Arkansas Department of Agriculture Collects Over 145,000 Pounds of Unwanted Pesticides
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Abandoned Pesticide Program collected 146,867 pounds of unwanted pesticides in seven counties during Spring 2022 collection events. Since 2005, the Agricultural Abandoned Pesticide Program has overseen the collection and disposal of 5,498,298 pounds of unwanted pesticides in counties across Arkansas.

“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is proud to work with our partners in administering the Agricultural Abandoned Pesticide Program,” says Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “Events like these, held annually throughout the state, help ensure safe and proper disposal of unwanted pesticides and prevent them from potentially polluting our environment.”

The totals for each event were:

  • Sevier/Little River County (DeQueen): 581 pounds
  • Howard/Pike County (Nashville): 488 pounds
  • Polk/Montgomery County (Mena): 3,798 pounds
  • Arkansas County (Stuttgart): 142,000 pounds

Participation in collection events is free and anonymous to farmers and other non-industrial landowners. The program is funded through pesticide registration fees. Pesticide collection events have taken place in every county in the state. Fall 2022 collection dates will be announced at a later date.

Commonly collected items include old or outdated pesticides such as calcium arsenate, sodium cyanide, lindane, chlordane, and 2,4,5-T. Registered pesticides, like glyphosate products and 2,4-D, that are unusable because they have been exposed to the elements or have been held over from previous growing seasons also can be collected.

The Agricultural Abandoned Pesticide Program is conducted in cooperation with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Farm Bureau, and the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment. Representatives from these agencies make up the Abandoned Pesticide Advisory Board which is responsible for selecting county sites for collection events. The Advisory Board gives special consideration to priority watersheds when selecting counties/regions for site collections.
Emergency Exemption Granted for Use of Brake Herbicide Against Palmer Amaranth in Peanuts
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s request for a Section 18 Emergency Exemption for the use of Brake Herbicide in Arkansas peanuts was granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the following Arkansas counties: Ashley, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Green, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Randolph, St. Francis, and Woodruff. The Section 18 Emergency Exemption is for the 2022 growing season, effective April 15 - August 1, 2022.

The Section 18 Emergency Exemption is for control of palmer amaranth, a common Arkansas weed that has become resistant to many herbicides currently labeled for use in Arkansas peanuts.

Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizes EPA to exempt state and federal agencies from provisions of FIFRA and allow unregistered uses of pesticides to address emergency situations through emergency and crisis exemptions. A Section 18 Crisis Exemption provides temporary relief for producers that encounter a pest that cannot be controlled by pesticides currently registered for a crop or use site until a determination is made on a Section 18 Emergency Exemption.

All product applications made under a Section 18 Emergency Exemption must be reported to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture within 10 days of application. A copy of the Section 18 label for Brake Herbicide, reporting forms, and other related information can be found here.
Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest Entries Accepted Through June 5

Entries are being accepted for the ninth annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Applicants may be any school, early childhood education facility, or alternative learning environment that had a school garden during the 2021-2022 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2022-2023 school year.

“School gardens are valuable educational tools that help students develop healthy eating habits, learn about Arkansas agriculture, and participate in hands-on learning,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “We are grateful for the generosity of Farm Credit and their continued support of this program.”

Entries for the contest will be accepted through June 5, 2022, and the application can be found here. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2022.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative, we are excited to continue our support of teachers and projects that engage Arkansas students in food production and agricultural sustainability. Through these partnerships, we can ensure that the valuable role of Arkansas agriculture remains top-of-mind for the next generation,” said Farm Credit Midsouth President & CEO, James McJunkins, on behalf of the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas.

Applicants are eligible to apply for the following categories:

  • Best Start-up School Garden Proposal - $500 Award
  • Best Education Based School Garden - $500 Award
  • Best Harvest Partnership School Garden - $500 Award
  • Best Community Collaboration School Garden - $500 Award
  • Best Overall School Garden - $1000 Award
  • Champion of School Garden Sustainability - $1000 Award

More information about the Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest can be found here or by contacting Erica Benoit, Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator, at
Reminder: Arkansas Department of Agriculture Announces
Arkansas Grown GAP/GHP Certification Cost Share Program
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that fruit and vegetable producers may now apply for Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) certification cost reimbursement through the Arkansas Grown GAP/GHP Certification Cost Share Program. Funding for the program is provided through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Applications for reimbursement are for the time period between January 1 and December 1, 2022, and are due to the Department by December 15, 2022. Reimbursement is available for 50% of inspection costs up to $1,000. Applications are available here.

