Arkansas Continues to Successfully Reduce Nutrients Through Partnerships and Strategic Planning
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division is accepting public comments on the recently updated Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy (ANRS), a non-regulatory, voluntary guidance document that prioritizes watersheds with the highest need for reduction of nutrients that can affect health of streams, rivers, and aquatic life. Comments will be accepted through June 30, 2022.

The ANRS establishes short and long-term goals and strategies for conservation partners, community leaders and agriculture producers to work together to implement conservation measures to reduce excessive nutrients from entering our streams and rivers. While nutrients come from many different sources, the ANRS primarily works to address inputs that originate during storm events from urban and rural settings. The ANRS watershed prioritization will guide implementation of non-regulatory and voluntary nutrient reduction conservation practices (e.g. septic tank remediation, urban stormwater management, pasture management, cover crops, etc.) and increase the ability to leverage existing state and federal funding sources to help offset implementation costs.

Arkansas established its first Nutrient Reduction Strategy in 2014 as part of the 2014 Arkansas Water Plan and participation in the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force. Arkansas is one of 12 member states of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force which is a combination of state and federal agencies that work together to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River/Atchafalaya River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico.

Implementation of voluntary nutrient reduction best management practices in Arkansas can generate cost savings for producers in addition to improving water quality. From 2017 through present, landowners in portions of Crooked Creek, Spring River, and Bull Shoals Lake watersheds retained over 2,000 pounds of sediment, 7,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 10,000 pounds of nitrogen on the land by installing over 30,000 linear feet of heavy use protection areas for cattle watering, 20 alternative watering sources, and 400 acres of grazing management practices. The development of septic tank remediation programs in the Illinois River and Beaver Reservoir watersheds assists homeowners while also providing nutrient reduction benefits.

Through the recent bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force states are eligible to receive $60 million in grant funds over the next five years to implement nutrient reduction related projects. Each of the 12 states can request up to $1 million annually over the next five years. The ANRS will help guide how and where these funds are spent to maximize nutrient reduction projects within Arkansas.

The ANRS and more information about nutrient reduction successes to date can be found here. Comments may be with submitted through the submission portal available through the link above or can be mailed to: Arkansas Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Division, Tate Wentz, 10421 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205.

For additional information contact, Tate Wentz, Natural Resources Division Water Quality Section Manager, (501) 682-3914, or Katie Mann, Natural Resources Division Ecologist Coordinator, (501) 682-3979,
$35.4 Million Provided for Arkansas Water and Wastewater Projects
On June 1, 2022, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Arkansas Natural Resources Commission approved $35,410,210 for nine water and wastewater projects and four technical assistance programs serving more than 211,372 Arkansans. The projects are as follows:

  • The Benton County Water Authority (WA) #4, Benton County, received a $4,530,260 loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund to replace a water main. The current customer base for this project is 250.
  • Central Arkansas Water (CAW), Pulaski County, received a $4,000,000 loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund for upgrades to the Jack H. Wilson Water Treatment Plant. The customer base for this project is 156,000.
  • The City of Melbourne, Izard County, received a $139,050 loan from the Water, Sewer, and Solid Waste Fund for water meter installation. The water customer base for this project is 1,769.
  • The City of Mountainburg, Crawford County, received a $50,000 grant from the Water Development Fund for a Cultural Resources Survey for the proposed North Central Crawford County Water System. The customer base is 767 with 342 potential new customers with the proposed water system expansion.
  • The Rock-Moore Public Water Authority (PWA), Independence County, received a $4,262,000 loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund for a new water tank and water system improvements. The current customer base for this project is 1,390.
  • East End Improvement District No. 1, Saline County, received a $500,000 loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund in additional funding for construction of a water storage tank and rehabilitation of existing water storage tanks. The customer base for this project is 2,297.
  • The McLean Bottoms Levee and Drainage District # 3, Logan County, received a $360,500 loan from the Water Development Fund in additional funding for levee repairs. The McLean Bottoms Levee protects 60 residences.
  • The Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority (NACA), Benton County, received a $20,000,000 loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in additional funding for wastewater treatment plant improvements. The customer base for this project totals 8,543 in Bentonville, Tontitown, Elm Springs, and Bethel Heights.
  • The Searcy Board of Public Utilities, White County, received a $950,000 loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund in additional funding for wastewater system rehabilitation. The customer base for project at 7,892.

