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Family Farms in Arkansas
The Natural State is a state in transition, with almost 14 million acres or 42% of its total land area in agriculture as of 2007, and roughly two-thirds of its jobs classified as urban. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, in 2010 a majority of the population - 1.8 out of 2.9 million total - was urban. More than 70% of its farmland is fully owned, and the vast majority of owners, 86%, are individuals and families.

While total cropland has been decreasing - from 69% to 60% of the total between 1997 and 2007 - the small number of acres certified as organic more than tripled between 2006 and 2008. Woodlands have held steady at 16% of farmland, but the percentage of land in pasture increased from 10% in 1997 to 19% in 2007. At least partially as a result of this change, irrigated acreage increased at the same time from 37% to 53%.

The state’s top five agricultural commodities as of 2009 were broilers, rice, soybeans, cattle and calves, and chicken eggs. Reflecting the national economic downturn, production and income declined significantly from 2008 to 2009, with Arkansas producing 2.5% of total U.S. commodity value in 2009.

Perhaps as a reflection of all these changes, the total amount of farmland in conservation and wetland reserve programs more than doubled from 1997 to 2007, from approximately 189,000 to 442,000 acres.

2007 Census of Agriculture
The census of agriculture is the leading source of facts and statistics about the Nation’s agricultural production. It provides a detailed picture of U.S. farms and ranches every five years and is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county or county equivalent in the U.S.

The 2007 Census of Agriculture is required by law under the "Census of Agriculture Act of 1997". The law directs the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a census of agriculture in 1998 and in every fifth year after, covering the prior year. The census of agriculture includes each state, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

Arkansas State-wide and County Reports
State-wide Summary
State
County
State & County
Market Value of Ag Products

National Fact Sheets
Demographics
Economics
Farm Numbers
Geographic
Practices
Production

The Census gives you and other farmers and ranchers a voice. Completing your Census form is your opportunity to tell how American agriculture provides food, fuel, feed, and fiber to the world. Join this collective voice by responding to the Census with information about your farm or ranch. You have the power to influence decisions that will shape the future of your operation, your community, and your industry.
If you received a census mailer then you can respond online with your authorized survey code (found on the mailing label you received) at www.agcensus.usda.gov

Help for Family Farms
Conservation Districts
There is a Soil & Water Conservation District in every county in Arkansas. The Conservation District staff are there to help you with your on-farm conservation activities and applying for federal funding and technical assistance programs primarily through the USDA NRCS.
Learn more about and find local Conservation Districts

Cooperative Extension
The Arkansas State University Extension Service provides research-based information, educational programs, and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Arkansas, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being.
Learn more about and find your local Cooperative Extension

Learn more about Family Farms Learn more about Family Farms


Cover Crop Economics Tool

The Cover Crop Economics Tool is a user-friendly economic assessment tool to assess the costs and benefits of incorporating cover crops into a crop rotation. The tool assesses both the short term and long term expected costs and benefits.

Download: Cover Crop Economics Tool




Rural Bounty

Explore North America's Rural Bounty

Discover the rich bounty of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, outdoor activities, and family fun that our rural countryside has to offer!

  • Daytrip or Vacation to a Farm or Ranch
  • Pick Your Own-Fruits, Pumpkins, Trees
  • Discover Charming Countryside Wineries
  • Challenge Your Hunting & Outdoor Skills

In the U.S. and Canada, there are approximately 65,000 farms and ranches that invite the public to visit, and more and more are becoming members on the Rural Bounty website. We invite you to come back often to plan relaxing day trips, or weeks away, enjoying the Rural Bounty of North America.  Visit website »

 




Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs

Welcome to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's (NSAC) Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs! This guide does as its title suggests: it walks you through dozens of the federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture and how they can be used by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide. Click here to view the guide.

 




Pioneer® Field360™

DuPont Pioneer is bringing the next generation of powerful Web-based field management tools to growers with the introduction of Pioneer® Field360™ Select software. This new subscription service combines field-by-field data with real-time agronomic and weather information to help growers make informed management decisions.  Login to Field360 Select.

"Pioneer Field360 Select software guides growers to better use the field data they have collected, currently and in prior years, to increase farm productivity and profitability," says Justin Heath, DuPont Pioneer new services manager.




FieldScripts

FieldScripts will be the first commercial product from Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems platform

FieldScripts integrates innovations in seed science, agronomy, data analysis, precision agriculture equipment and service to provide farmers with hybrid matches and a variable rate planting prescription to improve corn yield opportunity. FieldScripts will be the first offering from Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems research platform.

