Arkansas Dairy Month

Governor Hutchinson proclaimed June as Arkansas Dairy Month, joining nationwide efforts to recognize the hard work of dairy farmers in meeting rigorous standards of quality and safety, and to remind consumers of the health benefits of dairy.

On June 24, Governor Hutchinson presented the proclamation to Arkansas dairy farmers as well as industry leaders and stakeholders in the Governor's Conference Room at the State Capitol. During the presentation Governor Hutchinson discussed the importance of the state's dairy producers, as well as the challenges they face, with attendees.

"We are celebrating June as Dairy Month, recognizing the wonderful contribution that dairy plays to our diet and to our economy here in the great state of Arkansas," said Ashley Anderson, Dairy Checkoff Program, Midwest Dairy. "Our dairy farmers are still working hard each day to produce the dairy milk that is used to make the dairy products we all love, that consumers across the state enjoy. And it's not just milk, it's the cheese on our pizza, the cream in our coffee, the butter in your favorite dish... however you enjoy dairy. On behalf of Dairy Month, I encourage everyone to go out and enjoy a delicious glass of milk, or ice cream, just enjoy your favorite dairy products."

You can read the Arkansas Dairy Month Proclamation here.

Read more about the health benefits of dairy on the Midwest Dairy website. You can also view more photos from the proclamation on the Department's Flikr account here, and watch the Arkansas Dairy Month video on our Facebook page.
Fire Ant Quarantine Expanded in Arkansas

On June 17, the Federal Imported Fire Ant Quarantine was expanded in Arkansas by adding Logan, Prairie, Sebastian, and White Counties. The addition of these counties was based on surveys conducted over several years by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Populations of fire ants were found throughout these counties. The quarantine is in place to prevent the movement of invasive fire ants into areas that do not yet have them. Items regulated by the quarantine include nursery stock with soil or potting media, grass sod, hay, straw, soil, and used dirt moving equipment. 
Businesses in quarantined counties may still be able to move these regulated items into non-quarantined areas if they have set up a compliance agreement with USDA and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. These agreements outline the steps that must be taken in order to move these items while not moving fire ants. Those who hold a compliance agreement are issued a stamp that shows receivers, as well as regulatory officials, that the commodity has been treated or handled in a manner that prevents fire ants from being moved into a non-quarantined area. 
For information on fire ants and compliance agreements, contact Paul Shell at 501-225-1598 or
Invasive Cogongrass Confirmed in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is notifying the public that a new invasive grass species, Cogongrass, has been confirmed in Arkansas for the first time.

For several years botanists and land managers have been on the lookout for Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern Arkansas. This aggressive species, native to Southeast Asia, has spread rapidly across the Deep South over the past few decades. Cogongrass is considered one of the worst invasive species in the world, causing both economic and ecological damages that impact forestry, agriculture, rangeland, and natural ecosystems.

Charles Bryson, retired U.S. Department of Agriculture botanist, detected a patch of Cogongrass in Helena-West Helena alongside Highway 49. The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s (Department) Plant Industries Division and Forestry Division, and the Arkansas Department of Transportation were informed of the finding and met onsite on June 16 to spray the invasive plant population with herbicide. Botanists with the Arkansas Department of Transportation conducted surveys along Highway 49 and other roads in the area and detected no additional Cogongrass populations. The agencies are planning to conduct annual surveys along this and other routes coming into southeastern Arkansas from Mississippi. They will also monitor the site and conduct additional herbicide applications as needed over the next few years.

Cogongrass has bright green leaves with serrated margins and a distinctive white vein that is slightly off-center from the middle of the leaf. It has no true, above-ground stem and the leaves emerge directly from stout, creeping rhizomes (underground stems). Cogongrass spreads rapidly from these rhizomes to form distinctive and very dense circular patches which expand in size every year and can displace all other species on the ground. It is also one of the few warm season grasses that bloom immediately after coming out of winter dormancy. A fact sheet with more information and photos is available here

Any sightings of Cogongrass in Arkansas should be reported to Paul Shell, the Department’s Plant Inspection and Quarantine Program Manager, at or 501-225-1598.
Application Period for the 2021 Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Contest

The application period for the 11th annual Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge is officially open. All soybean producers in Arkansas are eligible to participate in this contest, which is administered by the Arkansas Soybean Association (ASA) and funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB), with crop management assistance provided by The University of Arkansas Extension Services (UAEX).

