Arkansas Agriculture

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

A lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday claims two federal agencies failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act when they guaranteed loans to a Hog Farm near the Buffalo River.

USDA Funds Available For Arkansas Water Monitoring

Aug 6, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than $2.3 million is now available for Arkansas farmers and landowners to monitor edge of field water quality on agricultural lands in watersheds throughout the state.

Funding comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for voluntarily monitoring practices in priority watersheds which have been targeted for funding.

Arkansas State Conservationist Mike Sullivan says the agency is working aggressively to improve the health of the watersheds in the state and the Mississippi River Basin.

Farmers: More Storms May Damage Arkansas Crops

Aug 5, 2013

Heavy rain in Arkansas over the last three weeks has improved drought conditions and provided necessary irrigation for crops in dry pastures.

However, agricultural experts are concerned that if thunderstorms continue fields could become oversaturated. Hank Chaney works with the Faulkner County Extension Service.

Sen. Mark Pryor To Speak At Arkansas Rice Expo

Aug 2, 2013

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is speaking about the farm bill and other agriculture issues at the Arkansas Rice Expo.

Pryor on Friday was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the expo, which will be held at the Grand Prairie Rice Center in Stuttgart.

Pryor is a Democratic two-term lawmaker who's seeking re-election next year. Pryor chairs the agriculture subcommittee on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The speech is Pryor's first in Arkansas since The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton planned to challenge the senator next year.

Arkansas Experts Seek Quick End To China Chicken Ban

Aug 1, 2013

Poultry experts hope China will quickly lift restrictions put in place after nine Arkansas chickens were exposed to a strain of avian flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture told Arkansas' congressional delegation that China had stopped importing Arkansas chicken parts. Nine birds in Scott County were exposed to a non-pathogenic strain of avian flu during floods in June.

Arkansas Researchers Develop New Non-GMO Soybeans

Jul 29, 2013

Arkansas Scientists have developed two new soybean varieties that offer high yields.

Dr. Pengyin Chen, director of the Division of Agriculture's soybean breeding program, says the new soybeans are not genetically modified and can be timed for harvest after farmers have completed harvesting their rice crop.

“[The soybeans] are bred by using conventional classical breeding techniques, know as crossbreeding,” said Chen. “Basically, you cross two non-GMO, or conventional, soybean lines or varieties to develop new lines.”  

Officials with hunger relief organizations in Arkansas and across the country have expressed concerns about recent efforts to remove food stamp provisions from federal Farm Bill legislation.

Though the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill that included funding for nutrition assistance, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill that eliminated monetary support for the food stamp program.

At Least 2 Cows Die Due To Blackleg Disease

Jul 19, 2013

A drought-related disease known as blackleg is blamed for the deaths of at least two cows in Arkansas.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture officials say the disease has caused the deaths of cows in Lonoke and Sebastian counties.

Agricultural officials say the bacterial disease typically appears during drought because the dry conditions reduce forage for cattle - and the animals then graze close to the ground and ingest small soil particles that contain the bacteria.

Pryor And Boozman Discuss Farm Bill’s Future

Jul 17, 2013

Disagreements over provisions in the federal Farm Bill could negatively impact the agricultural sector in Arkansas, according to U.S. Senator Mark Pryor.

Throughout the summer, Pryor says he has heard the concerns of constituents who worry that partisan gridlock will continue to hamper passage of the bill.

Arkansas Crop Yields: Highest And Lowest On Record

Jul 16, 2013
National Cotton Council

Arkansas crop yields are all over the map this year, with cotton harvests at an all time low and wheat registering as the second highest on record.

Brent Griffin, a county extension agent for Prairie County, says wheat is a world wide commodity and is affected by what goes on in the overseas market. He says local factors attributed to the high yield of 59 bushels this year.

A normally very large crop for the state, only 320,000 acres of cotton were planted this year, only half of what was planted in 2012.

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