Arkansas Agriculture

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.

Arkansas Cotton Acreage At Longtime Low

Jul 16, 2013

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.

Arkansas Congressmen Back Scaled-Down Farm Bill

Jul 12, 2013

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

Arkansas Farmers Seeking Bounty Now Poised For Drought

Jul 12, 2013

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.

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. 

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.

World Of Weather Opposites For Arkansas Farmers

Jun 14, 2013

Some Arkansas farmers are still planting, even though it's the middle of June.

Agricultural economist Scott Stiles of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says even some rice is still going in the ground.

A year ago, growers had an early spring and a long stretch of mild weather, making it easy to plant early.

This year, frequent rains in east Arkansas caused delays for many row crop growers.

Stiles says the state likely won't have the 1 million acres of corn that was expected. Planting this late can lower corn yields.

Arkansas Senators Praise Farm Bill Passage

Jun 11, 2013

Arkansas' U.S. Senate delegation is praising the passage of a farm bill. The bill passed the Senate on Monday on a 66-27 vote. 

The five-year, half-trillion bill includes greater subsidies for rice farmers and more aid for purchasing crop insurance. 

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor said the bill offers protections to farmers in the South and retains a catfish inspection program.

The annual Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival is about to start and officials are concerned about a potential lack of tomatoes.

The festival began with the Grand Tomato Ball on Friday with the main attractions of food, music and arts and crafts scheduled for June 13-15 in the southeastern Arkansas town.

But organizers say the main attraction - tomatoes - are scarce and smaller than usual.

Grants For Sustainable Strawberry Projects Awarded

May 30, 2013

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.