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Ag Council News & Information September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022


Fiscal Year 2023: Congress once again reached a last minute deal to avoid a government shut-down at the end of the fiscal year. A deal was reached on a short-term continuing resolution that will extend federal funding into the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1. The spending measure approved will provide enough funding to get beyond the upcoming November elections, but the stop-gap measure will only extend funds though December 16th. More...Politico | WSJ | WashingtonPost

Vilsack Makes Climate Smart Funding Announcement in Arkansas: On Friday, September 16th, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Arkansas to announce major grant awards aimed at advancing Climate Smart Agriculture Commodity initiatives. The announcement was held at the Isbell Family Farm in Lonoke County. Mark Isbell is a board member of the Ag Council of Arkansas.

The total funding amount made available for these initiatives is $3.5 billion with $2.8 billion allocated in the 70 projects announced to date. Included in the grant awards were several that will directly and indirectly serve farmers in Arkansas. Secretary Vilsack is scheduled to make other announcements promoting the initiative in other states and regions across the country. More...
Projects Awarded (Arkansas Related Projects) | Stakeholder Toolkit from USDA | News: USA Rice | ArkansasOnline | Stuttgart Daily Leader

Vilsack Announces Major Food Purchasing Program: USDA recently announced a new initiative to provide close to $2 billion in additional funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to food banks and school meal programs for purchasing American-grown foods. According to USDA, the additional support will help these organizations endure supply chain challenges and elevated food costs as they continue to fulfill their mission of providing nutritious foods to kids and families in need. Agri-Pulse | USDA Press Release

White House Hosts Hunger Conference: On September 28th, President Biden held a White House conference on Nutrition in which he revealed a new plan to invest more than $8 billion in combating hunger and mal-nutrition. More... Conference Info | White House Annoncement | Agri-Pulse 2 | Biden-Harris Strategy Document | USA Rice | NPR

USDA Opens Call for Fertilizer Production Grants: On September 27th, USDA announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is making $500 million in grants available under a new program to increase American-made fertilizer production to spur competition and combat price hikes on U.S. farmers caused by the war in Ukraine. More... Agri-Pulse | Fertilizer Production Enhancement Program | USDA Press Release

Equity Commission Recommendations: The USDA's Equity Commission, at a recent meeting held in Arkansas, voted to recommend in an interim report to Secretary Tom Vilsack that USDA “conduct an analysis and study regarding the termination of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee system and design a more equitable alternative for ALL farmers." The interim report is not yet published. More... Agri-Pulse | New Equity Guidance

Glyphosate Interim Decision Withdrawn by EPA in Favor of 2026 Review of Registration: On Friday, September 23rd, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would focus on its review of the registration of glyphosate in 2026 rather than maintaining efforts related to the agency's interim registration decision. More... Agri-Pulse | DTNPF | FarmJournal | EPA

EPA Responds to Petition on Regulation of Treated Seeds: On September 28th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release that denied calls from petitions related to regulatory oversight of seeds treated with certain pesticides. While the petition was denied, EPA did announce additional measures it would take in reviewing current policy that oversees seed treatments. More... EPA Press Release | Agri-Pulse

National Cotton Council Selects Minnich to Manage Washington Office: The National Cotton Council (NCC) announced it has selected long-time employee and government relations principal for the council, Robbie Minnich, to lead Washington Operations for the NCC. Prior to joining the NCC, Minnich served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas. Minnich will assume the post vacated by Reece Langley who departed the NCC earlier this year.

Congressional Hearings:

Farm Bill - Conservation: Review of Title II (Conservation) Programs: 9.20.2022 House Ag Committee Hearing on Conservation

Farm Bill - Operations & Outreach: Review of Title XII (Operations & Outreach): 9.29.2022 House Ag Committee Hearing on Operations & Outreach

Digital Currencies: 9.20.2022 House Ag Committee Hearing on Crypto Currencies


Governor Names New Public Service Commissioner: On Thursday, September 29th, Governor Asa Hutchinson named Lonoke native Katie Anderson to serve the remainder of former Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Ted Thomas's term, which is scheduled to expire in 2027. Earlier this month Thomas announced his plan to retire on October 1st. Anderson, who has recently served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission is also a Vice President of I.F. Anderson Farms, Inc., a fourth generation family-owned bait fish farm in operation since 1949. More...TalkBusiness | AgCouncil Letter to Governor on PSC Vacancy

