Citing the need for agribusiness to find new ways of competing in our fast-changing environment, the Modesto-based New Valley Connexions project issued a report at year-end saying, "Technology becomes a survival tool for growers."

The report points out how California agriculture is being transformed by a multitude of forces that will affect farmers of all sizes, creating winners and losers based on their willingness and ability to adopt new technologies. Those technologies, and how farmers are successfully implementing them are the subject of this year's FarmTech Conference set Feb. 4-6.

Bringing together leading agri-technology experts and growers who have successfully implemented new technologies in their farming operations, the 2001 FarmTech Conference, to be held in Santa Barbara, offers producers of all crops the opportunity to learn about the new farming technologies the report describes as critical to successful farming in the 21st century. A key element of the conference will be case histories on what is already working on farms producing a wide variety of high value crops.

The New Valley Connexions report, entitled "Producing A Competitive Advantage," funded by the Great Valley Center and the California Trade and Commerce Agency, makes several strategic recommendations for producers. Among them, redefining the role of production agriculture in the New Economy, and facilitating an education initiative to help individual producers and processors better understand the changes they face. That's the role of the FarmTech Conference, now in its fourth year. At this year's conference, producers who attended in previous years will return to talk about their successful implementations of the new technologies they've learned about through FarmTech.

With the backing of major sponsors Western Growers Insurance Services, Syngenta Crop Protection, Beeline Navigator, EarthScan, Toro Ag Irrigation, and Farm Credit Services, to offset costs, attendance at the FarmTech Conference 2001 is reasonably priced for all size farming operations. For more information or to register for FarmTech call 800-678-4769, visit www.rinconpublishing.com or email rincon@rinconpublishing.com.