Arkansas Cotton Farmers to Receive $.75 Per Acre Rebate from the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation
The Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (ABWEF) board of directors voted to provide a cash rebate of $.75 per acre to Arkansas cotton farmers for cotton acreage reported in 2021 under Arkansas’s boll weevil eradication program. A total of $318,000 will be returned to cotton farmers by the end of April.

The ABWEF is an Arkansas nonprofit corporation designated to operate the Arkansas boll weevil eradication program. The ABWEF and the boll weevil eradication operations are overseen by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division.

“The Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation has remained dedicated to the best interests of Arkansas cotton growers throughout the successful operation of the boll weevil eradication program,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “Providing rebates to producers while also maintaining reserves to ensure sustainability of the program is a testament to good management and a successful partnership on behalf of Arkansas’s agricultural industry.”

The ABWEF borrowed millions of dollars over the years from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), as did other southern states and programs, to finance the boll weevil eradication program that began in 1997. The boll weevil pest was eradicated from Arkansas in 2006. In 2015, the ABWEF successfully paid off the loan amount three years early. Since 2018, the ABWEF has provided a cash rebate to growers each year.

Learn more about the history of boll weevil eradication across cotton producing states and the ABWEF here. With questions about the boll weevil rebate, contact Regina Coleman at 870-692-6368 or [email protected].
REMINDER: Arkansas Department of Agriculture Urges Poultry Owners to Increase Biosecurity, Monitoring
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is urging poultry owners to increase biosecurity measures on their operations in response to several reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in other states to include some in the Mississippi Flyway.
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. Symptoms can include sudden increase in bird deaths with no clinical signs, lack of energy and appetite, decrease in egg production, soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs, and more.
Although there have been no reports of HPAI in Arkansas this year, there have been reported cases in the near states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri.
Because of these nearby infections, Arkansas is at risk of infection and poultry owners should be on high alert. Arkansas State Veterinarian John Nilz said an increase in biosecurity should be a priority for Arkansas poultry owners.
“By practicing good biosecurity, you can reduce the risk of people, animals, equipment, or vehicles carrying infectious diseases onto your property,” said Nilz. “This will also help protect other flocks in the state by preventing the spread of disease.”
Biosecurity refers to everything people do to keep diseases – and the viruses, bacteria, funguses, parasites, and other microorganisms that cause diseases – away from birds, property, and people. Biosecurity measures can include keeping visitors to a minimum, changing clothes before entering poultry areas, cleaning tools or equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility, and more.

Resources & More Information
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 also 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.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will be hosting two webinars intended to help small flock owners protect their birds from this virus. Registration and more information on these webinars can be found here.
More information on HPAI can be found here.
Confirmed HPAI cases in the U.S. for 2022 can be found here.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Hosts “Free Tree Fridays” in Honor of Arbor Day
In recognition of National Arbor Day, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division will be hosting giveaways of bare root seedlings at various locations across the state each Friday from March 18 through April 29.
“Adding trees to your yard or to a community forest is beneficial to all Arkansans, and Spring is an excellent time to plant trees,” said Kristine Kimbro, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the Forestry Division. “With these giveaways celebrating Arbor Day, we hope to provide all Arkansans with access to the many benefits trees provide.”
The Forestry Division will be hosting giveaways at various locations across the state. Following is a listing of locations and times currently scheduled:
Friday, March 18
  • Conway – Faulkner County Museum Log Cabin, 801 Locust Street: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Hot Springs – Garland County Library, 1427 Malvern Avenue: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Arkadelphia – Clark County Conservation District Office, 640 South 6th Street C: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday, March 25
  • Dardanelle – Wal-Mart, 1172 AR-7: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Clarksville – The Peach Pit, 101 McConnell Drive: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday, April 1
  • Trumann – Location and time to be determined
Friday, April 8
  • Monette – Location and time to be determined
  • Texarkana – Four States Fairgrounds, 3700 East 50th Street: Time to be determined
Friday, April 15
  • Berryville – Berryville Square, Fountain Park: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Monticello – Location and time to be determined
Friday, April 22
  • Fayetteville – Unitarian Church of Fayetteville, 901 Cleveland Street: Time to be determined
  • Searcy – Lowe’s, 3701 East Race Avenue: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sheridan – Mad Butcher, 815 Rock Street: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Hot Springs – Garland County Library, 1427 Malvern Avenue: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Friday, April 29
  • Pine Bluff – Pine Bluff High School, 711 West 11th Avenue: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Casa – City Hall, 3587 AR-10: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • DeQueen – Bailey Discount Lumber, 880 East Collin Raye Drive: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Additional locations will be added throughout the month. Find giveaway locations and times here. or contact Kristine Kimbro at [email protected].
Abandoned Pesticide Collection Events Scheduled April 4-7
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Abandoned Pesticide Program has scheduled four Abandoned Pesticide collection events from April 4-7 for the following seven counties: Arkansas, Howard, Little River, Montgomery, Pike, Polk, and Sevier.

