Dicamba Rule Reminder

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers and applicators about the State Plant Board’s 2021 rule amendments that prohibit the in-crop application of dicamba after June 30.

The federal law that applies to labeling and use of pesticides allows states to enact rules for pesticide use that are more restrictive than the federal label. While the federal label may indicate that dicamba can still be applied to cotton, and that smaller buffer zones are in order, the more restrictive provisions of the Arkansas rule are controlling.

Farmers and applicators who fail to comply with the Arkansas rule may be subject to civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation and possible suspension or revocation of their applicator license. The rule may be viewed on the Department website here.

Producers and landowners with suspected dicamba symptomology may request an investigation by the Department’s Plant Industries Division here or by calling 501-225-1598.
Extension Agent, Rope Rescue Team Offering Grain Bin Safety Training

Firefighters, grain bin operators, and farm workers in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are invited to attend an upcoming grain bin safety course on Monday, July 19 at the McGehee Men’s Club in McGehee, Arkansas. 

The class is designed to teach the skills necessary to rescue an individual who has become partially or completely engulfed in grain within a bin or silo.

John David Farabough, agricultural agent for the Desha County Cooperative Extension Service in McGehee, said there have been at least two known grain elevator fatalities in the southeast Arkansas area in the past decade. According to Purdue University, there were 35 grain-related entrapments in 2020, with 20 of them being fatal. 

“No one should ever really go into a grain bin facility to begin with,” Farabough said. “Unfortunately, during harvest time and cleanout, it does happen. If you go into a grain bin, you need to be tethered no matter what.” 
The day-long course will be divided into two portions — classroom instruction and hands-on practice. Because many farm workers in Arkansas and surrounding states speak Spanish as their first language, Spanish translators will be working with the English-speaking instructors. 
Attendees will be divided into primarily English-speaking and primarily Spanish-speaking groups; one group will begin with classroom instruction while the other group participates in the hands-on practicum and will trade places midway through the day. 
There is no cost to attend the event, which is sponsored by the Farm Bureau Association, and presented by the Safety and Technical Rescue Association. Interested individuals should RSVP to ensure organizers will have enough food prepared to feed attendees. The class is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. The McGehee Men’s Club is located at 1 S. Airport Rd. in McGehee. 
To RSVP for the course, contact the Desha County Cooperative Extension Service office at 870-222-6858 or by email at desha-mcgehee@uada.edu, or contact Jacob Appleberry at 870-818-1433. 
For additional information regarding grain bin entrapment visit here
Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association to host 63rd Annual Convention and Trade Show

The 63rd Annual Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) convention and trade show will be held July 30-31 in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The Convention is sponsored by Greenway Equipment and the Trade Show is sponsored by Venture Equipment.
Cattle producers from across Arkansas are invited to attend the convention for educational cattlemen’s college presentations, industry updates, networking, and over an acre worth of trade show. Registration begins and the trade show opens at 9:00 a.m. on July 30. ACA Members and the public are welcome to attend for $35.
Topics will include managing calf scours without catching calves, the effectiveness of minerals, hay and forage quality’s effect on the bottom line, marketing tactics for cattle, the interactions of production, management and nutrition in growing beef cattle, a round table discussion focusing on the beef cattle industry, and more.
The ACA would like to welcome all who are interested to attend the 63rd Annual Convention and Trade Show in Hot Springs. For more information or to pre-register call the ACA office at 501-224-2114 or visit their website.
Arkansas State Fair

After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Arkansas State Fair will celebrate its 81st year by returning to Little Rock for a full 10-day schedule this fall.

General Manager Doug White said the fair will return October 15-24 to a full midway with rides and games, an enhanced food court, free attractions, fair queen and youth talent competitions, music concerts, exhibits, and the long-standing livestock show.

“We have been working feverishly preparing for a full fair with safety protocols in place in consideration of COVID-19,” stated White. “We believe it’s time to get back to a state fair experience that Arkansans have come to expect and enjoy.”

