Temporary Restraining Order Delays Implementation of 2021 Amendments to Dicamba Rule

On May 24, 2021, the 16th Division of the Pulaski County Circuit Court ruled that a temporary restraining order issued on May 21 delaying implementation of the 2021 amendments to the State Plant Board’s dicamba rule would be extended until June 10, 2021, at which time a hearing is scheduled to be held. As a result of the temporary restraining order, the previous State Plant Board Rules on Pesticide Classification regarding dicamba remain in effect and include the following:

  1. In-crop application of dicamba shall be prohibited after May 25.
  2. A one-mile buffer in all directions must be maintained between the fields where dicamba is applied and research stations operated by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
  3. A one-mile buffer in all directions must be maintained in all directions between the fields where dicamba is applied and fields where certified organic crops and commercially grown specialty crops (defined as at least 1,000 plants or average annual sales of $25,000 for three years) are grown.
  4. A half-mile buffer must be maintained in all directions between fields where dicamba is applied and fields where soybeans and cotton that are not genetically engineered to resist dicamba are grown.

The temporary restraining order was entered in response to a request for a preliminary injunction by the plaintiffs in Glenn Hooks et all v. Arkansas State Plant Board, a lawsuit that challenges the implementation of the 2021 amendments to the dicamba rule. On June 1, the Attorney General filed a motion for an emergency stay of the Circuit Court temporary temporary restraining order with the Arkansas Supreme Court. Another lawsuit, OMP Farms et al v. Arkansas State Plant Board, which also challenges the 2021 dicamba rule amendments, has been consolidated with the Hooks case.
Foresters of the Future Scholarship

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division and the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) are pleased to announce a new scholarship opportunity, Foresters for the Future. The scholarship will provide $4,000 per semester, for four years, to an incoming freshman pursuing a forestry degree at UAM’s College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources.

Applications will be accepted through June 15. Students interested in the scholarship can find more information on the UAM website.
USDA Seeks Feedback From Producers About 2021 Crops, Stocks, Inventories, 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 1,600 producers across Arkansas to determine crop acreage and stock levels as of June 1, 2021.

“The June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey are two of the most important and well-known surveys NASS conducts,” explained Eugene Young, director of the NASS Delta Regional Office. “When growers respond to these surveys, they provide essential information that helps determine the expected acreage and supply of major commodities in the United States for the 2021 crop year. The results are used by farmers and ranchers, USDA, businesses, exporters, researchers, economists, policymakers, and others to inform a wide range of decisions.”

Growers can respond to the June Agricultural Survey online at agcounts.usda.gov, by phone, or 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. Growers will be asked to provide information on crop acreage, grain stocks, livestock inventory, land values, and value of sales.

“NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents, by keeping all individual information confidential and publishing the data in aggregate form only to ensure that no operation or producer can be identified,” said Young. “We recognize that this is a hectic time for farmers, but the information they provide helps U.S. agriculture remain viable and capable. I urge them to respond to these surveys and thank them for their cooperation.”

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 to be released June 30, 2021. Survey data also contributes 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 here. For more information, call the NASS Delta Regional Field Office at (800) 327-2970.
Twelve Arkansas Entities Receive Water and Wastewater Project Funding

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission approved $64,102,718.80 for water and wastewater projects serving more than 15,593 people in 12 Arkansas counties on May 26, 2021. You can view the full list of recipients and projects here.

More information about the Natural Resource Division’s water and wastewater programs can be found on the Departments website, or by contacting Debby Dickson at debra.dickson@arkansas.gov or 501-682-0548 or Debra Banks at debra.banks@arkansas.gov or 501 682-0547.
Officers Complete Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination Course

Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Law Enforcement officers Keith Dedmon and Justin Smith completed Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination certification.

The course provides a consistent knowledge and skill base for wildland fire investigators. The concepts taught in the course help an investigator carry out their duties on a national basis without regard to geographic boundaries.

The week-long course was hosted in Macon, Georgia by the Georgia Forestry Commission. Participants were from six different states including Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia.

The Department's Law Enforcement officers investigate agricultural crimes that affect any part of Arkansas’s diverse agricultural industry, and enforce the laws and regulations of all agencies under the Department including the Forestry Division, Natural Resources Division, Plant Industries Division, and Livestock and Poultry Division. Investigators work with state, local, and county law enforcement to investigate crimes. Common investigations include wildfire arson, timber theft, livestock theft, agricultural and forestry equipment theft or vandalism, and enforcement of an array of Department regulations.

To learn more about Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Law Enforcement & Emergency Response visit our website.
In Historic Move, USDA to Begin Loan Payments to Socially Disadvantaged Borrowers under American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005

On May 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) published the first notice of funding availability (NOFA) announcing loan payments for eligible borrowers with qualifying direct farm loans under the American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005. USDA expects payments to begin in early June and continue on a rolling basis. A subsequent notice addressing guaranteed loan balances and direct loans that no longer have collateral and have been previously referred to the Department of Treasury for debt collection for offset, will be published within 120 days.