The Natural Resources Commission also approved funding for the following technical assistance programs:

  • The Arkansas Environmental Training Academy (AETA) received a $150,000 grant from the Water Development Fund to provide training for members of Retail Water Provider boards pursuant to Act 605 of 2021.
  • The Arkansas Rural Water Association (ARWA) received a $125,000 grant from the Water Development Fund. This grant is for the Association's continued funding assistance for a Circuit Rider to provide onsite assistance to water systems with operation, maintenance, management, and financial problems.
  • The Arkansas Rural Water Association (ARWA) received $65,000 from the Water Development Fund to provide continued training and technical assistance to water and wastewater systems throughout the state.
  • H2Ozarks received a $278,400 grant from the Water Development Fund to administer the Septic Tank Remediation Pilot Program within the Buffalo River Watershed in Newton, Searcy, Marion, Baxter, Boone, Madison, Pope, Stone, and Van Buren Counties.

More information about the Natural Resource Division’s water and wastewater programs can be found here or by contacting Debby Dickson at or 501-682-0548.
Livestock & Poultry Division Stresses Importance of Biosecurity
As Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) continues to spread across the U.S., the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Livestock & Poultry Division is reminding poultry owners to remain on high alert.

HPAI is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry and wild birds. HPAI virus strains are extremely infections, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock to flock. There are no treatments or vaccines available to control avian influenza. The only available control is depopulation of all affected and exposed flocks.

Although there have not been any cases of HPAI detected in Arkansas, it is important that owners of commercial and backyard poultry practice good biosecurity. Wild birds that are infected can shed the virus at high levels in their manure. One gram of contaminated manure can infect one million birds. There are a few measures you can take to keep your backyard or commercial flocks safe:

  • Clean: Wash your hands, change or clean your shoes, and disinfect any equipment before and after entering your flock area. Avian influenza virus can survive in manure for several weeks, especially with high moisture and low temperatures.

  • Cover: Restrict flocks from sharing their habitat with wild waterfowl by maintaining outdoor enclosures with roofs or tarps and wire mesh or netted sides. Repair any holes or tears that would allow wild birds or rodents to enter.

  • Isolate: Keep track of everyone who comes onto your property at all times by using a logbook. If they had contact with other poultry, have pet birds, or had contact with wild birds (e.g., hunting), do not let them come in contact with your flock. Consider hanging a bird deterrent near the poultry houses to keep away wild birds that may infect your flock. Quarantine new birds for at least two weeks before introducing to your flock.

Find more information here.
2021 Arkansas Groundwater Report Now Available
Each year the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division (NRD) produces a report on the condition of the state's groundwater resources. This report provides a summary of groundwater protection and conservation programs administered by the NRD during the years 2020 and 2021, including water-level monitoring and studies of water use trends in the state. The data collected for this report is used to influence policy and program recommendations such as Critical Groundwater Area designations.

The general trend in Arkansas’s long-term water-level change is that the groundwater
levels are declining in response to continued withdrawals at rates which are not sustainable.
Based on 2015 water use data, only approximately 44.2% of the current alluvial aquifer
withdrawal of 7,636.08 million gallons per day, and approximately 55% of the
Sparta/Memphis aquifer withdrawal of 160 million gallons per day are sustainable. At these
pumping rates, water-level declines and the adverse impacts on the state’s groundwater
system will continue to be observed.

Find the full report here.
Most Crop Per Drop Irrigation Yield Contest Now Open
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s annual Most Crop Per Drop irrigation yield contest is now open to Arkansas rice, soybean, and corn producers. The contest rewards participating growers who achieve the greatest yield while using the least water.

Cash prizes will be awarded to top winners in the corn and soybean divisions: $6,000 to first-place winners; $3,000 for second place; and $1,000 to the third-place winner. The Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board are providing the prizes.
Rice growers, for the first time, can compete in one of two divisions — Furrow Irrigated Rice or Flood. Winners in each rice category will receive prizes provided by Ricetec:
  • First place — Hybrid seed superbag (40 units) valued at $11,000
  • Second place — 26 seed units valued at $7,260
  • Third place — 14 units valued at $3,740

Read more about the contest and how the Division of Agriculture is working to improve irrigation efficiency in the 2022 edition of Arkansas Grown. Read more about the contest rules and deadlines here.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is Hiring!
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.

Visit or check out our Facebook pages for open positions in Shared Services, Forestry, Livestock and Poultry, Plant Industries, and Natural Resources!
2022 Arkansas Grown
The Veterinary Technology program at Arkansas State University-Beebe is the only working farm on a community college in the state. In addition to classrooms, the program has a 150-acre farm featuring pasture, livestock working facilities, an orchard, an arena, a greenhouse, and a shop. The program strives to prepare students to provide care for all types of animals.

