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Ag Council News and Information Brief October 7, 2022

October 7, 2022


Supreme Court Begins Term with WOTUS Case: The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began a new term on Monday with a hearing of a case (Sackett v. EPA) related to the Clean Water Act and the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). More... Agri-Pulse | EE-News | ArkansasOnline | AgWeb | American Farm Bureau

Russia Reported to be Smuggling Stolen Ukraine Grain to Finance War: According to news reports from PBS and the Associated Press, Russia is engaged in various acts of smuggling stolen grain from Ukraine and marketing it as Russian grain illegally through various countries including Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It's believed that such illegal acts are intended to aid in financing Russia's war against Ukraine. More...ArkansasOnline | PBS "Frontline" | video

Senate Agriculture Committee Leaders Call for More Margin Protection Tools: U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee leaders from both parties sent a joint letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Marcia Bunger urging the further development of margin protection programs for American farmers facing pressures that are squeezing profit margins. More... Senate Ag Committee | Letter | AgWeb | UofA Podcast on Margin Protection | UofA Margin Protection Fact Sheet

House Republicans Call for GAO Study on Foreign Ownership of Agriculture Land: On October 1, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member GT Thompson (R-PA) led a letter with many other republicans urging more studies and investigations into foreign ownership of agricultural lands. More... AgWeb | WSJ | GT Thompson Press Release | Letter

USDOL Issues New H2A Rules: On October 6th, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new 594 page final rule related to H-2A Applications that is set to be published in the Federal Register October 12th and in effect 30 days later. The new rules relate to applications. More... DOL Press Release | Rule | AgriPulse


Governor Recognizes New Crop of Century Farms: On October 3rd, Governor Hutchinson inducted 37 Arkansas farms in the state's Century Farm Program. The program recognizes Arkansas farms of 10 acres or more owned by the same family for at least 100 years. It is administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. More... Century Farm Program Info | 2022 Inductees | TalkBusiness

Newly Formed State Tax Commissioners Sworn Into Office: On October 4th, Governor Asa Hutchinson celebrated the swearing-in of the newly formed Independent Tax Appeals Commission. The commission, which consists of three members, is intended to offer greater tax fairness for Arkansas taxpayers by offering an independent appeals process. The Commission was established in 2021 by the Arkansas General Assembly. More... ArkansasOnline

Governor Announces Launch of State Meat Inspection Program: On October 4th, Governor Hutchinson and Secretary Ward announced the approval of the state meat inspection program, which is a cooperative agreement between the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. The establishment of the office through Arkansas General Assembly was largely in response to supply chain disruptions in food production during the pandemic, which highlighted a need and interest for more local meat processing. More... TalkBusiness | ArkansasBusiness

Arkansas State Tax Revenues Continue to Impress: The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration recently reported first quarter revenue for fiscal year 2023 showing a quarterly surplus of $175 million and a 6.4% increase in revenue from the same period last year. Total quarterly tax collections was $2.08 billion. More... TalkBusiness | DFA Revenue Report | ArkansasOnline

UofA Report on Changes to State Law for Section 179 Tax Deductions: The University of Arkansas recently issued a brief report describing implications of recent changes to state law regarding Section 179 deductions for machinery and equipment purchased and used for farms and businesses. The Ag Council advocated for these tax law changes, which were ultimately adopted during a recent special legislative session called to consider various uses of state surplus revenues. More...Section 179 Report

Tyson Foods to Consolidate Workforce to Springdale: On October 5th, Tyson Foods announced plans to consolidate corporate operations into the company's headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, moving roughly 1,000 jobs from out of state into Northwest Arkansas. More... TalkBusiness | ArkansasBusiness

AcreTrader Launches New "Acres" App: On October 5th, AcreTrader announced the official launch of Acres, a user-friendly land analysis platform for desktop and mobile that provides access to comprehensive data for 150 million U.S. parcels, local insights and comparable sales. The Acres platform is a key part of the company’s mission to make buying and selling land common, transparent and easy. The app allows users to easily view 10+ layers of land data for millions of U.S. parcels, like comp sales, soil maps, crop history and more. In addition, users can claim your land to create custom maps, upload photos and share reports in just a few clicks.
More... Announcement | App Download

Low Mississippi River Levels Limiting Barge Traffic: Declining water levels on the Mississippi River are leading to significant transportation disruptions and challenges for Arkansas farmers and the agriculture industry at large. As the condition worsens, little or no relief is in sight. More... Bloomberg | NOLA | Reuters | Agri-Pulse | ArkansasBusiness

Helm Fertilizer Breaks Ground on New Fertilizer Facility in Helena: On Thursday, October 6th, Helm Fertilizer Terminal Inc. of Memphis broke ground on a $12 million expansion project at the Helena Harbor along the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas. More... ArkansasBusiness

King Biscuit Blues Festival This Weekend: The King Biscuit Blues Festival returns to Helena, Arkansas, this weekend. The festival, which celebrates the region's rich history of blues music, returns after a two-year break due to Covid-19. More...King Biscuit Homepage | Music Lineup | Tickets | ArkansasOnline

Arkansas Ag Hall of Fame Accepting Nominations Until November 1: The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is accepting online nominations for the upcoming 2023 class through November 1. The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to build public awareness of agriculture; and to honor/recognize past and current leaders who have given selflessly to the farm industry, their communities and to economic development in the state. Inductees are recognized at a luncheon in March. More... Nomination Form | Arkansas Ag Hall of Fame

PSC Approves Major Solar Project for Entergy in Mississippi County: On Tuesday, October 4th, the Arkansas Public Service Commission granted regulatory approval for Entergy to develop a 250-megawatt solar farm on over 2,000 acres to help steel industry meet sustainability goals. More... TalkBusiness | ArkansasBusiness

AGUP to Build 256-kilowatt (kW) Solar Array: John Deere Dealership network, AGUP, is expected to establish a solar array in partnership with Delta Solar in Southeast Arkansas in an effort to establish energy costs savings and transition to more renewable energy supply. The project is expected to meet 80 percent of the company's electricity demand and save the company close to $1 million over the next 30 years. More... Press release

Sultana Museum Nears Fundraising Goal: The Sultana Disaster Museum in Marion, Arkansas, is nearing its $6 million goal for the construction costs associated with the new museum location. The museum will focus on what is most famously known as the largest maritime disaster in American history. Once the initial construction campaign concludes, the fundraising efforts will shift to another $4 million for the exhibit within the museum building and another $3 million for an endowment for continued operations of the museum. More... ArkansasOnline | Sultana Disaster Musuem

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...

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, October 3rd, USDA released an updated Crop Progress & Condition Report
Crop Progress and Condition Report: U.S. | Arkansas

Grain Stocks Reports: On Friday, September 30th, USDA released a grain stocks reports. More... U.S. Grains Stocks | Arkansas Grains Stocks

Small Grains Summary: On September 30th, USDA released a small grains summary. More... U.S. Small Grains

USDA Commodity Usage Reports: On October 3, USDA released various data sets related to usage of certain commodities. More... Cotton System | Fats & Oils | Grain Crushings

Arkansas Economic Profile: 2022 Pocket Facts - News