Collection events are from 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the follow dates and locations:

  • April 4 – Sevier County/Little River County - Sevier County Road Shop, 1155 Highway 70/71 East, De Queen, AR 77832
  • April 5 – Howard County/Pike County- Howard County Fairgrounds, 1567 US 371, Nashville, AR 71852
  • April 6 – Polk County/Montgomery County – Polk County Fairgrounds, 156 Polk Road 43, Mena, AR 71953
  • April 7 – Arkansas County- Stuttgart Municipal Airport, 2000 State Highway 980, Stuttgart, AR 72160

Participation in a collection event is free and anonymous to anyone. Commonly collected items include old/outdated pesticides such as calcium arsenate, 2,4,5-T, sodium cyanide, lindane, and chlordane, as well as registered pesticides unusable because they have been exposed to the elements or have been held over from previous growing seasons such as glyphosate products and 2,4-D.

Since the program began in 2005, 5,351,431 pounds of unwanted pesticides have been collected in counties across Arkansas.

The Abandoned Pesticide Program is conducted in cooperation with Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, Inc., the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the State Plant Board. Representatives from these agencies make up the Abandoned Pesticide Advisory Board.

The Abandoned Pesticide Advisory Board selects county sites for collection events and moves locations by region within the state seasonally. Priority watersheds are a large consideration factor for the Advisory Board in choosing counties/regions for site collection.
49 Arkansas Entities Achieved Arbor Day Foundation Recognition
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that 49 Arkansas entities achieved recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of their commitments to effective urban forest management in 2021.

Forty-six Arkansas communities were recognized through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA® program. Two Arkansas colleges achieved recognition through the Tree Campus Higher Education® program, and an Arkansas utility company was recognized through the Tree Line USA® program.

The Tree City USA® program allows communities to achieve recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: establishment of a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The following 46 communities in Arkansas met these standards by the end of 2021 and were awarded the title of Tree City USA®:
  • Batesville
  • Bella Vista
  • Bentonville
  • Casa
  • Centerton
  • Clarksville
  • Conway
  • Cotter
  • Delight
  • Etowah
  • Eureka Springs
  • Fayetteville
  • Fort Smith
  • Gentry
  • Gilbert
  • Goshen
  • Greenbrier
  • Hardy
  • Holiday Island
  • Hot Springs
  • Little Rock
  • Little Rock AFB
  • Lowell
  • Marvell
  • Maumelle
  • McGehee
  • Melbourne
  • Monticello
  • Morrilton
  • Mountain Home
  • Mountain View
  • North Little Rock
  • Paragould
  • Pine Bluff
  • Pleasant Plains
  • Prescott
  • Rogers
  • Searcy
  • Springdale
  • Star City
  • Trumann
  • Walnut Ridge
  • Warren
  • West Fork
  • Winslow
  • Wynne
A map of Tree City USA® Communities can be found online here.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the University of Arkansas – Monticello were recognized through the Tree Campus Higher Education program which helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests. Carroll Electric Cooperative, an electric utility company headquartered in Berryville, was recognized through the Tree Line USA® program. The Tree Line USA® program recognizes best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division Urban & Community Forestry program
provides technical assistance to communities and campuses seeking to apply for recognition.
Recognition materials from the Arbor Day Foundation, such as Tree City USA® banners and signage, are hand-delivered by urban forestry staff and representatives. The Forestry Division also provides additional annual incentives.

“Through grants from the U.S. Forest Service, we are able to purchase a large tree and mulch for each community and campus achieving recognition,” said Kristine Kimbro, Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator. “Increasing local tree canopy cover benefits all Arkansans and encourages communities to continue their commitment to practicing sound management of their urban forests.”

More information on the Arbor Day Foundation and its programs is available here.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission Releases the Arkansas Timber and Forest Products Industry Report
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission has released the Arkansas Timber and Forest Products Industry Report, reporting 19 million total acres of forestland, covering 57% of the state's total land area. The large acreage, paired with Arkansas's strong workforce, low costs and taxes, ample educational opportunities, and more, make Arkansas an attractive location for timber companies.

The report dives into the economic impact the timber industry in Arkansas has in the state. According to the U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas is the #3 state for economic impact of forestry in the United States and is #1 among Southern states. The timber industry has an annual value-added impact of $6.5 billion with an annual payroll of $1.7 billion.

Download the full report here.
Updated Decision Tool Helps Farmers Decide Whether to Cut Potassium Fertilizer
As fertilizer prices soar, Arkansas farmers are looking for places to cut costs, and potassium is often at the top of that list. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station experts caution growers to choose their cuts carefully and offer a toolkit to help make those decisions easier and more cost effective.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has developed a series of decision-making tools to make crop management easier. The newest of these is an updated potassium fertilizer rate calculator that helps growers make decisions for corn and cotton in addition to rice and soybeans.

The new tool, PRC for Potash Rate Calculators, joins a lineup of Decision Support Software available from the Agricultural Experiment Station. The Excel-based tools can be downloaded free here.

