already registered, you can do so online at www.farmandginshow.com
Show hours are Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is available at www.farmandginshow.com