Participating producers from across the state compete for a chance to win a cash prize by producing the highest yield crop in their region. The contest was established to recognize and reward the top soybean producers in Arkansas, collect valuable production data, and promote best production practices in the state.
The 2021 edition of the contest follows the format of previous years in which the state is divided into seven geographic regions or categories, plus one conventional (non-GMO) category, that covers the entire state. To view the regions and categories visit their contest page.
Cash prizes for each category will be awarded to the top three producers at the ASA Annual Meeting in January. Those who place first in each category will receive a cash prize of $7,500, second place contestants will receive $5,000, and third place contestants will collect $2,500. Producers who achieve 100 bushels for the first time are eligible to receive a portion of an additional $5,000 in prize money and a paid registration to the 2022 Commodity Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana. For existing members of the 100 Bushel Club, producers will compete in a new category against each other for a $10,000 grand prize. As an added bonus, producers who submit their harvest report are eligible to receive a $100 incentive.
Production data and contest results from 2020 and previous years are available on the ASA website. Entry forms and contest rules are available upon request from the ASA office at 501-666-1418 or your local county extension agent. They can also be downloaded at or
Learn to Burn Courses Coming this Fall

Land owners seeking to improve their properties and prevent wildland fires will have the opportunity to attend Learn to Burn courses this fall in Central Arkansas. The courses offer an introduction to the safe and effective use of fire as a land management tool.

Topics include fire ecology, using fire to maintain wildlife habitat, writing a prescribed burn plan, liability, and personal protective equipment and tools. This event is sponsored by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Quail Forever, and the Arkansas Forestry Association.

Courses Include:
  • Learn to Burn 1: Introduction
Classroom Presentations: REGISTER HERE
6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 21

  • Learn to Burn 2: Advanced
Burn Planning, Plan Writing, and Student Led Burns: REGISTER HERE
9 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday, September 22

  • Rain dates- Sept. 23 and Oct. 4-5

Both courses will be held at the Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA Clubhouse, 322 Lake Loop, Hattieville. For questions or more information contact Clint Johnson,, 501-270-1926.
USDA Reminds Arkansas Producers to File Crop Acreage Reports

Agricultural producers in Arkansas who have not yet completed their crop acreage reports after planting should make an appointment with their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) office before the applicable deadline.

An acreage report documents a crop grown on a farm or ranch and its intended uses. Filing an accurate and timely acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planted acreage, can prevent the loss of benefits.
How to File a Report
July 15, 2021 is the reporting date in Arkansas for spring seeded crops. Also, crops insured under NAP may have an earlier reporting date. Contact your local FSA office for a list of acreage reporting deadlines by crop.
Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment.
To file a crop acreage report, you will need to provide:
  • Crop and crop type or variety.
  • Intended use of the crop.
  • Number of acres of the crop.
  • Map with approximate boundaries for the crop.
  • Planting date(s).
  • Planting pattern, when applicable.
  • Producer shares.
  • Irrigation practice(s).
  • Acreage prevented from planting, when applicable.
  • Other information as required.
Acreage Reporting Details
The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:
  • If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.
  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendar days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.
Producers should also report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to natural disaster, were unable to plant. Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and USDA’s Risk Management Agency.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP-covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.
For questions, please contact your local FSA office. To locate your local FSA office visit
Drought Monitor Resources

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is an online, weekly map showing the location, extent, and severity of drought across the United States. It categorizes the entire country as being in one of six levels of drought. The map is released on Thursdays and depicts conditions for the week that ended the preceding Tuesday.

The USDM provides producers with the latest information about drought conditions where they live, enabling producers to best respond and react to a drought as it develops or lingers. In some cases, the USDM may help a producer make specific decisions about their operation, such as reducing the stocking rate because forage is not growing. For others, it may provide a convenient big-picture snapshot of broader environmental conditions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses the USDM to determine a producer’s eligibility for certain drought assistance programs, like the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and Emergency Haying or Grazing on CRP acres. Additionally, the Farm Service Agency uses the Drought Monitor to trigger and “fast track” Secretarial Disaster Designations which then provides producers impacted by drought access to emergency loans that can assist with credit needs.

