Arkansas Agriculture

Flooding
Twitter

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 23 Arkansas counties disaster areas after recent flooding.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says in a news release Friday he was informed of the designation from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Counties designated as disasters include Faulkner, Lonoke and Randolph.

Perdue visited the state in early May and said in his letter to the governor that there were sufficient production losses in those counties to warrant a designation.

Another 23 counties were designated contiguous disaster areas.

Trump’s Proposed Cuts To Agriculture Could Have Dramatic Impact On Arkansas

May 24, 2017
rice fields
Mickey Liaw / Flickr.com

President Donald Trump’s proposed $4.1 trillion budget includes deep cuts to the United States Department of Agriculture, and Arkansas farmers could feel the squeeze.

Trump’s budget would cut USDA discretionary spending by $4.7 billion to $17.9 billion in 2018, a 21% drop from this year, according to figures released. Farm crop insurance, research, international food aid programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program, and others could be slashed if his budget is approved.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

Officials say the estimated impact of agricultural flood damage in Arkansas due to recent severe weather is about $175 million.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says the April flooding affected more than 970,000 acres of farmland. University officials say more than 360,000 acres of crops were lost due to floodwater from storms that swept through the state last month. About 50 percent of that crop loss was rice.

A preliminary estimate had put the damage at about $65 million. The updated estimate includes sorghum and wheat crops.

emerald ash borer
Forest Service, USDA

An invasive beetle known for destroying ash trees has been discovered in three more Arkansas counties.

The Arkansas State Plant Board said Tuesday that the emerald ash borer has been discovered in Garland, Montgomery, and Pike counties in southwest Arkansas. The beetle has now been confirmed in 17 Arkansas counties and the board has established a quarantine in those counties and 16 counties adjacent to them that prohibits the movement of ash items including nursery stock and firewood in hopes of preventing the spread of the beetle.

Flooding Lawrence County Farms agriculture
Arkansas Farm Bureau / Twitter

At least 10 percent of Arkansas’ rice crop could be lost as historic floodwaters wash through northeast Arkansas and head south in the coming days. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture estimates 100,000 rice acres have probably been destroyed or significantly impacted, and that number could rise dramatically by this weekend, U of A rice extension agronomist Dr. Jarrod Hardke told Talk Business & Politics.

npr.org

Legislation is advancing in the Arkansas House of Representatives that would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state.

A partnership between Arkansas’ two major universities will allow students to get a dual degree in poultry sciences.   

Arkansas leads the nation in poultry production.  With Tyson Foods in northwest Arkansas and Ozark Mountain Poultry and Peco Foods in eastern Arkansas, more graduates are needed in the field of poultry science. 

Jayme Frye / flickr.com

With the growing season still weeks away, chicken waste that will be used as fertilizer is piling up in barns across the South and causing worries about spontaneous combustion.

A chicken litter pile this week triggered a wildfire that destroyed a mobile home before being brought under control. Agriculture officials say the right mix of moisture, texture and decomposition is needed to produce a burning pile of waste, and that farmers should be mindful of how high they stack manure in their barns.

Asa Hutchinson
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he stressed the importance of a global market to Arkansas' economy when he talked with President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him on his surprise win in the election.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The death of Fidel Castro represents a “moment that I believe needs to be seized,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Hutchinson said the death Friday of Cuba’s longtime leader is a “momentous occasion … that gives us an opportunity we’ve never had before.” That includes an opportunity to sell Arkansas’ agricultural products, and an opportunity for the Cuban people to experience more freedom, leading to better relationships between the United States and Cuba.

“That’s the moment that I believe needs to be seized,” he said.

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