Arkansas Agriculture

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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.

Inside C & H Hog Farms near Mount Judea
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality says that drilling has been completed at the site of a hog farm located near the Buffalo National River. It was part of a study meant to conclude whether waste from the farm is spreading pollutants in the ground.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officials say they are making progress in controlling feral hogs, which do an estimated $19 million  damage annually to row crops in the state. Officials told a legislative subcommittee Thursday that the state game officers' practice of increasing trapping since 2014 has led to a 250 percent increase in the number of recorded feral pigs being captured and killed.

Game and Fish Director Jeff Crow said controlling the population of feral pigs has important ramifications.

Heavy rains during the last two weeks could significantly impact the row crop harvest in northeast Arkansas, experts say. At least 14 inches of rain fell in parts of the region, and many rivers have swelled outside their banks and numerous fields are flooded, according to the National Weather Service.

Governor's Radio Column: Farmers' Markets

Aug 13, 2016
Gov. Hutchinson outdoors
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of Aug. 12, 2016:

Arkansas has a rich tradition of family farming. Out of the 45,000 farms in Arkansas, ninety-seven percent are family-owned. We lead the nation in rice production and are among the top ten states in the production of poultry, catfish, sweet potatoes and lumber.

The agricultural industry adds nearly $20 billion to our state’s economy each year, all the while sustaining a long tradition of homegrown production.

Soybean Prices Higher Than Expected, Rice Projected To Be Down, Corn Remains Stagnant

Aug 3, 2016

Farmers throughout Arkansas and especially in the Mississippi Delta Region are keeping close tabs on soybean and rice prices as the calendar inches toward the harvest.

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