KASU

agriculture

Arkansas’s agricultural producers are reacting to recent trade trouble between the U.S. and China.  While analysts have stopped short of calling it a trade war, the two countries have spent the last few weeks announcing a series of new tariffs on airplanes, cars, high tech and numerous agricultural products that include pork.

About one in four hogs raised in the U.S. is exported, according to Jim Monroe of the National Pork Producers Council.  China represents the third highest value market for U.S. pork with purchases of more than $1.1 billion per year.

“Even the tiniest penetration into the Chinese market can result in millions of pounds of volume,” said David Newman, an Arkansas State University Animal Sciences professor whose family has been involved with pork production for many years.

Farmers around Arkansas are feeling optimistic about the chances of corn producing a healthy harvest this year.  Nationally, corn hit a record yield in 2017 and prices averaged $3.50 per bushel, making corn among the best paid of the major row crops.

Arkansas may not be part of the traditional corn belt of the U.S. but still makes a great place to grow corn, according to Bono farmer Tyler Nutt.  He said much of corn’s success is due to Arkansas’s status as the second most poultry-producing state with almost unlimited demand for corn to feed chickens.

“You put a pencil to it, and whatever pays out better, that’s typically the crop you plant,” Nutt said.

He said corn is also good for the soil, and needs far less water than rice.

Arkansas farmers who grew cotton in 2017 will be getting rebate checks this spring from a boll weevil eradication program that’s been considered a success.  The rebate is 75 cents per cotton acre.

Regina Coleman, Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation’s executive director, said the rebate is possible because the foundation was able to pay off a federal loan for the program early and currently holds a cash reserve. 

Farmers paid into the program at a rate of three dollars per acre last year.  The 2017 assessment was lower than a previous rate of four dollars per acre.

Pixabay


  Earlier this week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a proclamation declaring Tuesday (March 20) as “Agriculture Day in Arkansas.” He met with state employees from the Arkansas Agriculture Department, which encompasses several boards, commissions and divisions, at their west Little Rock headquarters.

Controversy has raged within the Arkansas farming community for years about the use of the herbicide, dicamba, and its impacts. The Arkansas State Plant Board allowed one formulation, Engenia dicamba, to be used during the 2017 growing season.

EU approves Bayer takeover of Monsanto after concessions

Mar 21, 2018
Monsanto-vestiging in Enkhuizen, Netherlands
Karen Eliot / Wikipedia

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has approved Bayer's buyout of Monsanto in a massive agriculture business deal, but says they will have to shed over $7.4 billion in firms and other remedies to ensure fair competition in the market.

Pixabay

  LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 61 drought-stricken Arkansas counties as disaster areas, making farmers and ranchers in the counties eligible for natural disaster assistance.

Agriculture officials in Arkansas are concerned President Trump’s proposed steel tariff could have consequences that would negatively impact the industry. The administration has floated a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum

Arkansas’s cotton farmers are looking forward to the growing season with some optimism that the fluffiest of crops will continue to experience a mini-resurgence.

According to the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas ranks fourth for cotton production.  Most farms don’t grow cotton exclusively but rotate it in with other staples such as corn and soybeans.

At a recent Agri-Business Conference at Arkansas State University, Gary Adams with the National Cotton Council in Memphis said the U.S. as a whole produced its largest cotton harvest in a decade last year, and signs are pointing towards more growth in 2018. 

Leaders from Arkansas’s sizable rice industry are coming together to seek a compromise on the divisive issue of agricultural burning, which tends to inflame relations each fall between farmers who burn residue off their fields and people who say they’re creating a public health hazard that can be seen and smelled for miles.

That concern was one of the leading issues at the Arkansas Rice Federation's annual meeting this week in Jonesboro. Most farmers, according to Jeff Rutledge with the Arkansas Rice Council, want to be good neighbors.

“Our families are raised here, and we breathe this air, too,” he said.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' ban on the use of a weed killer blamed by farmers in several states for crop damage will remain in place after a state judge dismissed a legal challenge by a maker of the herbicide.

In Arkansas, there is a kind of David vs. Goliath battle underway over a weedkiller.

On one side, there is the giant Monsanto Company. On the other, a committee of 18 people, mostly farmers and small-business owners, that regulates the use of pesticides in the state. It has banned Monsanto's latest way of killing weeds during the growing season.

Terry Fuller is on that committee. He never intended to pick a fight with a billion-dollar company. "I didn't feel like I was leading the charge," he says. "I felt like I was just trying to do my duty."

Plans of the Jonesboro Shooting Sports Complex displayed at the Municipal Center.
Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The City of Jonesboro and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hope the new shooting sports complex will serve an educational purpose for Northeast Arkansas youth.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A special panel of judges says 11 lawsuits filed in four states against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in federal court in St. Louis.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation made the determination Thursday regarding farmers' lawsuits filed in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. The lawsuits argue that the makers of dicamba are responsible for damage caused by the herbicide to their crops, especially soybeans.

6-pound bags of Member's Mark Casa Di Bertacchi Italian-Style Beef Meatballs
United States Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regulators say a New Jersey company has recalled more than 3,400 pounds of beef meatballs that may be tainted with a bacteria known to cause listeriosis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced the recall involving Rich Products Corporation of Vineland, New Jersey. The ready-to-eat frozen meatballs were produced Dec. 17.

Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – The 20th annual Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference and Expo at Arkansas State University will address the latest issues and trends in soil and water conservation.

This year's event will be Wednesday, Jan. 31, at First National Bank Arena, 217 Olympic Drive, on the A-State campus. Producers from Arkansas and surrounding states are expected to attend.

A number of speakers from agricultural agencies and private interests will gather to share their thoughts on the latest issues and trends in soil and water conservation. 

Lawmakers are expected to begin work next month on the sweeping legislation known as the Farm Bill.  The bill covers dozens of nutrition, agricultural and rural policies that affect everyday life.

While discussions around the Farm Bill often focus on food stamps, the supplemental food program that assists millions of Americans, including about one in seven Arkansas residents, this year lawmakers are also concentrating on agricultural safety net programs for farmers.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have approved banning an herbicide that farmers say has drifted onto crops where it wasn't applied and caused damage, but the prohibition still faces a legal challenge from a maker of the weed killer.

The Legislative Council on Friday without discussion approved the Plant Board's plan to ban dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31. A subcommittee earlier this week recommended the council, the Legislature's main governing body when lawmakers aren't in session, approve the proposal.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is visiting Arkansas to hold a roundtable discussion with the state's governor and to meet with farmers.

Perdue is participating in a roundtable lunch with Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state's agriculture leaders at the governor's mansion on Friday. The event will include a question-and-answer session moderated by state Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward.

Perdue is also scheduled to tour a farm in England in Lonoke County on Friday afternoon.

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers recommended regulators move forward Tuesday with efforts to ban an herbicide that farmers in several states say has drifted onto their crops and caused damage, advancing the prohibition despite a lawsuit by a maker of the weed killer.

A legislative subcommittee supported the state Plant Board's proposal to ban the use of dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31. The proposed ban is scheduled to go before the Legislative Council, the Legislature's main governing body when lawmakers aren't in session, for a final vote on Friday.

Pages