FieldScripts is planned to launch in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota in 2014. To support a successful launch, FieldScripts is currently in the Ground Breakers® on-farm trial program in those states. The purpose of the trials is to test the product in a real-world environment and to get feedback from farmers and dealers who are experiencing the technology first-hand.

FieldScripts will be offered via certified seed dealers.




AgPlan™

AgPlan™ helps rural business owners develop a business plan. To use AgPlan you first need to register and setup a password to access your business plan.  Once you have registered, you can login to AgPlan using your email address and your password.
Everyone can use AgPlan—for FREE.

  • Develop your own business plan
  • Learn what you need to include in your plan with Tips & Resources
  • View Sample business plans for ideas
  • Share your plan—print, download and work with your own Reviewers

AgPlan™ is brought to you by the Center for Farm Financial Management. Regents of the University of Minnesota




AgFinance™

AgFinance™ is a computer program designed to assist agricultural producers make long-run decisions on a whole farm and ranch basis. You can load scenario files from AgProfit™ and AgLease™ into AgFinance™ to analyze your farm’s financial ratios and performance measures, which include working liquidity, solvency, profitability, debt repayment capacity, and efficiency. You can change the number of units in each scenario and observe the financial effects of implementing technologies, adding value to your products, conservation practices, changing cropping systems or livestock enterprises, or leasing additional land.  Visit AgFinance™

UPDATE:

The AgTools™ web site is currently unavailable. If you are requesting a AgProfit™, AgLease™, or AgFinance™ program, a license file, or need other assistance please contact Clark Seavert, clark.seavert@oregonstate.edu.

The new online program AgBiz Logic™ - BASIC will replace the AgTools™ suite of software programs. This exciting new program will be released about September 1, 2015. You can track the progress of the AgBiz Logic™ - BASIC program by following us on Facebook or Twitter.




AgLease™

AgLease™ is a computer program designed to assist growers and landowners establish equitable crop share and cash rent lease agreements. With AgLease™ you can easily comprehend and evaluate the potential risks associated with annual and long-term leases, reevaluate current leases, or changing cropping systems. AgLease™ estimatesmachinery, labor, and production input costs as well as fruit size, grade, and total yield for calculating returns for crops with multiple establishment and production years. The program allows you to inflate specific return and input cost items over time to analyze the net present value, internal rate of return, and financial feasibility for a crop share and cash rent lease.

AgLease™ is free to use and requires users to register with the AgTools website and obtain a license.

UPDATE:

The AgTools™ web site is currently unavailable. If you are requesting a AgProfit™, AgLease™, or AgFinance™ program, a license file, or need other assistance please contact Clark Seavert, clark.seavert@oregonstate.edu.

The new online program AgBiz Logic™ - BASIC will replace the AgTools™ suite of software programs. This exciting new program will be released about September 1, 2015. You can track the progress of the AgBiz Logic™ - BASIC program by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

View the AgLease™ Presentation




AgProfit™

AgProfit™ is a computer program designed to assist agricultural producers make long-run decisions when implementing technologies to a specific crop or analyzing cropping systems. AgProfit™ estimates machinery, labor, and production input costs as well as fruit size, grade, and total yield for calculating returns for crops with multiple establishment and production years. The program allows you to inflate specific return and input cost items over time to analyze the net present value, internal rate of return, and financial feasibility when implementing a particular technology, making minor changes to returns or input costs, or comparing cropping systems.

AgProfit™ is free to use and requires users to register with the AgTools website and obtain a license.

View the AgProfit™ presentation

UPDATE:

The AgTools™ web site is currently unavailable. If you are requesting a AgProfit™, AgLease™, or AgFinance™ program, a license file, or need other assistance please contact Clark Seavert, clark.seavert@oregonstate.edu.

The new online program AgBiz Logic™ - BASIC will replace the AgTools™ suite of software programs. This exciting new program will be released about September 1, 2015. You can track the progress of the AgBiz Logic™ - BASIC program by following us on Facebook or Twitter.




Cool Farm Tool

The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) is an online greenhouse gas calculator that is free for growers to help them measure the carbon footprint of crop and livestock products. The CFT is an online, farm-level greenhouse gas emissions calculator based on empirical research from a broad range of published data sets. It is designed to be intuitive and easy to complete based on information that a farmer will have readily available. Click here to go to the Cool Farm Tool




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This guide lists funding opportunities offered by federal programs, and is indispensable for anyone seeking government help to foster their innovative enterprise in forestry and agriculture.

