Governor Hutchinson Announces Appointments to Agriculture Boards and Commissions
On March 30, Governor Hutchinson made appointments to several boards and commissions within the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. The appointments are as follows:

Boll Weevil Eradication Committee:
  • Scott Bray, Alexander. Term expires July 1, 2024.
  • Ramey Stiles, Marianna. Term expires July 1, 2024.
  • Travis Senter, Osceola. Term expires July 1, 2024.
  • Gregg Garner, Lake City. Term expires July 1, 2025.
  • Benton Felts, Joiner. Term expires on July 1, 2025.

Arkansas Forestry Commission:
  • David Cawein, Bella Vista. Term Expires January 14, 2027.
  • Miles Goggans, Star City. Term expires January 14, 2031.
  • Peter Prutzman, Arkadelphia. Term expires January 14, 2028.

Arkansas Natural Resources Commission:
  • Bill Poynter, Texarkana. Term expires January 14, 2029.

Arkansas State Board of Registration for Professional Soil Classifiers:
  • Dr. Steven Green, Jonesboro. Term expires November 1, 2026.

Veterinary Medical Examining Board:
  • Dr. Conley Byrd, Redfield. Term expires March 1, 2027.
  • Shawna Barber, Jonesboro. Term expires March 1, 2027.

Find the full list of appointments here.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Announces Scholarship Opportunity For Students Majoring in Agriculture
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting scholarship applications from students majoring in agriculture or an agriculture-related field at one of the following universities: Arkansas State University, Southern Arkansas University, the University of Arkansas System, and Arkansas Tech University. Applications will be accepted through June 1, 2022 and can be found here.

“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to provide funding to help deserving students further their education and prepare for potential careers in agriculture, our state’s largest industry,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “It is an exciting time to be involved in the agricultural industry and we wish to support students as they consider the many career options available in agriculture.”

Scholarship recipients may receive up to $5,000 for the 2022-2023 academic year. Funding for the scholarships comes from civil penalties collected by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
Recipients must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Selections are based on academic achievements, character, leadership, career plans, and financial need.

Questions regarding the scholarship program can be directed to Amy Lyman at
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detection Map Now Available
Since January of 2022 multiple states have confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in both commercial and backyard operations. HPAI is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry and wild birds, especially waterfowl. HPAI is a contagious and economically devastating disease that causes severe illness and/or death in poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks. There are no treatments or vaccines currently available to control avian influenza. The only available control for the disease is by depopulating all affected and exposed flocks.

Currently, there are no reported cases of HPAI in Arkansas; but, there are infected flocks in 31 states including Missouri, Texas, and Kentucky. In order to track confirmed cases of HPAI in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has created a detection map, available here.

As further mitigation against confirmed cases of HPAI in surrounding states, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Livestock & Poultry Commission promulgated the Arkansas Avian Influenza Emergency Rule on March 15, 2022. The new Emergency Rule will be in effect until July 20, 2022. The full rule can be found here.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides resources on biosecurity for poultry operations through their Defend the Flock campaign, which can be found here.

Poultry owners should continue to closely monitor their flocks and report any possible symptoms to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at 501-823-1746. More information on HPAI symptoms can be found here.
Corteva Agriscience’s Enlist Technology Herbicide Approved For Use In All Arkansas Counties
Following an announcement by EPA, Enlist technology is now approved for use in all Arkansas counties. Enlist One and Enlist Duo are two herbicides used to control weeds in conventional and genetically-modified corn, cotton, and soybean crops.

In January 2022, Corteva Agriscience received a seven-year registration from the EPA for its Enlist technologies. The registered labels for the Enlist herbicides included endangered species restrictions which prohibited the use of the products in 11 Arkansas counties: Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Little River, Logan, Montgomery, Polk, Scott, Sebastian, Sevier, and Yell.

The expansion into additional counties was the result of the review of additional information for a proposed label amendment. An official EPA announcement and additional information can be found here.
Prescribed Fire as a Management Tool
What is prescribed fire? A prescribed fire, also known as a “controlled burn” and/or referred to as “prescribed burning,” is a strategically planned and carefully managed application of fire used to accomplish specific conservation/land management objectives. Prescribed burns are conducted in Arkansas by officials from an array of conservation agencies, and in many cases by private landowners and companies. Last year, federal, state, and private agencies/individuals reported 228,679 acres of completed prescribed fires in Arkansas.

Why is prescribed fire important?

