2021 Arkansas Century Farm Applications
Due May 31

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2021 Arkansas Century Farm program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. There is no cost to apply. Online and printable applications are available here.
Arkansas is home to more than 42,300 farms, of which 96 percent are family owned and operated. Since the Arkansas Century Farm program began in 2012, 494 farms have been certified. Find the lists of previously inducted Arkansas Century Farm families here.
Seven Arkansas Communities Receive Water
and Wastewater Project Funding

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission approved $4,626,938 for water and wastewater projects serving 6,054 people in seven Arkansas communities on January 20, 2021. To read about the communities and funding, go here.

More information about the Natural Resource Division’s water and wastewater programs can be found here.
2020 Annual Reports Available Online:
Arkansas Department of Agriculture,
Local Food, Farms, & Jobs, and
Arkansas Farm to School

Arkansas Department of Agriculture 2020 Annual Report

In this report, you will find information about the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s divisions, programs, and how we served Arkansas agriculture, our state’s largest industry, from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. 

The report can be found here.

Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act 2020 Annual Report

The Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act (Local Food Act) was enacted in 2017 and amended in 2019 to create, strengthen, and expand local farm and food economies throughout the state. The Local Food Act requires agencies to set a goal of at least 20% of the agency’s purchases of food products be spent on local food, and it requires agencies to provide information on their local food procurement budget.

The report can be found here.

Arkansas Farm to School 2020 Annual Report

School gardens, education, and local procurement are the three pillars of farm to school. The Arkansas Farm to School 2020 Report is a summary of the cumulative impact of farm to school efforts in Arkansas by topic area. Information is also provided about the awardees of the USDA Farm to School Grant and CDC High Obesity Prevention Farm to School Supplemental Grant.

The report can be found here.

UAPB Receives
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Small Farm Program has been awarded a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant of $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The grant will be used to train beginning farmers and ranchers in several South Arkansas counties, including Columbia, Howard, Sevier, Little River, Hempstead, Miller, Lafayette, Cleveland, Dallas, and Lincoln counties. Those participating will receive training on farm business planning, livestock and crop production, and marketing. Information on USDA programs, alternative enterprises, and heirs' property issues will also be provided.

More information about the grant can be found here.
The Daily Work of the Forestry Division

Forestry Division employees are committed to protecting Arkansas's forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural, and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans. Below are just a few examples of the work they do.
Assisting a landowner with cost-share sign-up
Planting inspections for landowners
Conducting controlled burns
Fire containment
Soybean Yield Contest Winners Announced
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and the Arkansas Soybean Association recently announced the winners of the 2020 Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Contest. The contest divided state soybean producers into nine groups, seven geographic regions, one all-state conventional (non-GMO) category, and new for 2020, a Champions Category. 

The Grow for the Green Yield Soybean Yield Challenge is funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board using producer checkoff funds. The contests are administered by the Arkansas Soybean Association in cooperation with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 

To see the list of winners, go here.
NASS Modernizes Communications, Data Collection,
and Data Dissemination

The information producers provide the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) by responding to surveys is beneficial to producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other federal, state, and local policymakers. The information helps producers make better business decisions and reduce risk. USDA and other federal and state agencies use the information to make market assessments, validate economic opportunities, and develop policies.

More and more farmers and ranchers are filling out their surveys online. It can save time and tax dollars, and help ensure data quality. Surveys can be found here.

Upcoming surveys include:
  • 2020 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey - See marketing/partner tools here.

  • March Agricultural Survey - See information here.

  • Agricultural Resource Management Survey - See information here.

  • 2022 Census of Agriculture Content Test - See information here. Anyone with agricultural activity can sign up to be counted in the Census of Agriculture here.
Recent and Upcoming Data Releases:
National Agricultural Law Center

There are many ongoing issues in food law that will continue into 2021 and have the potential to impact agriculture. These include the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, poultry antitrust, meat labeling, genetically engineered animals, soil-less organics, labeling, and animal welfare. Read the National Agricultural Law Center's overview of cases and issues here.

Prescribed Burns Begin on
Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis
National Forests

The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests will be conducting prescribed burns in Arkansas and Oklahoma over the next several months.

The purposes of these burns are to re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires. Prescribed burns are conducted when the conditions indicate that natural resource management objectives will be met and there will be minimal impact to the public.

More information about the burns can be found here.
USDA Offers Secure Options for
Signing and Sharing Documents Online

Farmers and ranchers working with USDA’s Farm Service Agency or Natural Resources Conservation Service can now sign and share documents online in just a few clicks. By using Box or OneSpan, producers can digitally complete business transactions without leaving their homes or agricultural operations. Both services are free, secure, and available for multiple FSA and NRCS programs. To learn more, go here.
National Agricultural Law Center Webinars & Publications

As part of its mission, the National Agricultural Law Center is hosting a series of webinars on current and emerging agricultural and food law topics. Usually held on the third Wednesday of the month, these webinars are freely available to the general public and are typically designed to be appropriate for both attorneys and non-attorneys. To see the webinars offered go here.

Research publications are a vital part of the Center’s mission to conduct objective, timely, and non-partisan research into agricultural and food law issues and to provide that scholarship to the agricultural and food law communities. Information provided in these articles and presentations is not intended to be taken as legal advice nor as a substitute for qualified legal counsel.
Go here to see a list of publications.
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.
COVID-19 Resources

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has produced numerous shareable and printable COVID-19 resources. We invite and encourage the use of all resources which can be found on our COVID-19 Resource page, including:

Department COVID-19 resources can also be found on our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Arkansas Ag Fact:

  • Arkansas is ranked #6 nationally in forestry products.
  • Arkansas has 19 million acres of forests.
  • More than 56% of the entire landmass of the State of Arkansas is forested.
  • Arkansas produces timber valued at more than $400 million each year.
  • 44 million tons of forestry-related products and timber were produced in 2020.
  • Baucum Nursery sold 7,341,125 hardwood and pine seedlings in 2020.
  • Arkansas has 41 Tree Cities benefitting more than 837,836 residents.
  • There are 15,189 volunteer firefighters and 96 Firewise communities across the state.
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