Arkansas Agriculture

https://twitter.com/EPAScottPruitt

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt visited Little Rock Thursday and met with state and agricultural leaders. He attended meetings with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and other agricultural stakeholders.

According to an EPA spokeswoman, Pruitt was to talk about the agency’s partnerships with the state. But a local chapter of the Sierra Club suggested his visit was "to promote the Trump Administration’s anti-environmental agenda."

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Arkansas legislators on Friday allowed a prohibition on the sale and use of dicamba to take effect. The Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council took no action on the proposed 120-day ban, a decision that upholds a ruling made last month by the Arkansas Plant Board. The ban will officially go into effect Tuesday at 12:01am unless members of the council move to reverse it.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

An executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council on Wednesday deferred a decision to Friday on whether to prohibit the sale and use of the herbicide dicamba for soybean and cotton crops. The proposed 120-day ban, approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month and referred to the subcommittee by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, could prevent further widespread damage inflicted by the chemical on non-genetically resistant agricultural crops. 

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

This week the Arkansas Legislative Council may decide whether to approve a 120-day ban on the sale and use of the herbicide dicamba.

Dicamba damage
University of Arkansas

The number of complaints in Arkansas linked to the potential misuse of the herbicide dicamba has risen.

The Arkansas Plant Board says residents of 20 counties have submitted more than 430 complaints linked to dicamba. A majority of complaints are concentrated in east Arkansas, with Mississippi County having the most. A few complaints have also popped up around central Arkansas, in Lonoke, Jefferson and White counties.

U.S. Senate Republicans unveil their long-awaited bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. How will it affect Arkansans on the exchanges and the Medicaid rolls? Sen. Tom Cotton helped shape it with a select group in secret. Why has he been silent? Also, thoughts from other Republicans, Democrats and people in between.

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

The Arkansas Plant Board on Friday voted 9-5 to ban the sale and use of the herbicide dicamba in the state. Dicamba is a chemical sprayed on genetically tolerant fields of soybean in order to kill pigweed. The herbicide is suspected of damaging other crops after drifting in the wind. At least 242 complaints in 19 counties linked to potential dicamba misuse have been filed with the Arkansas Plant Board this year. Most complaints have originated in east Arkansas.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A maligned but crucial row crop herbicide that’s led to disputes among neighbors and at least one class action lawsuit could be on its way toward becoming banned in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Plant Board Pesticide Committee voted Friday to recommend a ban on the sale and use of dicamba for the state’s row crops. Farmers spray dicamba on a specific genetically resistant soybean variety, produced by Monsanto. Misuse and wind drift in recent months has led to the herbicide impacting fields and damaging non-genetically resistant agricultural crops in the eastern part of the state.

On this Week-In-Review, we put Arkansas's congressional delegation in the spotlight as Trump ignores the state's agricultural interests on his newly announced Cuba policies. Also, Sen. Tom Cotton dismisses Russia collusion and  Sen. Boozman is short on healthcare specifics.

-Elections were held throughout Arkansas this week: Pulaski County votes to send more money to schools; Pine Bluff takes a stab at revitalization; and Helena-West Helena makes an effort to pare down its sprawling city council.

GOP presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump.
Charlie Neibergall/ AP

The interests of Arkansas’s agricultural leaders went unheralded by President Trump on Friday as he announced a move back toward Cold War relations with our Caribbean neighbor, Cuba. Much of the state’s Congressional delegation has also chimed in on the prospect of tougher relations as a move in the wrong direction.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau wants a “normalization” of trade relations with the communist nation and promises it’ll be an economic boon for the state. Arkansas is the largest cultivator of rice in the nation and not far behind that in poultry production.

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