The USDM can be found here. More information about the USDM can also be found at the following here.
Arkansas Hops Workshop and Field Tour

Horticulture experts with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service will host a Hops Workshop and Field Tour on August 19 for growers and brewers interested in learning about hops production and using locally grown hops in brewing.

Participants will hear updates on hops research in Arkansas, experience an aroma demonstration with over 30 cultivars, cultivar selection, trellising, pest management, and harvest practices.

The event will be from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Fruit Research Station in Clarksville. Participation is free, but registration is required and will be available on their website. To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit
USDA Opens Signup for CLEAR30, Expands Pilot to Be Nationwide

Landowners and agricultural producers currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) now have a wider opportunity to enroll in a 30-year contract through the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, And Rivers initiative, called CLEAR30.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expanding CLEAR30 – a water-quality focused option available through CRP – to be nationwide now. Interested producers with CRP contracts expiring September 30, 2021, should sign up by August 6, 2021. CLEAR30 provides an opportunity for producers to receive incentives for a 30-year commitment to water quality practices on their CRP land, building on their original 10 to 15-year CRP contracts.

These long-term contracts ensure that practices remain in place for 30 years, which improves water quality through reducing sediment and nutrient runoff and helping prevent algal blooms.

To sign up for CLEAR30, contact your local USDA Service Center. Contact information can be found at For more information on CRP, visit the Conservation Reserve Program.
Farm Service Agency Now Accepting Nominations for County Committee Members

Nominations for local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections began on June 15.

Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA helping deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Agricultural producers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

You can request nomination forms from your local USDA Service Center or download from
2021 Agricultural Resource Management Survey

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is collecting data from approximately 50,000 farmers and ranchers for its annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

The survey looks at all aspects of U.S. agricultural production, the well-being of farm households, farm finances, chemical usage, and various farm production characteristics. The survey also collects detailed information on production practices, costs, and returns for different commodities on a rotating basis. In 2021, the survey will take a closer look at corn, rice, dairy, and organic dairy in the United States.

At this time NASS has suspended in-person data collection. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their survey online at with the survey code mailed to them. The information producers provide through the survey influences national and state policy-making decisions. In addition, ARMS data are used to calculate the farm sector portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is an important measure of the U.S. economy.

The survey is conducted in three phases from June 2021 through April 2022. The current (first) phase screens participants to make sure they have the commodities of interest that are needed to accurately represent the entire U.S. farm sector. During the second phase, NASS will collect information on production practices and chemical use for specific commodities. In the final phase, NASS will survey producers on farm income and production expenditures.

All information from respondents is kept confidential, as required by federal law, and reported so that no individual operation or producer can be identified. For more information on how NASS protects information, visit

ARMS is a joint effort of NASS and USDA’s Economic Research Service. For more information about the 2021 Agricultural Resource Management Survey, visit For information on how data is used in this region, or if you have any questions about this survey, please call the NASS Delta Field Office at (800) 327-2970.
2021 Arkansas Grown

Recent flooding has devastated portions of Arkansas agriculture, but not for the first time. Read more about how Arkansas agriculture continues to rebuild after historical flooding in 2019 in the latest edition of the Arkansas Grown magazine.

With over 20 features about Arkansas agriculture, there’s something for everyone. You can view the magazine online here, find a physical copy at various locations around the state, or request a copy!
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.
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  • Arkansas honey from producers with five or more hives yielded 980,000 pounds of honey in 2020.
  • Arkansas has 20,000 registered honey producing bee colonies.
  • Bees are essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing our food supply.
  • On average, every third bite of food can be attributed to a bee.
  • Bees provided significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem.
  • Honeybees are the state insect of Arkansas.
  • Arkansas provides producers with conservation assistance to promote wise conservation stewardship, including the protection and maintenance of bees and their habitats on working lands and wildlands.
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