The GAP/GHP verification program is a voluntary program offered to the produce industry to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packaged, handled, and stored to minimize food safety risks. GAP/GHP certification allows producers to expand their customer base and ensures consumers are purchasing safe foods.

“Anything we can do to help offset costs for Arkansas producers is a win for agriculture, our state’s largest industry,” says Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the USDA on this program to provide important cost-share assistance to an expanding sector of Arkansas’s agricultural industry,” says Ward.

For questions about the application or the reimbursement process, contact Karen Reynolds at 501-529- 1630 or
State Forester Joe Fox Featured in "America's Forests with Chuck Leavell"
Chuck Leavell, best known as the keyboardist for The Rolling Stones, featured Arkansas in his series "America's Forests with Chuck Leavell." The series aims to highlight different forest landscapes across the nation and featured Arkansas in two episodes, "The Delta" and "The Ozarks."

Joe Fox, State Forester for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division, was a guest on the episode "The Ozarks," while floating the Buffalo National River with Leavell.
The two episodes premiered this week at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in Fayetteville. Pictured from left are Max Braswell, Peter Prutzman, Chuck Leavell, Joe Fox, John McAlpine, and Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward

Both episodes will air on Arkansas PBS throughout May. The airing dates are:

The Delta
  • May 16, 4:30 p.m.
  • May 18, 12:00 a.m.
  • May 18, 2:30 p.m.
  • May 20, 5:00 p.m.

The Ozarks
  • May 23, 4:30 p.m.

Read more about the series and the Arkansas episodes here.
Funding Update from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
As of today, most of the funding received by the State of Arkansas from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has been used for economic and health related issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing broadband across the state. The Arkansas American Rescue Plan Act Steering Committee has not decided on the proposal submitted by the working group for water and other infrastructure projects. Future funding decisions may be impacted by COVID-19 resurgences or new variants.

The working group’s proposal was for the establishment of a grant program to distribute funding to water, wastewater, and stormwater projects across the state. Funds requested were based on the needs assessment that was conducted last summer, in which many of you submitted your infrastructure needs. As proposed, the funds would be administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division.  If the Steering Committee allocates funding for a grant program, the Natural Resources Division will open an application period and provide notice and information to you about the application process.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division has been allocated funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support water and wastewater infrastructure across the State of Arkansas. These funds will be distributed through the existing Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Loan funds administered by the Natural Resources Division.  The Division anticipates that the following amounts of additional funding will available this year:

Drinking Water
  • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) General Funding: $27,070,000, including $13,264,000 in Principal Forgiveness/Grant Funds
  • DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement: $42,653,000, including $20,899,970 in Principal Forgiveness/Grant Funds
  • DWSRF Emerging Contaminants: $11,367,000, including up to $11,367,000 in Principal Forgiveness/Grant Funds

Wastewater and Stormwater
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) General Funding: $11,642,000, including up to $5,704,580 in Principal Forgiveness/Grant Funds
  • CWSRF Emerging Contaminants: $612,000, including up to $612,000 in Principal Forgiveness/Grant Funds

To be eligible for the additional funding, your proposed project must meet specific program requirements relevant to each funding source. If you are interested in receiving funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, you are encouraged to apply at any time. The first step in the funding process is to have your project considered by the Water and Wastewater Advisory Committee. The application can be found here.

If you have questions about applying for financial assistance for your water and wastewater infrastructure, or if you need help determining if you qualify for funding, contact Debra Dickson at or 501-682-0548.
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!
Arkansas Century Farm Highlight: The May Family
Benjamin May came to St. Francis County, Arkansas from North Carolina in 1820 with his wife, Martha. At that time, St. Francis County was mostly forested and the land had to be cleared before it could be farmed. Thus, timber harvesting became a part of the May family's lives. This was passed down to Benjamin's great-great-grandson and his son who both cut timber in East Arkansas. In 2022, descendants of Benjamin May still own, work, and live on the land he settled, cleared, farmed, and died on in St. Francis County. Inducted in 2021, they are currently the oldest family farm inducted in the Arkansas Century Farm program.

