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August 28 News & Info Brief

August 28, 2023


Congress Faces Deadlines Upon Return: The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate face several important deadlines when they return from the August recess and Labor Day holiday. At the forefront of the "to-do" list is fiscal year 2024 appropriations as the fiscal year closes October 1. In addition, several key programs under the farm bill are scheduled to expire at the end of September. Avoiding a government shutdown forced by a failure to pass a spending measure will be the top priority. It's expected that a continuing resolution and some type of farm bill extension will take precedence over any new spending bill or new farm bill. More...Agri-Pulse | RollCall | WashingtonExaminer | TheHill | FoxNews

Crawford Encourages Input on H-2A Program: During the August recess Arkansas First District Congressman Rick Crawford hosted a roundtable listening session on the H-2A program in which he heard from multiple employers of H-2A visa holders, including several leaders of the Ag Council of Arkansas. The Congressman noted that he was helping to lead a bipartisan working group of House Agriculture Committee members in an effort to develop action items, including legislation, that could help improve this important program. In addition to the input received at the meeting, the working group is encouraging H-2A employers to provide input through a web portal. More...House Ag H2A Working Group Page | Submit Comment | Agri-Pulse H-2A Article | Agri-Pulse Article II | National Council for Ag Employers

Ag Council Joins Large Group Expressing Concern for EPA Endangered Species Act Pilot: On August 2, 2023, the Ag Council of Arkansas joined several other agriculture industry organizations from across the United States in expressing major concerns for a proposed pilot plan related to crop protection products and the Endangered Species Act. The proposed pilot identifies wildlife habitat for species considered vulnerable and establishes a range of mitigation actions farmers would be required to take in relation to the species and their habitat. The letter outlined multiple points of concerns for this proposed rule. More...Ag Group Letter | Species Map | Vulnerable Species Pilot Program | EPA July 12 Webinar on Pilot Program | Bulletins Live II | Interactive Species Maps

Ag Council Board Discusses Federal Issues with Crawford and Ag Committee Staff: On August 21, the Ag Council of Arkansas board of directors hosted a roundtable discussion focused on federal issues facing the agriculture industry of Arkansas. Participants included Arkansas First District Congressman Rick Crawford and Senate Agriculture Committee economist Dr. John Newton of the Minority Committee Staff under Senator John Boozman. The discussion included a wide range of topics including farm bill, appropriations, tax policy, trade policy, labor policy, and energy and environmental policy. More...Meeting Summary


Members Encouraged to Apply for Service on State Boards and Commissions: We strongly encourage Ag Council members to apply for public service on various agriculture related state boards and commissions which serve important roles for our industry. We stand ready to help our members navigate the application and appointment process. More... | Application Portal | Office of Governor Homepage

Arkansas Cotton Farmers Now Able to Register for Trust Protocol Payment Program: Arkansas cotton producers can apply through September 1, 2023, for the Climate Smart Cotton Program, a five-year project led by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. The program aims to incentivize farmers to participate in the Trust Protocol System, which was created by the U.S. cotton industry to measure and improve the industry’s carbon footprint while building on the four pillars of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices. Participating producers will receive technical and financial support as well as other benefits that can enhance their operations, profitability, and environmental stewardship. More...Youtube Video | Trust Protocol Homepage

Arkansas State Plant Board Holds First Meeting After New Appointments: On Thursday, August 24, the Arkansas State Plant Board held its first meeting since Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders made recent appointments to the board. The board was able to meet and conduct business on several items, including consideration of enforcement matters. With several new members to the board, the meeting also allowed for introductions as well as overviews and updates from the Agriculture Department and various sections of the Plant Industries Division. In addition, the board re-elected its slate of officers for the coming year. More...Governor's Plant Board Appointment Announcement | Plant Industries Division | Meeting News Release | ArkansasOnline | Video | Meeting Info & Attachments

