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January 19, 2024 News & Info Brief

JANUARY 19, 2024


Congress Approves Another Short-term Spending Measure: Congress once again avoided a government shutdown by passing a bipartisan short-term spending bill that provides funding into early March. The measure once again splits funding for certain agencies into two packages with separate dates when funding would expire. Funding for the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Veterans Affairs will expire March 1, while funding for other agencies would be funded through March 8. These new deadlines set the stage for another budget showdown in February and March. More...AP | WSJ | RFD-TV

Trump Takes Iowa in Start of Republican Presidential Primary: Former President Donald Trump took a decisive victory in the Iowa caucus, the first of many state presidential primaries that will determine the republican nominee for president of the United States who is expected to challenge democrat incumbent president Joe Biden. The outcome of the Iowa primary also narrowed the field as some candidates announced plans to suspend their campaigns ahead of other state primaries and super Tuesday, which is March 5th. More...Agri-Pulse | AP |

Congress Expected to Consider Bipartisan, Bicameral Tax Bill: A bipartisan, bicameral congressional agreement on tax policy announced on January 16th is expected to receive consideration in the U.S. House and Senate. The agreement includes provisions important to farmers, including bonus depreciation and enhancements to Section 179 deductions for farm machinery and equipment. More...Agri-Pulse | Reuters | NYT | TheHill | Senate Finance Committee Announcement | Agreement Summary | House Ways & Means Committee | House Markup

Stabenow Lays Out Farm Bill Priorities in Letter to Senate Colleagues: Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman, Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), sent a letter to her Senate colleagues this week outlining her priorities and wishes for the next farm bill. The 2018 farm bill expired last year, but Congress approved an extension of current law to cover the 2024 crop year. It's anticipated that the House and Senate may introduce and consider legislation after spending most of last year conducting listening sessions in Washington and across the country on various titles of the farm bill. More...Agri-Pulse | Stabenow Letter

Crawford Talks Farm Bill and More with Agri-Pulse: Arkansas First District Congressman Rick Crawford recently joined Agri-Pulse for an interview to discuss various agriculture issues under consideration in the U.S. House, including the farm bill and H-2A labor issues and immigration. More...Agri-Pulse

House Members Call for Freeze on H-2A Wage Rates: Seventy-five members of the U.S. House of Representatives joined in submitting a letter to congressional appropriators asking the committee to take action to freeze H-2A wage rates at January 2023 levels. Wage rates announced by the Department of Labor for 2024 show a 6% hike from 2023 levels for employers in Arkansas. More...Letter | DOL H-2A AEWR


Farmers Encouraged to Consider ACT NOW Application for EQIP Conservation Funding: The USDA NRCS state office in Arkansas is encouraging Arkansas producers to consider signing up for environmental quality incentive program (EQIP) funding through a new portal known as "ACT NOW," which is aimed at expediting awards and addressing backlogs of applicants. The ACT NOW portal allows Arkansas NRCS to immediately approve and obligate ranked applications in a designated ranking pool when an eligible application meets or exceeds the state-determined minimum ranking score. ACT NOW will utilize minimum ranking score thresholds for each ranking pool. This means no longer having to wait for all applications to be reviewed and preapproved in a ranking pool. More...USDA NRCS Announcement

Farmers Encouraged to Consider Applying for Continuous CRP: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (Continuous CRP). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers and landowners in Arkansas who are interested in conservation opportunities for their land in exchange for yearly rental payments to consider the enrollment options available through Continuous CRP, which also includes the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) offered by FSA partners. Additionally, producers participating in CRP can now apply to re-enroll, if their contracts will expire this year. More...USDA NRCS Announcement

Ag Council Board Member to be Honored by University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas plans to recognize and celebrate Ag Council of Arkansas board of director member Jennifer James of Newport at a reception on January 31st in Jonesboro. James was named Outstanding Alumni of the Year by the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Food and Agriculture. The reception is open to the public and will be held the evening of January 31st from 5-7PM at the Embassy Suites in Jonesboro. More...Announcement | Event Registration