Read more about the ASU-Beebe Veterinary Technology program 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
Two Arkansas fire departments received equipment at no cost from the Forestry Division's Rural Fire Protection Program. Milton Washburn Fire Department in Sebastian County (left) received a 2000 KME pumper truck and Boles Fire Department in Scott County (right) received a 2010 30kw generator.
The Forestry Division held a Dozer Training at Camp Robinson in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Forestry Division held a Best Management Practices (BMP) training for loggers at Poison Springs State Forest.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
New Resources from the National Agricultural Law Center

Mid-South Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference

The Ninth Annual Mid-South Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference will be held on June 10, 2022, in Memphis, TN with an online option available. The conference has been approved for 6 total hours of CLE in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee including one hour of ethics. It has been approved for 7.2 total hours of CLE in Missouri, including 1.2 hours of ethics. Find more conference details here.

Upcoming Webinars:

Recent Blog Posts:

2021 Arkansas Forest Fact Sheet Now Available
Each year the Forestry Division’s Forest Inventory and Analysis crew collects data from permanent plots established in the 1950s and analyzes that data to create annual Arkansas Forest Fact Sheets. These fact sheets include information on the constantly changing forest land in our state, with data on Arkansas’s forest make-up, growth, removal, disturbances, and more!

Find the 2021 Arkansas Forest Fact Sheet here.

Learn more about the work done by Forest Inventory and Analysis crew here.
USDA Updates
USDA to Allow Producers to Request Voluntary Termination
of Conservation Reserve Program Contract
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants who are in the final year of their CRP contract to request voluntary termination of their CRP contract following the end of the primary nesting season for fiscal year 2022. Participants approved for this one-time, voluntary termination will not have to repay rental payments, a flexibility implemented this year to help mitigate the global food supply challenges caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other factors. Today, USDA also announced additional flexibilities for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). 

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is mailing letters to producers with expiring acres that detail this flexibility and share other options, such as re-enrolling sensitive acres in the CRP Continuous signup and considering growing organic crops. Producers will be asked to make the request for voluntary termination in writing through their local USDA Service Center

Read more here.
NASS to reach out to Arkansas producers on 2022 crops, stocks, and values
During the next several weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey. The agency will contact nearly 1,700 producers across Arkansas to determine crop acreage and stock levels as of June 1, 2022. In addition, NASS will collect information from farmers and ranchers from randomly selected land area segments across the state.

Producers can respond to the June Agricultural Survey online here, by phone, or through mail. They will be asked to provide information on planted and harvested acreage, including acreage for biotech crops and grain stocks. For the June Area Survey, agency representatives will interview farm and ranch operators in randomly selected segments over the phone. Producers will be asked to provide information on crop acreage, grain stocks, livestock inventory, land values, and value of sales.
NASS will analyze the survey information and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the annual Acreage and quarterly Grain Stocks reports June 30, 2022. Survey data also contribute to NASS’s monthly and annual Crop Production reports, the annual Small Grains Summary, annual Farms and Land in Farms and Land Values reports, various livestock reports, including Cattle, Sheep and Goats, and Hogs and Pigs, and USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
These and all NASS reports are available at For more information, call the NASS Delta Regional Field Office at (800) 327-2970.
White House Announces More Funding for USDA Program
Supporting Domestic Fertilizer
In March of 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced plans for a $250 million grant program that will support American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. This week, President Biden announced plans to double the funding for the program to lower costs and boost availability for farmers. This is in response to rising fertilizer costs across the U.S.

The 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. Read more about the recent funding boost 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, 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#.
NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Proposals
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced approximately $300,000 in funding available through the state Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies within Arkansas.

State, tribal, and local governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, and individuals may apply. Project proposals must be submitted by June 8, 2022 and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern. Project results are expected to improve and create conservation technologies, management systems and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems).

Selected applicants may receive grants up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Individual grant awards may not exceed $75,000 in FY 2022. Applicants must provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50 percent of the project cost. Of the non-federal matching funds, a minimum of 25 percent must be from cash contributions; the remaining 25 percent may come from in-kind contribution.

Find more information and application details here.

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.
Arkansas AG Facts: Arkansas Dairy Month
  • In 2020, Arkansas produced 64,000,000 of milk, valued at $11,456,000.
  • Milk and other dairy foods provide essential nutrition to the consuming public.
  • Milk is America's top food source of calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium.
  • There are currently 29 registered dairies in the state of Arkansas.
  • There are more than 20 dairy product facilities in Arkansas, and hundreds of Arkansans are employed in processing a vast array of dairy foods.
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