Arkansas Agriculture

Local & Regional News
10:53 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Arkansas Researchers Develop New Non-GMO Soybeans


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.”  

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Local & Regional News
3:23 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Arkansas Anti-Hunger Advocates Concerned By Possible Food Stamp Cuts

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.

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Local & Regional News
5:42 am
Fri July 19, 2013

At Least 2 Cows Die Due To Blackleg Disease

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.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Pryor And Boozman Discuss Farm Bill’s Future

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.

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Local & Regional News
5:15 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Arkansas Crop Yields: Highest And Lowest On Record

Credit 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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Local & Regional News
5:50 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Arkansas Cotton Acreage At Longtime Low

Cotton acreage is down sharply this year in Arkansas.

Agriculture officials estimate that 320,000 acres of cotton have been planted in Arkansas this year. That's only about half as much cotton as growers planted in 2012.

Jonesboro television station KAIT reports that farmers pulled back on cotton because of thin profit margins.

Producers risk losing money if the weather takes a bad turn or if pests are abundant. Also, the crop is threatened by herbicide-resistant pigweed, which can choke out cotton plants.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Arkansas Congressmen Back Scaled-Down Farm Bill

Arkansas's four Republican congressmen have voted for a scaled-down farm bill that doesn't address funding for food stamps.

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Local & Regional News
5:49 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Arkansas Farmers Seeking Bounty Now Poised For Drought

Arkansas hay farmers once hopeful for three cuttings during 2013 are now worried about a developing drought.

Forecasters said Thursday that drought conditions are developing in portions of Arkansas.

For a time in the spring, conditions were such that some farmers believed they could make hay around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

University of Arkansas forage specialist John Jennings said Arkansas' weather pattern needs to change so broader areas of the state see rain.

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Local & Regional News
11:33 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Arkansas Poultry Farms Prepare To Protect Flocks From Mild Bird Flu

Poultry owners in Arkansas are taking steps to safeguard flocks from a mild strain of bird flu.

Last week, state health officials reported that a low-pathogenic strain of avian influenza was found on a poultry farm in Scott County.

Though experts with the state’s Livestock and Poultry Commission say the outbreak was isolated to one farm, Dustan Clark, a veterinarian with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, says farmers must take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of diseases. 

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Local & Regional News
3:46 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival To Take Place After Shortage Scare

In South Arkansas, the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival will indeed take place this weekend.

The festival honors the pink tomato, Arkansas’s official fruit and vegetable, in a week long celebration complete with live music, games, and contests.

Arkansas tomato fans had a scare when the tomatoes were said to be in short supply just weeks before the festival.

Low temperatures in April stunted the progress of the tomatoes.

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