June is Arkansas Blackberry Month!
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has proclaimed June as Arkansas Blackberry Month! On June 14, Karen Reynolds presented the proclamation to the Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association at the blackberry field day at the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Fruit Research Station in Clarksville. Join the Arkansas Department of Agriculture this month in celebrating Arkansas’s growing blackberry industry! Learn more about Arkansas blackberry production here.
Governor Sanders Proclaimed June 11-17 as Arkansas Farmers Market Week
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders proclaimed June 11-17 as Arkansas Farmers Market Week to highlight the important benefits that farmers markets provide to Arkansas’s agricultural producers, consumers, and communities.
“Farmers markets play an important role in connecting producers to consumers while developing local food systems and supporting the economy of our rural communities,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “We are proud to have more than 112 farmers markets in Arkansas, and we appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the value they provide to Arkansas agriculture during this farmers market season.”
On June 9, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) joined industry partners at an event dedicated to celebrating Arkansas farmers markets. Cynthia Edwards, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, was joined by Arkansas Farmers Market Association/Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP) President Katrina Betancourt; Steve Powell, ArCOP Health Outreach Coordinator; Mark Nelson, Oak Forest Community Garden Manager; and other farmers market managers, partners, leaders, stakeholders, and community members at Oak Forest Community Garden in Little Rock. Photos from the event can be found here.
Farmer direct-to-consumer sales occur in 98 percent of Arkansas counties, are used by over 1,500 Arkansas farmers, and are valued at more than $9.2 million. Consumers can find a farmers market near them through the Department’s Arkansas Grown program here.
2023 Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge Accepting Entries Until August 1
The application period for the 13th annual Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge is officially open now through August 1, 2023. Soybean producers in Arkansas are eligible and encouraged to participate in this year’s contest administered by the Arkansas Soybean Association (ASA) and funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, with crop management assistance provided by the University of Arkansas Extension Services.

Participating producers from across the state compete for a chance at winning a cash prize for producing the crop with the highest yield 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.

Entry forms and contest rules are available upon request from your local county extension agent or by contacting the ASA office at 501-666-1418. Download an application and learn more here.
Feral Hog Eradication Task Force: May 2023 Update
The Feral Hog Eradication Task Force continued its efforts in May 2023 and removed 1,251 feral hogs across Arkansas. Additionally, Arkansas residents reported the removal of 149 feral hogs. Learn more about the Task Force and its efforts here.
RFD-TV Interview with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Protecting cattle and their producers has been the task of a law enforcement agency founded nearly 150 years ago, and their mission is still going strong today. These special agents investigate crimes against farmers and have worked with Arkansas Department of Agriculture law enforcement officers on cases before.

RFD-TV interviewed officers with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The full story can be found here.
2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine
Cotton has been present in Arkansas since the 1800s. As with any commodity, the cotton market has ebbed and flowed over the course of those 200 some years, and with it, so has cotton's popularity with growers as a cash crop from one decade to another.

Read more about the strength and durability of Arkansas's cotton production in the 2023 edition of Arkansas Grown. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state! With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there's something for everyone.
Photo Features
On June 16, participants in the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) AgDiscovery Program toured the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. The AgDiscovery Program is a two-week summer outreach program to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, regulatory science, and plant pathology. The program is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Additional photos from the visit can be found here.
On June 15, representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Services, United States Geological Survey, and National Aquaculture Association visited the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department). Guests heard from Deputy Secretary Cynthia Edwards and toured the Department's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

On June 7, Arkansas State Forester Joe Fox and Evette Browning, Outreach Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, attended the Sustainable Forestry and African American (SFLR) Joint State Regional Conference planning meeting in Pine Bluff.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's (Department) Forestry Division staff in Drew and Lincoln counties worked together to collect pine needle samples. The crews also worked with the Department's Plant Industries Division and county extension agents.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
New Resources from the National Agricultural Law Center

Introducing The Feed:
The body of laws, policies, and regulations affecting agriculture is vast and fast-changing, but the National Agricultural Law Center has introduced The Feed, a biweekly newsletter aimed at keeping industry professionals up to date.

Content is written by research attorneys but is designed for non-attorneys as well. Find recent issues of The Feed here.