Arkansas Revenues Slip But Beat Projections: According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the state revenues for the first six months of the 2023-2024 fiscal year are down 1.3% from the same period in 2022. However, the $4.093 billion collected in the first six months (July-December) was 6.7% above previous fiscal year forecasts and still provide surplus funds for the state. The biggest declines in revenue are seen in individual and corporate income tax collections, which are a result of recent income tax cuts adopted by the general assembly. More... DFA Revenue Report | TalkBusiness | ArkansasOnline

Arkansas Ag Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2024: The Arkansas Ag Hall of Fame announced that it will induct 6 new names at its induction luncheon ceremony March 1. Inductees include the late Dr. George Berger; Dr. Fred Bourland; Dr. Mark Cochran; the late Melvin Daniel; Dr. Charles Looney; and Gary Sitzer. The Arkansas Ag Hall of Fam aims to honor those who have made significant contributions to Arkansas agriculture, as well as community and economic development. More...Announcement | Induction Luncheon Information

UofA Division of Ag Holding Risk Management Workshops: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture announced that its economists will be bolstering their outreach to farmers with four risk-management workshops scheduled in January and February. Participants can expect to receive information from agricultural economics faculty covering a wide array of agricultural risk management topics such as cash marketing with forward contracting, optimal crop insurance coverage, financial risk management, and a market outlook. A discussion of drivers of consumer demand with farm-level implications and training on decision tools developed by agricultural economics faculty will also be given. Meetings will be held in Jonesboro, Stuttgart, Newport and Searcy. More...UADA Announcement | Registration

UofA Division of Ag Holding Crop Insurance Workshops: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture announced that its economists will be bolstering their outreach to farmers with three crop insurance workshops scheduled in January and February. Participants can expect to receive information from agricultural economics faculty covering a wide array of crop insurance policies and strategies for utilizing these programs to mitigate production risks. Meetings will be held in Batesville, Pine Bluff, Forrest City, and Monticello. More...UADA Announcement | Registration | Agenda

UofA Division of Ag Hosting Winter Production Meetings: The University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture recently announced its dates and locations for upcoming annual Winter Production Meetings. The meetings will be held in January and February across much of Arkansas. The meetings provide an opportunity for producers and consultants to interface with researchers to share the latest information on various commodities grown in Arkansas. More..UADA Announcement

Enrollment Open for Cotton Sustainability Programs: The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (USCTP), the U.S. cotton industry's sustainability initiative is currently accepting enrollment of cotton producers for the 2024 crop year and bales from the 2023 crop. Included in this year's application process is the opportunity to participate in the Climate Smart Cotton Program, which provides financial and technical assistance to farmers for participating in an advanced level of the protocol. Key deadlines include a March 1 deadline to enter data and upload bales from the 2023 crop and an April 30th deadline to enroll in the Trust Protocol and apply for the Climate Smart Program. More...Cotton Grower Magazine | Farm Progress | AgWired | USCTP Enrollment Link

Arkansas Department of Ag Accepting Food Systems Grant Applications Through February 16: The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is now accepting applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program, which is funded through a $4.2 million USDA block grant. The funds will be awarded to subgrantees to improve food supply chain operations and strengthen local food systems throughout the state. Applications will be accepted through February 16, 2024. More...Arkansas Department of Ag Announcement

Arkansas Grown Conference Set for January 25-27: The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will hold its second annual Arkansas Grown & Arkansas Made conference in Hot Springs January 25-27. The event, which is a collaborative effort with a range of partner organizations, aims to provide information sessions and networking opportunities for individuals and businesses involved in the production of agriculture and food related products for local food systems. More...Arkansas Grown Conference Info | Registration Link