Governor Makes Appointments to Boards & Commissions: Governor Asa Hutchinson recently made appointments to a wide range of state boards and commissions, including several related to agriculture. Press Release

Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward Named Second Vice President of NASDA: Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward was elected second vice president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) for 2022-23 at their annual conference this week in Saratoga Springs, New York. More... NASDA Press Release | About NASDA

Low Mississippi River Levels Limiting Barge Traffic: Low and declining water levels are causing trouble for grain transportation on the Mississippi River. The lower levels have lead to substantial increases in transportation costs, which is being passed on to farmers selling their grain. Without a break in the expanding basin drought, conditions are expected to worsen, which could cause additional price pressures on fertilizer and other inputs for the 2023 crop year. More... ArkansasBusiness | Bloomberg

Arkansas Economic Profile: 2022 Pocket Facts - News

Rice Day Events: The State of Arkansas celebrated Rice Day on September 29th with a Rice Day Proclamation by Governor Asa Hutchinson and a record breaking rice industry donation to the Arkansas FoodBank. Several Arkansas rice mills joined forces to donate a total of 214,900 pounds of rice to help fight hunger in Arkansas. The donation is estimated to provide over 1.6 million servings of rice. More... KUAR ​ | ​​​News Story

RIPE's Climate Pilot Program Includes Arkansas: Rural Investment to Protect the Environment (RIPE) was awarded $80 million in funding from the newly announced climate funding program announced by USDA. The RIPE pilot project will take place in limited counties in four states, including Arkansas. More... RIPE | TalkBusiness

General Assembly Holds Joint Ag Committee Hearing: On Thursday, in Fort Smith, the House and Senate Agriculture and Economic Development Committees held a joint hearing to consider a variety of issues. The committee received a Department of Agriculture brief from Secretary Wes Ward, and they reviewed State efforts to expand broadband and efforts to expand electrification networks for electric vehicles. Agenda | Additional Information

UofA Weed Science Team Takes Home Trophy: University of Arkansas's weed science team took home the 2022 Southern Weed Science Society's "Broken Hoe" trophy after winning weed identification contest. Press Release | Farm Press

See & Spray Technology on Demonstration in Arkansas: John Deere will launch sales for "See and Spray" technology with limited release this fall and a more open release in 2024. The technology was recently showcased at a demonstration field day offered by the UofA at its Keiser Research Station. Arkansas farmer and Ag Council board member Travis Senter has worked with Deere in testing the technology at their farm in Mississippi County. More... Farm Press

Smoke Management Reminder: As fields are harvested across Arkansas, many producers turn to management of crop residue with a variety of practices, including field burning. Field burning is an important management practice for many. Those intending to conduct burns are encouraged to follow voluntary smoke management guidelines established by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. As part of following the recommendations established by the guidelines, farmers are encouraged to call the department's fire dispatch center at 1-800-830-8015 to ensure proper conditions are in place prior to burning.

National Ag Law Center Webinars:
September 28th @ 11AM -
National Ag Law Center: “A Farmer’s Guide to Carbon Contracts” | View
October 19th @ 11AM - National Ag Law Center: Federal Crop Insurance - Legal Update & Latest Developments | Register

Ag Census: Every 5 years, USDA conducts the Census of Agriculture, which is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Surveys mailed to producers in November are expected to be completed and returned by February. More...

Winter Wheat Information from UofA: September 30th is final date for crop insurance for winter wheat - Finalizing Wheat Insurance Decisions | Important Crop Insurance Dates | Crop Insurance Projected Price

Ag Council Annual Meeting: The Ag Council will hold its Annual Board of Directors Meeting December 12-13 at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock. More details to come...sponsorships available, please contact for inquiries.


Crop Reports: On Monday, September 26, USDA released an updated Crop Progress & Condition Report
Crop Progress and Condition Report: U.S. | Arkansas

September is Rice Month: USA Rice

Farm Safety Week Comes to a Close: Last week was National Farm Safety Week. A time to recognize the inherent risks associated with farm labor and to refocus efforts to ensure workplace safety and management of risk mitigation, including workers compensation insurance coverage. More... National Farm Safety Week U.S. DOL | Arkansas AgComp

Attorney Trav Baxter on Succession Planning for Farms: Ag Council of Arkansas Sponsor Mitchell Williams Law Firm - ArkansasBusiness