“The American Rescue Plan has made it possible for USDA to deliver historic debt relief to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers beginning in June,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is recommitting itself to gaining the trust and confidence of America’s farmers and ranchers using a new set of tools provided in the American Rescue Plan to increase opportunity, advance equity and address systemic discrimination in USDA programs.”

To learn more about the loan payments to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, visit www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas Announce Homegrown by Heroes Scholarship Recipients for 2021

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas have named Madeline Fortune and Michael Suttle as the recipients of the 2021 Homegrown by Heroes scholarship program. Each was awarded $1,000 for the fall 2021 semester.

Madeline Fortune, from Stuttgart, serves in the Army National Guard and plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Fortune’s family has been farming for six generations, and she hopes to one day work with an agricultural marketing agency or agricultural service organization.

Michael Suttle retired after 20 years of service in the United States Army where he received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal. Suttle is from Camden and attends Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, studying agriculture business. In the last year he has started his own small-scale poultry and beef operation, as well as his own apiary/pollination program.

The Homegrown by Heroes academic scholarship program is open to military veterans, currently serving military personnel, their spouses, and children who are pursuing an agricultural or an agricultural-related degree. Funding for the scholarships is generously provided by Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Selection of scholarship recipients was based on academic achievement, community involvement, extracurricular activities, financial need, and family circumstances.

The Homegrown by Heroes scholarship is affiliated with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Homegrown by Heroes program that helps farmer veterans market their local agricultural products by labeling them as veteran-grown and produced. Learn more about the Homegrown by Heroes program, and identifying products grown or made by military veterans on the new website.
Arkansas Partners Train 250 Firefighters at the 2021 River Valley Wildland Fire Academy

Wildland fire training was provided to 250 firefighter trainees from 13 states by experienced professionals at the 2021 Arkansas River Valley Fire Academy. The annual academy was hosted by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the National Park Service. The 2021 academy, usually held at Arkansas Tech University, was hosted virtually.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and its partners in wildfire suppression, prescribed fire, and conservation combine hands-on exercises and classroom material to teach basic fire suppression, advanced suppression strategy and tactics, engine operation, dozer operation, Incident Command procedures, and more. All courses at the River Valley Fire Academy are accredited by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), which allows firefighters to gain required skills for wildland firefighting positions in Arkansas, and those required to assist on out-of-state wildfire incidents.
Attendees include participants from the following federal, state, and private entities: Arkansas Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Arkansas State Parks, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Oklahoma Forest Service, several Arkansas municipal fire departments, and individuals from Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia.

Planning is underway for the 2022 River Valley Wildland Fire Academy that will continue to offer classes that are specific to the needs of Arkansas wildland firefighters, a well-rounded agenda of diverse NWCG courses, and professional instructors that meet standards of excellence in training. Enrollment for the 2022 academy will open in early spring of next year.
Arkansas 4-H Youth Receive $32,900 in Scholarships

The Arkansas 4-H Foundation recently awarded $32,900 in college scholarships to 28 high school seniors in 17 counties.

“The 2021 Arkansas 4-H scholarship recipients should be very proud of the accomplishments they have made throughout their 4-H careers," said Angie Freel, associate department head, 4-H and Youth development for the Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. "The scholarship application process is highly competitive."

You can view the full list of this year’s scholarship recipients here.

Arkansas 4-H is the youth development program conducted by the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service and offers programs for youth ages 5-19 in every county in Arkansas. To learn more about Arkansas 4-H, visit their website. The Arkansas 4-H Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to supporting Arkansas 4-H youth since 1951. To learn more, visit their foundation website.
Arkansas Women in Agriculture Announces Scholarship Recipients

Arkansas Women in Agriculture (ARWIA) has named Warrenesha Arnold and Ashley Hollis as 2021 scholarship recipients. Each was awarded a $500 scholarship for the fall 2021 semester.

“We’re proud to recognize Warrenesha and Ashley for their accomplishments and future career plans,” said ARWIA President, Donette Spann. “Our organization is committed to helping grow and develop women involved in all aspects of agriculture. Our scholarship program is just one way we’re able to demonstrate our commitment to young women pursuing careers in ag.”

Learn more about this year's scholarship recipients here.

Arkansas Women in Agriculture is a private non-profit whose main goals are to provide educational programming and a network of support for women involved in agriculture. Learn more about ARWIA by visiting there website.
2021 Arkansas Grown

The Department is proud to support our military and veterans! Learn more about the Homegrown by Heroes program and the transition from fighting for our country to feeding it 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.
  • 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.
  • More than 100 Arkansas farm families derive their income from the sale of milk.
  • There are currently 35 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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