Once downloaded and installed on a Windows PC, growers can input soil test results, potash costs, crop prices, and anticipated yield.

Read more about rising fertilizer prices and this tool here.
2022 Arkansas Grown
Arkansas is the number one rice producing state in the country, providing about 48 percent of the nation's supply. Having 14.5 million acres of farmland in the Natural State can create significant pressure on the state's natural resources and environment, but Arkansas rice farmers are doing their part for conservation.

The Arkansas Rice Federation has been tracking progress in sustainability practices and you can read about their findings in the latest edition of the Arkansas Grown magazine! With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there’s something for everyone. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state.
Photo Features
Chris Colclasure, Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division Director, addressed the Arkansas Farm Bureau Environment Issues Committee, March 3 in the Arkansas Farm Bureau Boardroom. Colclasure emphasized the priorities of the agency, including helping communities with water and wastewater infrastructure issues, improving the state’s water quality, assisting conservation districts, tax credit programs to incentivize conservation on private lands, the Unpaved Roads Program, the Feral Hog Task Force, and groundwater conservation.
State Project Coordinator Megan Perkins provided the committee with updates regarding the Grand Prairie Demonstration Project and the Bayo Meto Basin Project. She explained the role these projects will play in preserving our state’s groundwater.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division visited Roberts Elementary in Little Rock last week to plant trees as a part of their Shade Trees on Playgrounds (STOP) Program.
The Forestry Division assisted in running the Hogskin Forestry Contest in Calhoun County with 10 schools and 62 competitors participating. High school students across the county competed in tree identification, timber evaluation, tool identification, map reading, and more.
District Forester Mike Mowery and Ranger II Trent Morgan worked a 90-acre controlled burn in Fulton County.
The Forestry Division used a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) to control a wildfire in Calhoun County.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
New Resources from the National Agricultural Law Center

Considering Carbon: Understanding the Legalities of Soil Carbon Sequestration Contracts

A number of programs exist that offer to pay farmers to increase the carbon levels in their soil through no-till, strip-till, and cover cropping. In exchange for implementing these practices, farmers agree to sell the carbon credits generated on their fields to third-party brokers, who in turn sell those credits to industries looking to offset their emissions and reduce their carbon footprints. These soil carbon contracts are unlike other contracts signed by farmers and ranchers, and present new challenges and questions. 

Todd J. Janzen, with Janzen Schroeder Agricultural Law LLC, will present at 11 a.m. on March 23. Those interested can register here.


Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities Hosting a Cyber Safety Workshop
The Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities is hosting a cyber safety workshop Tuesday, March 15. This workshop will teach simple steps to protect yourself and your state-federal partnerships from theft email scams. Specifically, this workshop will cover two common email scams targeting businesses that perform electronic payments such as wire or automatic clearing house transfers.

Those interested can register for this webinar here.
2022 National Young Farmer Survey - Participants Needed

The National Young Farmers Coalition is seeking young farmers and ranchers to participate in their 2022 National Young Farmer Survey. This survey is completed every five years and is used by the coalition to develop programs and policies. Those interested can complete the survey here.

For questions, contact the National Young Farmers Coalition communications director, Jessica Manly, at [email protected].
Produce Safety Grower Training

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is the first federally regulated standard for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding fresh produce. If you grow produce, join the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service's Produce Safety Team on April 13 and 14 for a training with information on best practices, risk management, and regulatory requirements. Growers who attend the training will receive a certificate of completion. Registration is $20 per person, which includes the training, manual, and materials.

Those interested should register online here before April 6.
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#.
USDA Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Certification Training
The Food Conservancy will be hosting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training workshops for fruit and vegetable growers in Benton, Washington, Carroll, and Madison counties. These one-day classes are for growers interested in learning about GAP and for those who have previously attended a GAP class, but not completed their certification. Those interested can sign up for one of the following dates:

  • Saturday, March 12
  • Wednesday, March 16
  • Saturday, March 26
  • Friday, April 8

Classes are free and lunch will be provided. For more information, or to sign up, email  [email protected] or call 479-334-5336.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's
Annual Report is Available

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: Peanuts
  • March is Arkansas Peanut Month
  • Arkansas harvested 35,000 acres and produced 175 million pounds of peanuts in 13 Arkansas counties in 2021
  • Arkansas’s 2021 yield led the nation with a 5,000-pound yield per acre, followed by Virginia with 4,700 pounds, Georgia’s 4,450, and Oklahoma’s 4,400 pounds per acre
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014 formally recognized Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing state, granting Arkansas peanut producers a seat on the National Peanut Board 
  • Arkansas has a peanut shelling facility in Jonesboro and buying points at Portia, Pocahontas, Marianna, and Jonesboro
  • Arkansas is home to two peanut production facilities with Skippy's in Little Rock and Planters in Fort Smith
Upcoming Agriculture Events
Opt-in to receive email notifications (board meeting notices, newsletters, etc.)
from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.