Arkansas Ag Community Mourns Keith Stokes: Arkansas's agriculture industry lost a key member with the passing of Keith Stokes on Friday, August 18. Stokes, a native of Dardanelle, was best known for his role in working as a field staffer on agriculture issues for Senator Tom Cotton and for his role in caring for Tusk, the Razorback's mascot. The Ag Council honored the life of Keith Stokes with a moment of silence at its board of directors meeting held August 21st, a meeting Keith was planning to attend. He was memorialized during a visitation and service on Tuesday, August 22nd, in Dardanelle. More...UADA Story | ArkansasOnline | Obituary

Ag Council Talks State Issues with Legislators & Ag Secretary: The Ag Council board of directors held a roundtable discussion with a few state legislators at its August meeting held in Stuttgart on August 21. Participating legislators included State Representative Jeremiah Moore and State Senators Blake Johnson and David Wallace. Also participating in the discussion was Ag Secretary Wes Ward. The state issues discussion covered tax policy, labor issues, infrastructure, agriculture research, energy and environmental policies, and the Department of Agriculture and its boards and commissions. More...Meeting Summary

USA Rice Accepting Applications for Rice Foundation Leadership Program: USA Rice recently announced that the Rice Foundation is now accepting applications for its rice leadership program, which is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec and American Commodity Company. The Rice Leadership Development Program gives future leaders a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills. The class attends four one-week sessions over a two-year period that encompasses studies of all aspects of the rice industry through firsthand observations. They also attend seminars and workshops designed to strengthen leadership skills. Applications are accepted now through September 8th. More...USA Rice Leadership Program | Application Form

Governor Issues Executive Order Calling for Water Plan Update: On Monday, August 21, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced an Executive Order calling for an update to the Arkansas State Water Plan. The order calls upon the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and its Natural Resources Division to review the current water plan and provide updates and recommendations as warranted. It also calls for the department to engage with stakeholders throughout Arkansas. The Water Plan is intended to serve as a process for identifying and addressing a wide range of water concerns, and it was last updated in 2014. More...ArkansasOnline | Governor Tweet | Ag Dept. Water Plan Homepage | ArkansasBusiness

Arkansas Prepares to Celebrate Rice Month in September: September is National Rice Month, and Arkansas is preparing to celebrate its role as the number one rice producing state throughout the month. Stay tuned for announcements and activities by following Arkansas Rice by following the Arkansas Rice Federation on its social media pages. More...Arkansas Rice Federation Twitter | Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board Twitter | Sign up for Arkansas Rice Newsletter

Farmers Encouraged to Download and Utilize FireSmart App: Arkansas farmers are encouraged to download and utilize the Arkansas FireSmart app prior to conducting field burns this year. The app, which was developed by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, aims to provide farmers with a new tool manage their post harvest crop burns in an effort to mitigate poor outcomes from burning fields. Use of the web based smart phone app is voluntary, however, utilization is encouraged to help ensure crop residue burning is conducted safely and in ideal conditions in accordance with voluntary smoke management guidelines. More...FireSmart App | Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines

State Continues to Explore and Investigate Pine Tree Decline: The Arkansas Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture continues its efforts to investigate and explore recent declines in pine tree populations in areas of Arkansas. According to initial reports and findings, brown spot needle blight appears to be a primary culprit in stressing pines, however, other factors are thought to play a role in the health and mortality of pines. More...ArkansasBusiness | UADA News | Link to Report Sightings

Wilson to Host Cotton Festival: Wilson, Arkansas, intends to play host a new festival September 16th that will focus on the community's rich history related to cotton. According to the community's website, the festival will be known as Cotton Fest and will feature live music, food, and fireworks. The community also saw a new hotel and golf course open this summer to add to its growing collection of tourist attractions. More...Event Page | City of Wilson | Hospitality Options | Rex Nelson 8.27.23 Feature on Wilson

June Mann, Widow of Lon Mann, Remembered After Passing at Age 93: June Beasley Mann, a supporter of land grant agriculture whose husband was honored with the naming of the Lon Mann Cotton Research Station Marianna, was recently honored with a memorial service held August 19. Mann passed away June 22 at her home in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 93. More...UADA News Release