If your family has owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years, you may qualify for recognition as an Arkansas Century Farm. Applications for 2022 inductees are due May 31 and can be found here.
2022 Arkansas Grown
In 1888, through the Homestead Act of 1862, George W. Haile established a farm along the Little Red River in Cleburne County. The venture was a 169 acre cotton farm, which would become a multi-generational family farm. Now known as Valley Farms, the farm primarily grows cucumbers, okra, pumpkins, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon on 70 acres.

Read more about Valley Farms and how George W. Haile's descendants are pivoting into the 21st century 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
Penny Mordaunt, the UK Minister of State for Trade Policy, paid a visit to Arkansas. Mordaunt met with Governor Hutchinson, Secretary Ward, and others to discuss the important relationship between Arkansas and the UK.

Last month, Mordaunt provided a tour of Parliament to a delegation from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).
County Forester Tabitha Holloway (pictured) and Forest Ranger Brian Cockrell attended the White Hall High School career fair to discuss careers in Forestry with students.
Smokey the Bear attended the 188th Family Day at Fort Smith.
Staff from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division and Plant Industries Division attended a cogongrass meeting at Mississippi State University to learn more about the invasive grass and how to manage it.
Cara Tharp, Director of the Veterinary Medical Examining Board, spoke to veterinary technology students at Arkansas State University - Bebee. Cara discussed the Board's veterinary technician application, explained the exam process for the Veterinary Technician National Examination, and the process for final certification as a veterinary technician in Arkansas.
Free Tree Fridays Continue
Last Friday the Urban Forestry Program held Free Tree Friday events at Berryville, Yellville, Nashville, Little Rock, and Monticello where 560 people picked up 2,225 seedlings. To date, the Free Tree Friday campaign has given away a total of 9,925 seedlings to 2,375 people!
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. Those who register by May 22 are eligible for the online “Bonus Continuing Legal Education (CLE)” sessions which will take place on May 24. The "Bonus CLE" program has been approved by the bars of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee for 2 hours of CLE credit. Missouri has approved this portion of the program for 2.4 hours of CLE credit. 

The main conference in June 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:

Managing Farm Stress Training Offered by University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is offering a face-to-face training, Managing Farm Stress and Pursuing Wellness, on an as-needed basis.

The training, offered by local county extension agents, is approximately one hour and aims to increase awareness of rural stress, explore key stress issues, identify useful coping methods, and access available resources. Find more information on the program and how to request a training here.
Scholarships from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division and the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) are partnering to provide funding for incoming freshman pursuing a forestry degree at UAM’s College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources.

In addition, 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. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture Scholarship for Agriculture Majors is available to students majoring in agriculture or an agriculture-related field at certain Arkansas universities.

Find details on both scholarships 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 to attend at no cost.
Register here.
Cogongrass Tracking
Cogongrass is a perennial grass native to Southeast Asia. The grass is a highly invasive species in the United States and other parts of the world outside of its native range. In this country, it is found mainly in the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic states. The grass can spread quickly from underground rhizomes and, to a lesser extent, from wind blown seeds. This can include movement of soil contaminated with rhizomes, spread from dirt moving equipment, and seeds stuck on mowers and vehicles.

In order to help track cogongrass in Arkansas, the public is being asked to upload any suspected cogongrass in the state to the app iNaturalist. Read more about cogongrass in Arkansas here.
USDA Updates
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.
Arkansas AG Facts: National Arbor Day
  • J. Sterling Morton first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called, "Arbor Day," on January 4, 1872, at a meeting of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture.
  • Arbor Day was officially proclaimed in 1874 by Nebraska, but by 1920 more than 45 states and territories were celebrating Arbor Day.
  • Arkansas's Arbor Day is celebrated the third Monday in March, and we celebrate National Arbor Day the last Friday in April.
  • Arbor Day is celebrated by the planting of trees.
  • Trees are often planted in honor of loved ones.
  • The act of planting a tree gives hope that the tree will grow to provide us with clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife, healthier communities, and natural beauty.
  • Arkansas has nearly 19 million acres of forests with over 12 billion trees.
  • More than 56 percent of Arkansas's land mass is forested.
  • Arkansas has 41 tree cities, impacting more than 837,836 Arkansas residents.
  • Arkansas's state tree is the pine tree.
  • The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Baucum Nursery sold more than 7,341,125 hardwood and pine seedlings in 2020.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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