Arkansas Agriculture

Local & Regional News
8:56 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Agriculture Secretary Visits Arkansas, Urges Passage of Farm Bill

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Credit minnesota.publicradio.org / Minnesota Public Radio

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging passage of the nation's farm bill. Vilsack spoke in Little Rock yesterday as politicians in Washington were set to begin negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill.

The farm bill sets policy for farm subsidies, rural development projects and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, better known as food stamps. The fight over renewing the farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamps program.

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Local & Regional News
9:19 am
Wed October 30, 2013

US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack To Visit Arkansas

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Credit minnesota.publicradio.org / Minnesota Public Radio

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is traveling to Arkansas this week amid questions about the nation's farm policies.

Vilsack is scheduled to visit Little Rock on Wednesday to talk about the need for Congress to pass the nation's farm bill.

The farm bill sets policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other rural development projects. The fight over renewing the farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.

Members of the House and Senate are set to begin negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill this week.

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Local & Regional News
9:01 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Corn Harvest Done, Rain On Way In Arkansas

Sorghum Plants
Credit uark.edu

Federal agriculture officials say Arkansas' corn harvest is complete while harvesting of sorghum and rice is almost done.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service says 98 percent of the sorghum harvest is complete, along with 92 percent of the rice harvest.

According to the statistics service, 100 percent of cotton bolls have opened and 54 percent are harvested. The Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas says the cotton crop is a full week behind the typical pace.

Soybeans are 60 percent harvested.

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Local & Regional News
7:53 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Candidates For 2 Arkansas Races Speaking At Delta Caucus

Leading candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor's races in Arkansas are scheduled to speak at a conference in Memphis.

Two-term incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat, and the Republican opponent for his Senate seat, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, will speak Friday at the Delta Grassroots Caucus at the Agricenter in east Memphis.

Also scheduled to speak are former Congressmen Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson, who are competing to replace Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

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Local & Regional News
12:00 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Arkansas Farmers Feel The Impact Of The Government Shutdown

An Arkansas farmer working with row crops.

As the federal government shutdown continues, farmers in the state are increasingly concerned that gridlock in Washington, D.C. could negatively impact Arkansas products. 

Growers and producers in the state are currently partnering with federal researchers on a variety of agricultural studies. 

Travis Justice is a senior economist with the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. He says farmers in state also rely heavily on data from the USDA, information that has not been updated since the shutdown. 

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Local & Regional News
3:36 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Agriculture Experts Warn Arkansas Farmers About Hay Fires

GREAT BALES OF FIRE -- Stacked round bales ablaze in this file photo taken in August 2013 in Miller County.
Credit Doug Petty / Univ. of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Recent rain has curbed wildfires in some parts of Arkansas, but agricultural experts say those showers will do little to improve conditions in areas suffering from extreme drought conditions.

Dr. Jon Barry is a forester and volunteer firefighter in southwestern Arkansas. As a specialist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Barry says hay fires in some pastures can be difficult to extinguish and some hay bales can spontaneously combust.

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Local & Regional News
12:37 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Arkansas Rice Depot Receives Rice Donations To Combat Hunger

The Arkansas Rice Depot in Little Rock received a 120 thousand pound donation of rice Thursday morning.

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Local & Regional News
1:18 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Drought Conditions Provide Mixed Results For Arkansas Farmers

Farmer working with row crops.

State agricultural experts say continuing dry weather conditions have actually aided harvesting efforts in southeast Arkansas. 

Row crop farmers are reporting that corn and rice harvests are almost complete and yields are doing very well.

However, other crops and cattle could suffer if drought-like weather conditions continue drying out pastures.

Hank Chaney is an extension agent in Faulkner County. He says lack of significant rainfall could take a toll on some crops.

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Local & Regional News
5:42 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Harvest Of Arkansas Early-Planted Rice Getting Started

Rice fields in Arkansas.
Credit Mickey Liaw / Flickr.com

Arkansas rice growers who were able to get their crop planted early have begun to harvest.

Agriculture officials say that early yield numbers look strong, with 200 bushels-per-acre being common.

Many growers got a late start planting and some fields have yet to head. But some producers have drained their fields a little early. 

Extension service experts say that carries some risk because the high temperatures will dry the fields quickly and can stress the plants. 

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Local & Regional News
5:51 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Arkansas Cotton Growers See Bugs, Disease Ahead Of Harvest

Arkansas cotton growers have battled pests and disease this year, and the emergence of a fungus late in the season indicates a potential threat in the years ahead.

State growers are expected to harvest estimated 270,000 acres of cotton in 2013, down by more than half from 600,000 acres a year ago.

As recently as 2006, Arkansas growers planted nearly 1.2 million acres of cotton. Agriculture officials say growers will suffer yield losses due to tarnished plant bugs. And the emergence of Corynespora leaf spot is a new challenge for Arkansas growers.

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