Specifically, it addresses program resources in community development; sustainable land management; and value-added and diversified agriculture and forestry. Thus, it can help farmers, entrepreneurs, community developers, conservationists, and many other individuals, as well as private and public organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit.

The guide can also help USDA and other agency employees become aware and take better advantage of the enormous array of federal programs and resources available to their clients in supporting agricultural and forestry innovations. This edition constitutes the guide's sixth printing and fourth complete update, incorporating programs from the 2014 Farm Bill.

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This is an article from the EPA site about anaerobic/biomass recovery systems.  Click here to read the information: 

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The USDA-NRCS is operating a pilot program through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide assistance to eligible  producers in meeting the EPA requirements for an Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. EPA rules require these plans to be in place by May 10, 2013.

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This template is intended to help the owner or operator of a Tier I qualified facility develop a self-certified Spill Prevention,  Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. To use this template, your facility must meet all of the applicability criteria of a Tier I qualified facility listed under §112.3(g)(1) of the SPCC rule. This template provides every SPCC rule requirement necessary for a Tier I qualified facility, which you must address and implement.

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An example of a farm facility and how the farmer determines he is covered by the SPCC rule and prepares an SPCC Plan.

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A Food Hub is a "business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of course-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand." According to the USDA’s Regional Food Hub Resource Guide. Read More »


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The guide is an extensive collection of information and resources, providing background on everything needed to develop or participate in a regional food hub. The guide highlights the economic contributions food hubs make to local communities and the role they play in expanding regional food systems. Food hubs are businesses or organizations that connect producers with buyers by offering a suite of production, distribution, and marketing services. It's an innovative business model that allows farmers of all sizes to meet the growing consumer demand for fresh, local food by gaining entry into commercial and larger volume markets such as grocery stores, hospitals and schools. Read More »


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This Farm and Dairy article explains how conservation is a journey for our country.

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Agritourism is a business on a working farm, or other agricultural enterprise that offers an educational and fun experience for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner.  These activities can be as simple as U-pick gardens, farm arts & crafts, seasonal festivals, or just about any agricultural activity that augments traditional farm income.
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The purpose of this guide is to assist private landowners in the conservation and management of Arkansas’ wetlands and associated agricultural lands. It contains information on voluntary programs that provide technical and/or financial assistance for wetland and riparian habitat restoration and agricultural land management activities.

Many different conservation programs are available through various government agencies and private organizations. Detailed program information and agency contacts were combined in this guide to provide a “one-stop” source of information on all wetland-related programs currently available to Arkansas landowners. These programs offer:

  • TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE on combining wetland restoration and management with agricultural production, including integrated manage- ment plans for wildlife, forestry, and agriculture.
  • FINANCIAL INCENTIVES including cash benefits, improvement cost sharing, tax incentives, conservation easements, and limited develop- ment materials such as water control structures.
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Organic farming has been one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture for over a decade.  After the USDA implemented national organic standards in 2002, certified organic farmland doubled by 2005. Organic livestock sectors have grown even faster. Despite the rapid growth, organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to keep up with the rapid growth in demand, leading to periodic shortages of organic products. 

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Farmers' markets are one of the oldest forms of direct marketing by small farmers. Read More »


Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is the practice of focusing on the local production of high quality foods with the support of a consumer group that is willing to fund a whole season's budget in order to get quality foods. Read More »


Considering conservation buffers on your land?  The USDA has 250,000 or more buffer contracts with about 160,000 farms and ranches. They may be a good choice for your land and for the environment. They are also economically viable for most operations.

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The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP), managed by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with State, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the conservation easement.

This brief and simple guide will help you decide if an agricultural easement could help keep your farm or ranch in the family or save it from development. If you decide to sell or give an easement in exchange for federal grant funds, then this guide will help you fill out the necessary paperwork as well as provide you with contact information for further assistance.

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This table provides a comparison of total return, after variable and fixed costs, for land enrolled in the new Illinois River CREP program in Arkansas.  A variety of costs and income levels for alfalfa hay, mixed hay, pasture, and cow/calf operations is compared, showing that the new CREP payments beat them all.