Arkansas Department of Ag Offering Organic Certification Cost Share: The Arkansas Department of Agriculture recently announced a new program to help offset costs of organic certifications in Arkansas. Up to 75% of the costs of certification not to exceed $750 are eligible for the cost share assistance. Funding is provided by USDA and administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. More...Ag Dept. Announcement

Additional Arkansas Ag Resources:
Arkansas Department of Ag Calendar
Ag Council Leadership Opportunities
Apply for Service on State Boards & Commissions
Arkansas State Fair Oct 13-22
Arkansas Association for Food Protection Conference Sept. 26-28
USDA NRCS Arkansas Offices
USDA County Cash Rent Estimates
Arkansas Crops Update
UADA Crop Budgets
Arkansas Row Crop Risk Management
Pine Tree Discoloration & Mortality Reporting
Feral Hog Task Force
2023 Arkansas Grown Publication
Digital Edition of Delta Farm Press


August 28 Crop Progress Report: On Monday, August 28th, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued a Crop Progress Report for Arkansas showing 70 of the corn crop to be good to excellent condition, 68 percent of the cotton crop to be in good to excellent condition, 69 percent of soybeans to be in good to excellent condition, 78 percent of rice to be in good to excellent condition, and 72 percent of peanuts to be in good to excellent condition. Each crop has an estimated 8 percent or less considered to be in poor to very poor condition. Harvest was also well underway with 24 percent of corn harvested and 11 percent of rice harvested. More... Arkansas Report | U.S. Report

USDA August WASDE Report: On Thursday, August 10th, USDA issued a new World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. More...WASDE Report | WASDE Visualization | Secretary Briefing | DTN WASDE Analysis

USDA August Crop Production Report: On Friday, August 11th, USDA issued a new Crop Production report. The report for Arkansas estimated greater yield per acre for most primary crops grown in Arkansas from 2022. Peanuts ere the only exception with an estimated yield slightly below 2022 numbers. More...U.S. Crop Production Report | Arkansas Report | Rice Stocks Report | Rice Outlook Report

ProFarmer Crop Tour Yield Estimates Below USDA's: On Friday, August 25th, ProFarmer released its estimates for corn and soybean production in the U.S. Midwest. According to the week long, multi-state tour, production estimates were set at levels below USDA predictions. Lower yield estimates were largely based on extreme heat and drought areas facing acres in the Midwest. More...ProFarmer Results | AgWeb | Audio Summary

Cotton Ginners Association Head Tim Price Recognized for Leadership: Tim Price, the Executive Vice President of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association (SCGA), was recently recognized as the 2023 Ag Association Leader of the Year Award from the National Agriculture Marketing Associations. Price is well known throughout the Midsouth, primarily for his role in leading the Midsouth Farm and Gin Show. More...FarmProgress

Barge Freight Challenges Grow Along Mississippi River: DTN Progressive Farmer recently published an article highlighting growing concerns for barge transportation along the Mississippi River as projected water levels are expected to continue dropping in the coming days and weeks. The low levels are expected to force load reductions and higher freight costs for commodities transported along the river. More...DTN Article

Rising Interest Rates Add Pressure to Farmers: In addition to inflation, farmers are facing rising interest rates, which are placing greater economic pressures on farming as borrowing costs escalate. Recently, economists with the University of Arkansas released information highlighting the cause and effect of interest rates on farming. More...UADA Release | Southern Ag Today | UADA Report on Interest Rates

DTN Article on Crop Technology on Horizon: DTN Progressive Farmer recently published an article highlighting technology developments of major seed and chemical companies. The article highlights the pipeline of products from major companies including Bayer, Corteva, BASF, and Syngenta expected to reach market in the coming years. More...DTN Article

July 28th UofA Arkansas Rice Update: Arkansas-Crops

DTN Market Insights: Commodity Market Info

Arkansas Economic Profile: 2023 Pocket Facts - News | USDA Arkansas Ag Economic Overview | Arkansas Ag Census Data | Arkansas Historical Data | Arkansas Farms & Land Report | Arkansas Land Values & Cash Rent Report
Arkansas Farm Labor Report

UofA Crop Updates | UofA Land Grant Research & Extension Service Video

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