  • Prescribed fire makes communities safer by removing flammable debris and vegetation, thereby making landscapes more resistant to wildfire.
  • Prescribed fire is a great tool for adding and/or improving wildlife habitat.
  • Prescribed fire opens the seedbed of the landscape to allow for healthier growth of tree seedlings and herbaceous plant species.
  • Prescribed burning is the cheapest, and most natural land management tool available.
  • Prescribed fire is a natural, historic part of the Arkansas landscape.
  • Prescribed fire improves natural areas aesthetically and ecologically.
  • Prescribed fire helps native plant species to flourish.
Officials from private, state, and federal agencies use prescribed fire as a management tool to improve natural areas and manage forests, grasslands, woodlands, and prairies across Arkansas. February – April is the most common time period for prescribed burning efforts in Arkansas due to favorable weather conditions. September – November is the second most common time period for safe prescribed burning conditions. The best conditions for prescribed burning also coincide with periods of the highest wildfire frequency in Arkansas. The top priority of all prescribed burn efforts is safety. Prescribed fire technicians work carefully to monitor weather conditions to differentiate between safe burning conditions (low wind/mild humidity/dry vegetation) and unsafe burning conditions (high wind/low humidity/dormant vegetation). 

More information on prescribed fire is available at
Reminder: Arkansas Farmers Market Bag Program Still Open
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas are partnering to provide reusable paper shopping bags for purchase by farmers markets or vendors at greatly reduced rates. This program enables farmers markets and/or vendors to provide convenient, high quality shopping bags for consumers. In 2021, the Department and Farm Credit provided more than 30,000 shopping bags to Arkansas farmers markets.

The Farmers Market Bags are currently in production with an anticipated delivery in June 2022. Orders can be accepted for a wait list, but please do not send payment until your order is confirmed. A minimum purchase of 250 bags at $25 is required.

Find more information on this program here.
Feral Hog Eradication Task Force Update

The Feral Hog Eradication Task Force continued its efforts in March 2022, removing over 2,000 feral hogs across Arkansas. Additionally, Arkansas residents reported the removal of almost 120 feral hogs last month.

Learn more about the Task Force and its efforts here.
Agri-Health Network Addresses Mental Health Issues in Agriculture
The Agri-Health Network is a non-profit established to provide stress assistance to farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture professionals. Aiming to help others recognize the signs of stress, the Agri-Health Network encourages and provides resources for groups to create a network within the agricultural community to handle stress. Learn more about their organization here.

Among other resources, the Agri-Health Network hosts a weekly podcast, That Farm Life, which covers topics that affect those in the farming community. With new guests each week, That Farm Life aims to help those in agriculture who are dealing with farm stress, family stress, or other mental health issues. Find their weekly episodes here.
2022 Arkansas Grown
Although the dairy industry contributes over $3.9 billion to Arkansas's economy, the number of dairy farms in the state has declined significantly over the past three decades. To address this, the Arkansas state legislature enacted Act 521 during the 2022 legislative session and instructed the Milk Stabilization Board to implement a milk pricing program to help reverse the decline of dairy farms in the state.

Read more about Act 521 and the Milk Stabilization Board's efforts in the 2022 edition of Arkansas Grown. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state.
Photo Features
At the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association's final Area Regional Meeting in Conway, Secretary Ward (left) presented a sponsorship check for the Arkansas Cattlemen's Leadership Course.
Deputy State Forester Mark Curter (left) presented District Forester Mike Mowery (right) with his 37-year service award.
Division Forester Darren Spinks (left) presented Forest Inventory Coordinator Eric Brixey with his 20-year service award.
The St. Francis County Forestry crew assisted with the installation of 13 cypress trees at the Wynne Sports Complex.
Forestry Division Partners with Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Saline County recently broke ground on a house for Arkansas resident Amber Pope and her three children. The project has been named "Forestry Build 2022" with money, labor, and materials donated from many in the Arkansas forestry industry including loggers, consultants, and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division.

State Forester Joe Fox represented the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at the groundbreaking. The house should be ready for Amber and her family in four to five months.
Free Tree Fridays Continue
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division hosted its second and third Free Tree Friday event on March 25 and April 1. So far, our events have been attended by 1,650 people who picked up 7,100 seedlings to be planted across Arkansas!

Find a "Free Tree Friday" giveaway near you here.
Brad Graham, President of Catfish Farmers of Arkansas, was recently elected as Vice President of Catfish Farmers of America. Brad is pictured with Andrew Fleming and Kenny Francis, 2021 and 2022 winners of the Arkansas Catfish Farmers of the Year award.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
Arkansas Rice Now Accepting Applications for Scholarship Program
Current high school juniors graduating in 2023 are eligible to apply for and win up to $18,000 in scholarship funding towards higher education. Arkansas Rice's "Rice Reps" is a five month program to help educate students about the rice industry while equipping them to act as advocates in their communities and on social media.
Once accepted into the program, Reps actively participate from May through September in activities designed to teach students about rice farming and the importance of the Arkansas rice industry at home and abroad. They are also asked to attend four different exclusive, on-site experiences during the program to better understand the reach of rice in Arkansas.