Arkansas Soil & Water Education Conference & Irrigation Expo Set for January 29: The Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference and Irrigation Expo will be held at Arkansas State University January 29th. The meeting is focused on water utilization in agriculture production within the State of Arkansas. More...Soil & Water Conference | Register

National Cotton & Rice Conference Set for Jonesboro January 30-31: The 27th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference will be held in Jonesboro, Arkansas, January 30-31. The event, which draws attendees from multiple states offers a range of information related to production agriculture for various commodities grown in the region. More...Meeting Info | Schedule of Events

Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting Set for Jonesboro February 1: Arkansas Rice will hold its annual meeting in Jonesboro on February 1st. The meeting will provide opportunities to network, gain information related to the rice industry, and engage with the business activities of the state's leading rice industry organization. More...Meeting Info | Registration Link | Sponsorship Link

ASU Agribusiness Conference Set for February 7: Arkansas State University is set to hold its 30th annual Agribusiness Conference on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. The conference will focus on agribusiness trends, sustainability issues, the next farm bill, commodity markets, and animal health issues. The conference will also hold breakout afternoon sessions focused on specific commodities and issues. More...Meeting Info | Register

Arkansas Soybean Association Annual Meeting Set for Stuttgart February 8: Arkansas Soybean Association will hold its next annual meeting February 8th at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart. The meeting will provide opportunities to network, gain information related to the soybean industry, and engage with the business activities of the state soybean industry organization. More...Meeting Info

Farmers Encouraged to Use FireSmart App for Crop Residue Burns: Arkansas farmers are encouraged to download and utilize the new FireSmart App to help farmers comply with voluntary smoke management guidelines prior to conducting crop residue field burning following harvest. The smart phone application is aimed at helping farmers check conditions and report prescribed burns to ensure minimal impact when conducting this important practice. More...FireSmartApp | Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines

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

Additional Arkansas Ag Resources:
USDA Daily Arkansas Grain Bids
Arkansas Department of Ag Calendar
Ag Council Leadership Opportunities
Apply for Service on State Boards & Commissions
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
ArkansasGrown Expo Jan.25-27
Arkansas Soil & Water Education Conference Jan. 29
Cotton and Rice Conference Jan. 30-31
Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting Feb. 1
ASU Agri-Business Conference Set for February 7
Arkansas Soybean Association Annual Meeting Feb. 8
NCC Annual Meeting Feb. 15-18


January 12 Annual Crop Production Reports Released: On January 12, USDA released new annual crop production reports for the 2023 crop year. According to the report, it was a fantastic year for Arkansas farmers who harvested high yields for most major commodities in Arkansas. In some cases, record yields were harvested. While yields were significant, prices were less than stellar as they've declined in recent months. More...Annual Production Briefing | U.S. Annual Production Report | Arkansas Annual Production Report

USDA JAN 12 WASDE: On January 12th, the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) issued an updated World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. The report provides the latest supply and demand estimates for primary agriculture commodities. More...January WASDE | WASDE Visualization | Secretary Briefing | January Crop Production Report | Arkansas Crop Production Report

Deere and SpaceX Announce Strategic Partnership: On January 16, John Deere announced that it was establishing a new strategic partnership with SpaceX to improve internet connectivity and satellite communications for machinery and equipment as well as farm management and farm operation programs. More... Agri-Pulse | Deere Announcement

USA Rice Names New Trade Policy Director: USA Rice, the leading U.S. rice industry trade organization, announced the hiring of Karah Fissel to serve as international trade policy director. Fissel, who has significant experience in the arena, previously served as a trade advisor to the USDA Foreign Ag Service (FAS) and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). In these roles, she worked on rice issues and other agricultural commodity matters with key trading partners. More...USA Rice News Release

DTN Market Insights: Commodity Market Info

USDA January Processing Reports:
- Cotton System
- Fats & Oils
- Grain Crushings
- Peanut Prices
- Cotton Ginnings
- Grain Stocks
- Rice Stocks

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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