Arkansas Agriculture

Hay bales on fire
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.

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

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.

Harvest Of Arkansas Early-Planted Rice Getting Started

Sep 3, 2013
rice fields
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. 

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.

Arkansas Senator Boozman Wrapping Up Rural Tour

Aug 29, 2013

U.S. Sen. John Boozman plans to bring his weeklong agriculture tour of Arkansas to a close on Friday with stops in three towns.

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.

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