Applications are due April 15. Find more information and application instructions here.
Arkansas Unpaved Roads Training Program

Trouble with washouts on gravel roads? Join the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division May 12 for a training program on drainage control and mitigation of erosion for unpaved roads.

Topics will include:

  • Gravel road construction
  • Innovative ways to mitigate erosion
  • Grade breaks & broad-based dips
  • Ditches & culverts
  • Stream crossings
  • Field exercises

County Judges, road foremen, crew leaders, and crew members are invited at no cost.
Register here.
USDA Updates
USDA Announces Plans for $250 Million Investment to Support Innovative American-made Fertilizer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced plans for a $250 million grant program that will support American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. This grant program is in response to rising fertilizer costs across the U.S.

This program will support fertilizer production that is independent, made in America, innovative, sustainable, and farmer-focused. Details on the application process will be announced in the summer of 2022, with the first awards expected before the end of 2022. Read more here.
USDA Farm Service Agency 2022 Virtual Outreach Meetings

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA) has finalized their virtual outreach meetings for 2022. These virtual trainings serve as a way for USDA-FSA to get vital program information, such as deadlines, eligibility requirements, and more into the hands of producers.

Thursday, May 26, 10:00 - 11:00 A.M. – Youth Loan Program
Special Speaker – Wes Ward, Secretary, Arkansas Deptartment of Agriculture. Virtual meeting here. For audio only call 202-650-0123 and enter code: 307 597 909#.
Thursday, June 23, 10:00 - 11:00 A.M. – COC Election Overview
Special Speaker - Doris Washington, State Executive Director – Farm Service Agency. Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. Learn more about how you can participate. Virtual meeting here . For audio only call 202-650-0123 and enter code 783 560 535#. 
Thursday, August 25, 10:00 - 11:00 A.M. – Conservation Reserve Program
Special Speaker: Shane Booth, District Forester, Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division. Find out how these programs work to address a large number of farming and ranching related conservation issues. Virtual meeting here.  For audio only call 202-650-0123 and enter code 980 012 680#.
Thursday, September 29, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. – Beginning Farmer and Heir Property Education
Special Speaker: Rusty Rumley, Senior Staff Attorney, U of A Division of Agriculture. Learn how to obtain a farm number and Heir Property documentation needed. Virtual meeting here. For audio only call 202-650-0123 and enter code 740 167 816#.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture's
Annual Report

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report provides information about the Department and how it served Arkansas agriculture, our state's largest industry, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Click here to view the 2021 Annual Report.
Weekly Market Summary

Each Friday, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture publishes a comprehensive Weekly Market Summary, which includes the Arkansas Weekly Livestock Auction Summary and Related Individual Market Sale Summaries, National Weekly Rice Summary, Memphis Weekly Feed Report, Weekly Rice, Grain, Cotton, and Feed Futures Trends, Weekly Livestock and Milk Futures Trends, Bid Prices to Farmers, Arkansas Daily Grain Report, Heading Links for Historical Data, and news.

The summary is available on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Market Reports webpage, as well as each Division's webpage and Facebook page, and you may sign-up to receive the summary by email at Subscribe To Notifications And Publications.
Follow us on social media!

For the latest in Arkansas agriculture, be sure to follow us on social media! Links to our social media pages can be found here.
Find a career in Arkansas's largest industry!

Are you passionate about Arkansas agriculture? With many new and exciting career opportunities, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture is looking for highly motivated individuals to bring their passion for the Arkansas agriculture industry to the workplace. Check out our available positions today on the AR Careers website by searching for "agriculture" or "natural resources."
Arkansas AG Facts: Pecans
  • Pecans are the official state nut.
  • Arkansas has more than 15,736 acres of pecan trees, which is an increase of 4,145 acres since 2012.
  • Arkansas's commercial pecan groves produce an average of 8.4 million pounds of nuts annually, more than any other nut variety grown in the state.
  • Commercial pecan production in Arkansas over the past five years has contributed an average of $11 million to the state's economy annually.
  • Arkansas pecans are exported internationally.
  • Pecans provide a good source of protein, fiber, and good fats; and serve as nutritious and affordable plant-based foods for all Arkansans.
  • In addition to its nutmeats, the pecan tree's wood is prized for use in flooring, cabinetry, and smoking meats.
  • Arkansas pecan growers banded together in 1997 to form the Arkansas Pecan Growers Association to promote the pecan industry.
  • Governor Hutchinson declared the month of April as Arkansas Pecan Month.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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