Arkansas Agriculture

Grants For Sustainable Strawberry Projects Awarded

May 30, 2013
flickr.com

Close to $3 million in grant money is being awarded to 16 agricultural researchers to develop more sustainable methods for growing strawberries.

The project is funded by the Walmart Foundation and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability is administering the awards. Winners were announced Wednesday.

Efforts to overhaul the federal farm bill are finally gaining traction on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas voted to help get the bill out of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday.

Pryor Hosting Twitter 'Town Hall' On Agriculture

May 15, 2013

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas is hosting a Twitter town hall to answer questions about the farm bill and other agricultural issues.

Pryor's office said the Democratic lawmaker will answer questions via Twitter about the bill, agricultural research, regulations and domestic food availability. Arkansans can tweet their questions using the hashtag (hash)AskPryor starting at 8:15 a.m. Thursday.

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

As opposition continues against a newly permitted industrial swine-breeding farm now operating in the watershed of the protected Buffalo National River in Newton County, its owners have remained mostly silent until Monday when members of the media were invited for a tour.

Campbell and Henson (C&H) Hog Farms is situated along a rugged mountain bench about 20 miles southeast of downtown Jasper. From the outside its new double-barn confined feeding animal operation (CAFO) looks ordinary, inside 824 large pink sows will soon give birth.

Tyson Foods Makes Major Food Donation To Arkansas Pantry

Apr 18, 2013
Tyson
Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods has donated more than 27,000 pounds of chicken to the Arkansas Rice Depot. 

The donation to the statewide food bank arrived Wednesday. Arkansas Rice Depot President and CEO Laura Rhea says the donation is essential to help the food bank support dozens of pantries and thousands of people in every Arkansas county. She says the group distributes 9 million pounds of food each year.

Tyson Foods officials say meat is one of the most-requested and least-available foods in food banks. The company says it has donated tens of millions of pounds of meat since 2000.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking applications for $3 million worth of health care projects for communities of up to 50,000 people in Arkansas and seven other states in the Delta region.

Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager says the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program covers 252 counties and parishes. The best proposals will get grants of $50,000 and up.

The money can be used for health care cooperatives, services, education and job training. Applications are due May 28.

Insect Could Threaten Arkansas Soybean Crops

Mar 19, 2013
kudzu bug
Marlin E. Rice, Pioneer Seed

Soybean growers in Arkansas are preparing for a possible invasion by an insect that’s damaging crops throughout the South. 

The kudzu bug sucks sap from soybean plants, weakening and stunting the plant's  growth. The tiny flying insects have already caused up to 20 percent yield losses in some untreated soybean fields in North Carolina.

Gus Lorenz, with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says stopping the pests can be difficult.

Little Rock Farmers Market
littlerock.com

At farmers markets across Arkansas, growers say the record drought this summer is having a big impact on their crops, with harvests below normal.

On a recent day in the Little Rock Farmer’s Market downtown, a live accordionist played as shoppers made their way through the pavilions looking at produce.

But grower Lance Cummings of Jane, Elaine and Betty Plants and Produce says the harvests for just about every crop are less than usual this year.

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