Organizers say on average the State Fair draws more than 430,000 visitors per year.

More information for the Arkansas State Fair can be found on the Arkansas State Fair website.
Community Gardens in South Arkansas

Shaun Francis, extension horticulture specialist for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), cites a senior citizens center at Eudora as an example of the impact made through the university's extension horticulture outreach efforts.

As part of a sustainable food systems project, UAPB extension personnel helped install a garden at the center.

"The Eudora Senior Citizens Center is not a live-in center, rather it is a place where local seniors come by bus to interact, play card games and dominoes or knit," Francis said. "After we helped the administrators install a garden, the seniors started eating fresh produce they might have otherwise not had access to – cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and spices, and collard greens, for example."

Francis said the university's horticulture outreach work strives to bring nutritious food to communities in food deserts, areas in which people have limited access to affordable and nutritious foods, especially fresh vegetables and fruits. Some of the people living in these mostly low-income communities must walk more than a mile to get to the nearest supermarket.

"We at UAPB try to partner with organizations who already have or want to set up an urban garden," he said. "We assist with setting up the garden and then provide technical assistance as needed."

Currently, UAPB provides support to eight community gardens in central and southern Arkansas, which are managed by organizations including churches, community centers, and retirement homes.

For more information on UAPB's sustainable food systems initiative, contact Shaun Francis at 870- 543-0029 or franciss@uapb.edu.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Announces 2020 Family Farm Contest

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Those eligible for the award include any family-owned poultry grower or egg producer supplying product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due October 29.
Six finalists were recognized in 2020 including Terry and Robin Fisher, R&T Farm, Mulberry, Arkansas, nominated by Cargill.
The application and competition details are available on the USPOULTRY website.
For more information on the 2022 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award competition, contact Lisette Reyes at 678-635-9053 or lreyes@uspoultry.org
USDA Awards Three Farm to School Grants to Arkansas Organizations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded three Arkansas organizations Farm to School Grants on July 15. USDA is investing $12 million in Farm to School Grants this year, announcing awards to 176 grantees, the most projects funded since the program began in 2013.

USDA also released new data demonstrating the recent growth of farm to school efforts nationwide. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of school districts and/or local entities responsible for school meals participated in farm to school activities during school year 2018-2019, more than half (57%) of which began within the past three years.

Grantees include the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Fayetteville School District #1, and Healthy Flavors Arkansas LLC.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will host the first-ever Arkansas Farm to School Institute, to focus on bringing more locally grown foods into Arkansas school cafeterias, classrooms, and communities.

Fayetteville Public Schools Seed to Student (S2S) will improve student access to local food and agricultural education by enhancing existing farm to school programming and expanding the program to provide high quality, equitable, and consistent child nutrition education and experiential garden-based learning at all 17 schools in the District.

Healthy Flavors Arkansas will develop a scale focused, closed-loop resourced, centrally administered farm to school program serving multiple public school districts in the Central Arkansas region. The organization aims to minimize multiple challenges faced on the farm and in schools by initially growing and selling a single crop, peas, that can be harvested, packaged, stored, and used in districts throughout the school year at affordable price points.
Diversity in Ag Virtual Conference

The Diversity in Agriculture Virtual Conference is an effort to expand the awareness of the diverse career and business opportunities that exist in agriculture.

The conference will allow participants to explore opportunities through success stories and networking. It also is intended to foster an expansion of public and private partnerships within agriculture, Arkansas’s largest industry sector. The event is planned and organized by the Arkansas Farm Bureau, working in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, University of Arkansas Extension Service, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and The National Center for Appropriate Technology.
The conference is free and open to all who wish to attend and will feature virtual breakout sessions for college students in agriculture, as well as beginning and experienced farmers. Topics of discussion include:
  • Marketing and branding your farm
  • Careers in agriculture
  • Urban agriculture
  • Farmers Speak panel discussion

Conference information and registration can be found here.
Arkansas Food Freedom Act to Replace Cottage Food Law

Arkansans will soon be able to sell more types of homemade food and drink products and in more locations after the passage of the Arkansas Food Freedom Act of 2021.

