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June 30 News & Info Brief

June 30, 2023


Crawford to Co-Chair Ag Labor Policy Working Group: Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01) was recently named co-chair to a newly formed, bipartisan working group on agriculture labor policy. The group aims to develop policy recommendations to address workforce issues facing agricultural producers in the United States. The group was established by leadership in the House Agriculture Committee, and they plan to seek input from stakeholders and develop a report with policy recommendations for improving workforce issues for employers in the agriculture industry. More...Crawford News Release | Ag Committee News Release

Crawford Files Legislation to Elevate U.S. Ag Commodities for Foreign Food Aid: Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01) recently joined several colleagues in introducing new, bipartisan legislation aimed at returning U.S. grown commodities to the center of food aid programs of the United States. The bill proposes to reduce cash, vouchers, and other administrative overhead within food aid programs implemented overseas with a goal of increasing use of American grown commodities for targeted food insecure countries. More...Crawford News Release | USA Rice | Agri-Pulse | H.R.4293

Bill Introduced to Enhance Uniformity in Labeling for Crop Protection Products: On June 22, 2023, a new bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at providing more certainty and consistency in labels for crop protection products by ensuring federal labels remain consistent among states. The Agricultural Council of Arkansas joined more than 360 agricultural organizations on a letter expressing support for this legislation. More...H.R. 4288 | Ag Industry Letter

EPA and Corps Announce Plans to Redraw WOTUS Rule by September 1: As part of a court filing, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to update the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule by September 1 to address issues raised by the Supreme Court of the United States. The plan was announced in an appeal to the court for a stay on another pending WOTUS related case to allow for an amendment to the WOTUS rule. More...Agri-Pulse | TalkBusiness | EPA Court Filing | EPA Announcement | NALC Ag Producers ESA Guidebook

Biden Administration Announces Regulatory Changes on ESA: On June 22, 2023, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (together “the Services”) issued three regulatory and administrative proposals that aim to tighten rules and procedures related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposals entail returning to practice of affording threatened species with same protections as endangered species, updating regulations for listing, reclassifying, and delisting species and designating critical habitat, and revising regulations for completing consultations with other agencies. The changes would overturn several policy changes set forth in the Trump administration. More...NationalLawReview | Federal Register I | Federal Register II | Federal Register III | Agri-Pulse |

EPA Enveils New Online Mapping of Endangered Species Areas: On June 27, 2023, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is making publicly available new geographic data used to conduct Endangered Species Act (ESA) assessments for pesticides via interactive maps. According to the EPA, the maps and underlying data are aimed at supporting the Agency’s broader efforts to improve protections for federally threatened or endangered (listed) species as outlined in the ESA Workplan and increase transparency in EPA’s pesticide review process. The EPA is making the data broadly accessible and providing a new tool to help users access the data. The maps also show which crops are grown near these species and habitats, which can help users determine which pesticides might be used in these areas. More...EPA Release | EPA Page on Mapping |

Biden Administration Announces Big Investment in Broadband: On June 27, 2023, Presidend Biden announced plans to invest over $40 billion in new broadband infrastructure funding for the United States. The funding program will be delivered through the U.S. Department of Commerce. Funding is from the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which was part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021. Arkansas is set to receive over $1 billion in funding through the program, and funds will be managed by the Arkansas Broadband Office at the Arkansas Department of Commerce. More...Announcement | IIJA Law | Arkansas Dept. of Commerce Announcement

EPA Renewable Fuel Standards Dissapoint Renewable Fuels Groups: A recent publication by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) setting Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes and percentage standards for 2023, 2024, and 2025. The proposed volume targets and percentage standards disappointed many in the renewable fuels industry as they were viewed as short of production potential. More...EPA Announcement | RFA Press Release | AgWeb |


Members Encouraged to Apply for Service on State Boards and Commissions: During the 94th General Assembly in 2023, several laws changed related to state boards and commissions, including agriculture related boards and commissions. Most of the law changes related to the appointment processes and administrative duties of the boards and commissions. These changes were enacted in an effort to address recent court rulings and orders related to the constitutionality of the structure of the boards and commissions. With the new laws, qualified individuals are now required to apply for the positions through a web based portal administered by the Office of the Governor who is tasked with making appointments along with the confirmation of the Senate. We strongly encourage Ag Council members to apply for these positions as they serve important roles for our industry, and we stand ready to help our members navigate the appointment process. More... | Application Portal | Office of Governor Homepage