Upcoming Webinars:
Recent Blog Posts:
Feral Hog Damage Meeting to be Held on June 21
All area farmers, landowners, hunters, and individuals with an interest in controlling feral hogs are invited to attend an informational meeting about feral hog damage in Arkansas County at the Phillips Community College in DeWitt. State and federal agency partners will discuss trapping and local assistance for feral hog removals, plus using drones to calculate a true cost of damages. Call the Arkansas County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-659-2058 to reserve your spot.
Mark Your Calendars for 2023 Field Days
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is hosting multiple field days throughout the summer. Mark your calendars and visit here for registration details and more information as it becomes available!

  • Corn Field Day, June 21 (Colt, Arkansas)
  • Horticulture Field Day, June 28 (Hope, Arkansas)
  • Turfgrass Field Day, August 1 (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  • Rice Field Day, August 3 (Stuttgart, Arkansas)
  • Pine Tree Field Day, August 10 (Colt, Arkansas)
Learn to Burn Classes
If you are a private landowner that is interested in learning more about prescribed fire, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Quail Forever are putting together both Learn to Burn I and Learn to Burn II classes in Arkansas!

Learn to Burn I is an introduction to prescribed fire to educate landowners on the safe and effective use of fire as a land management tool, and Learn to Burn II is the next step for landowners seeking more hands-on experience. The following are upcoming classes being offered:

Learn to Burn I:
Learn to Burn II:

All Learn to Burn classes are free, but registration is required. Due to the weather dependent nature of prescribed fire, Learn to Burn II classes may be cancelled or postponed if weather conditions are not favorable. All registrants will be notified if the event is postponed or cancelled.
2023 Arkansas Cattlemen's Association Convention and Trade Show

The 65th Annual Arkansas Cattlemen's Association Convention and Trade Show will take place at the Hot Springs Convention Center on July 28-29, 2023. Find the exhibitor packet here. The deadline for exhibitor registration is July 11, 2023. For more information, visit here or call 501-224-2114.
Defend the Flock
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is proud to partner with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to support the Defend the Flock public education program. New resources, including checklists and webinars, are available to help all growers keep birds healthy and reduce the spread of disease. Visit here for more information.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture's
Annual Report

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report provides information about the Department and how it served Arkansas agriculture, our state's largest industry, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Click here to view the 2022 Annual Report.
USDA Updates
USDA Offers Assistance to Help Organic Dairy Producers Cover Increased Costs with the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced assistance for dairy producers with the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). ODMAP is established to help mitigate market volatility, higher input and transportation costs, and unstable feed supply and prices that have created unique hardships in the organic dairy industry. Specifically, under the ODMAP, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is making $104 million available to organic dairy operations to assist with projected marketing costs in 2023, calculated using their marketing costs in 2022.

FSA will accept applications from May 24 to July 27, 2023. Eligible producers include certified organic dairy operations that produce milk from cows, goats, and sheep. To apply, producers should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center. Learn more here.
USDA Offers Arkansas Producers Many Conservation Choices with Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
Agricultural producers and landowners interested in conservation opportunities for their
land in exchange for yearly rental payments can find many possibilities through the United States
Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Continuous Conservation Reserve Program
(Continuous CRP) enrollment. This option offers conservation benefits similar to others,
like General and Grassland CRP, but also offers unique flexibility and several program
choices. Learn more here. To sign up, producers should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center.
Arkansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Solicits Conservation Innovation Grant Proposals
Mike Sullivan, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Arkansas state conservationist, announced approximately $300,000 in funding is 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 22, 2023, 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). For more information on CIG contact Lori Barker, state CIG program manager, at (870) 523-8986 or [email protected]. The request for proposals and related forms are located here.
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.
Arkansas Ag Facts: Arkansas Blackberry Month
  • Arkansas has experienced a 50 percent increase in new acres planted in blackberries over the last three years bringing our total producing land to over 300 acres.
  • The economic value of the Arkansas blackberry industry generates an estimated $10 million annually.
  • The University of Arkansas-Blackberry Breeding Program has developed and released 43 blackberry varieties, which are planted globally and have led to the rapid expansion in blackberries as a commercial crop worldwide over the last 25 years.
  • Notable developments of the cultivars released from the University of Arkansas Blackberry breeding program include thornless blackberries, fall producing blackberries (primocane fruiting), improved flavor, superior shipping quality, and improved yields.
  • The blackberry industry is part of the diversification practices used by many of Arkansas's full-time farmers and provides employment for many of our state's citizens and supplemental income for many rural families on a part­time basis.
  • Blackberries are grown in the Delta, Northwest, and Southeast regions of the state, and they supply local markets such as farmers markets, local grocery stores, and U-Pick farms and are shipped to regional and national retail markets.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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