The new law takes effect July 28, 2021. It replaces the state’s Cottage Food law, which allowed a few specific homemade food products to be sold directly to consumers without being made in a kitchen certified and inspected by the Arkansas Department of Health.

The Food Freedom Act updates labeling requirements and allows direct sales of homemade food and drink products that do not require time or temperature controls to remain safe. Access Act 1040 of 2021, also known as the Arkansas Food Freedom Act here.
Availability of Low-Interest Physical Loss Loans

USDA is making available low-interest physical loss loans for producers affected by natural disasters. This includes excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, freeze, hail, high winds, lightning, and tornadoes that occurred April 1, 2021, through June 11, 2021.

Physical loss loans can help producers repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property essential to the success of the agricultural operation, including livestock losses. Examples of property commonly affected include essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops and hay.

The deadline to apply for these loans is February 28, 2022. For more information, contact your local USDA office or visit https://www.farmers.gov/recover.
Soil for Water Project Now Available in Arkansas

The Soil for Water Network is a growing community of land managers who are raising commercial livestock, trying regenerative practices, monitoring changes in our soils and vegetation, and learning together how to improve soil health so that it will catch and hold more water. Soil for Water is run by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, a national non-profit organization.

Membership is free and open to any land manager involved in commercial livestock agriculture in the states of Arkansas, California, Colorado, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia. Land managers should be interested in trying (or continuing) regenerative land management practices, committed to monitoring changes in their soils and vegetation over a period of many years, and willing to share their results and stories with other members of the network.

Members have access to:
  • Peer-to-peer learning community;
  • Facilitated connection to like-minded producers nationally, and in your region as the network grows;
  • Discounted soil testing at Regen Ag Lab, LLC and resources for interpreting the results;
  • Free help setting up a convenient on-farm “safe-to-fail” trial and monitoring program;
  • Regular updates, news, and invitations to workshops, field days, pasture walks, and virtual network meetings/roundtables;
  • PastureMap grazing software app accounts for $99 per year;
  • Greater confidence in whether your land is healthy, and whether it’s getting better or worse; and
  • Hopefully, more water stored in your soil!

For more information about the Soil for Water Network visit their website.
Arkansas Grown Marketing Workshop

Arkansas Grown is hosting a free marketing workshop for specialty crop growers and producers. The workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 27, and be held at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the new online expense management tool, Track Your Ag, developed by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

The event will also include a demonstration for the newly launched Arkansas Grown website, training for listings on Google and other directories, and an introduction to free services offered to farmers by the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center.

For more information and to register visit ArkansasGrown.org or contact Karen Reynolds at 501-529-1630 or karen.reynolds@agriculture.arkansas.gov.
2021 Arkansas Grown

Poultry is one of the largest contributors to Arkansas agriculture. Read about how Poultry Federation scholarships are providing educational opportunities 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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For the latest in Arkansas agriculture, be sure to follow us on social media! Links to our social media pages can be found here.
  • Poultry is the largest sector of Arkansas agriculture.
  • Arkansas ranks #2 nationally in the production of chicken broiler meat.
  • In 2020, Arkansas inspected 1.5 billion pounds of chicken meat.
  • Arkansas has 15,487 certified flocks in the National Improvement Program.
  • In 2020, 1.1 broilers were raised and processed for national distribution.
  • As of July 8, 2021, Arkansas is home to more than 1 billion broiler chickens.
  • More than 6,500 farms in Arkansas produce some type of poultry.
  • Benton county is the number one poultry producing county in the state.
  • July 6 is celebrated as National Fried Chicken Day.
  • July 29 is National Chicken Wing Day.
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