Arkansas Cotton Farmers Now Able to SignUp 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 Outdoor Legend Marion "Mack" McCollum Passed Away: The founder of the famous Mack's Prairie Wings store in Stuttgart, Marion "Mack" McCollum passed away on June 21. McCollum's life included many accomplishments as an individual, a business leaders and entrepreneur, and as a community leader and public servant. In business he created a retail enterprise that is known as "America's Premier Waterfowl Outfitter." More...StuttgartDailyLeader | Obituary | Arkansas Online | ArkansasOnline Opinion | MacksPW

Ag Council to Hold Next Board Meeting in Stuttgart August 21: The Ag Council board of directors will hold its next meeting on Monday, August 21, at the University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart. The meeting will begin at 9:00am and adjourn following lunch. The agenda is expected to include panel discussions on state and federal issues impacting the row crop industry with special guests. More...Meeting Announcement

UADA Announces Hiring of New General Counsel: On June 3th, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture (UADA) announced the hiring of Nga Mahfouz to serve as general counsel to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture as its general counsel. Before joining the division, Mahfouz served in the Arkansas attorney general’s office as senior assistant attorney general for the agencies division and assistant attorney general for the civil litigation division. More...UADA Release

USA Rice Summer Business Meetings in Little Rock July 6-7: USA Rice is holding its summer meeting in Little Rock July 6-7. The evening before (July 5th), Arkansas Rice will host an Arkansas Rice PAC fundraiser beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Lost 40 Brewery. More...AR Rice PAC Event Flyer | USA Rice Meeting Schedule | USA Rice Website

Arkansas Rice to Celebrate Research History at Field Day in Stuttgart: The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is celebrating the 25th year of the Dale Bumpers Rice Research Center as part of the upcoming Arkansas Rice Field Day Events to be held August 2nd and 3rd in Stuttgart in partnership with the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture. The Bumpers Rice Research Center will host an open house and reception on the afternoon of the 2nd and cooperate with the University on field tours the morning of August 3rd. The University research center is next door to the USDA research center. The events are open to the public. More...Information Page | RSVP Form

Delta Classic Golf Tournament Scheduled for July 20: The Delta Classic Golf Classic, a four person scramble format event held a The Ridges at Village Creek, is scheduled for July 20th. The event serves as an important fundraiser to support students in the University of Arkansas's Department of Crop, Soil, & Environmental Sciences. With support from alumni and friends, CSES has awarded over $480,000 in scholarships to our deserving students. More...Tournament Information | Registration

Additional Arkansas Ag Resources:
Ag Council Leadership Opportunities
Apply for Service on State Boards & Commissions
USDA NRCS Arkansas Offices
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


USDA Releases June Acreage Report: On Friday, June 30th, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Issued its June Crop Acreage Report. The report estimates crop acres for the 2023 crop year. According to the report, for Arkansas, cotton acres are down 25 percent, rice is up 19 percent, corn is up 25 percent, and soybeans are down 9 percent. More...U.S. Acreage Report | Arkansas Acreage Report

June 26 Crop Progress Report: On Monday, June 26th, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued a Crop Progress Report for Arkansas showing 95 percent of the corn crop to be in fair to excellent condition, 94 percent of the cotton crop to be in fair to excellent condition, 91 percent of soybeans to be in fair to excellent condition, 94 percent of rice to be in fair to excellent condition, and 94 percent of peanuts to be in fair to excellent condition. Recent weather events have led to a slight decline in crop conditions as heat stress, wind and hail have caused some damage. However, growing conditions continue to be favorable for most of the state. More... Arkansas Report | US Report

June 30th Stocks Report: On Friday, June 30th, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued a Grain Stocks Reports showing usage and storage estimates for major grains. The reports showed declines in grain stocks from 2022 with rice down 23 percent, soybeans down 18 percent, corn down 6 percent, and wheat down 17 percent. More... Grains Stocks Report | Rice Stocks Report | Arkansas Stocks Report

June 30th UofA Arkansas Rice Update: Arkansas-Crops
June 30th Cotton Market Report: NCC Cotton Market Report
June 30th Cotton Inc Weekly Weather Report: Video Weather Report

DTN Market Insights: Commodity Market Info

Arkansas Economic Profile: 2022 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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