 

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This example compares 2009 versus 2012 Illinois River CREP payments when installing CP29, a grass buffer for marginal farmland.  This spreadsheet shows the substantially increased new CREP payments.  All income from CREP - including rental payments, practice cost-share, practice incentive payments (PIP) and state incentive payments (SIP) are averaged out over the 15-year life of the CREP easement. Read More »


This example compares 2009 versus 2012 Illinois River CREP payments when installing CP22, a riparian buffer.  This spreadsheet shows the substantially increased new CREP payments.  All income from CREP - including rental payments, practice cost-share, practice incentive payments (PIP) and state incentive payments (SIP) are averaged out over the 15-year life of the CREP easement. Read More »


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The cooperative extension service is designed to help people use research based knowledge to improve their land.  Administered through thousands of county extension offices, extension brings land-grant expertise to the most local of levels in affiliation with the state's designated land-grant universities.    

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The basic types of operations and associated business considerations. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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This University of Arkansas fact sheet discusses the relationship between the poultry and cattle industry in Arkansas, namely their production and use, respectively, of phosphorus-rich poultry litter. It concludes, “Inherent in the different grazing techniques is the potential to reduce compaction and improve vegetative surface cover (percent), which has a dramatic impact on runoff, erosion and P loss.” Inclusion of vegetated buffers can have an even more dramatic impact.

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This University of Arkansas fact sheet discusses benefits and sampling principles for testing poultry litter because, “Applying poultry litter without knowing its nutrient content is similar to applying commercial fertilizer without knowledge of its nutrient content (e.g., % N/P/K).”

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Land Link is a valuable program that connects beginning farmers with retiring landowners to faciliate farm transfers.

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A new study by researchers at Oklahoma State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences may well improve the predictability of seasonal droughts and provide a better way for farmers to determine when drought conditions are likely to occur.

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Younger beginning farmers are more likely to operate large farms than are older operators of beginning farms. These farmers tend to earn more on their farm, and less off their farm, but have more debt than older beginning farmers.  

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Land trusts across the country are preserving agricultural lands to support local food systems.  Read More »


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The goal of this study is to assist Arkansas farmers to better understand alternative policy proposals and in developing their positions regarding the 2012 Farm Bill. The objective of the study is to assess the impacts of the STAX proposal at the specific farm level in Arkansas during the period 2012-2016 in which the 2012 Farm Bill is  expected to be in place.

To achieve the main objective, three scenarios are considered: 
1.  What is the average probability of receiving a STAX indemnity payment on a by farm/crop/coverage level basis? 
2. What is the average STAX indemnity payment on a by farm/crop/coverage level basis? 
3. Is it more profitable for farmers to participate in STAX as compared to participation in 2008 Farm Bill Title I (BASE) programs? 
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Land Link is a valuable program that connects beginning farmers with retiring landowners to faciliate farm transfers.

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Agricultural BMPs
The management of agricultural land affects almost everything. In addition to the land’s productivity in producing food for people and livestock, the quality of soil, water and wildlife habitat is often directly dependent upon the quality of agricultural management. That is why “best management practices” were invented.

Best Management Practices, or BMPs, can help agricultural land and bottom lines. Developed by experienced practitioners or management and research organizations, BMPs are based upon the best available science. By implementing BMPs, landowners will often save money in the long term even as they improve the condition of their land, soil, and water in the short term.

Best Management Practice Downloads

The following are a selection of BMPs culled from various national, regional, state and local sources. Each is available for download as a pdf.


Pipe Planner for Smarter Irrigation

Delta Plastics' Pipe Planner is a Web-based application designed to help you create the most efficient irrigation system for your row crops. Simply input easily obtained information about your field, well, and polytubing, and Pipe Planner will provide a design that maximizes your field's potential for achieving uniform water application.




TrueHarvest

TrueHarvest is the first and only yield benchmarking service that uses objective, unique and accurate data to show your farm's full range of performance potential, down to a 150 square foot area we call a micro-field.

With TrueHarvest, you can  compare your yields to the full range of performance for comparable land with comparable conditions at the portfolio, field, zone and micro-field levels. You will find that high yield doesn't necessarily mean peak performance and low yield doesn't necessarily mean poor performance.

These "Benchmarks" will help you make better decisions about where to invest - or not invest - resources to optimize yield and profitability on each and every field. Learn more about TrueHarvest here.




Events and Conferences for Farmers
 Western Farm Press provides a list of events and conferences for farmers in the western states. Click here. 



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There are many USDA accredited certification agencies that can certify your farm or enterprise as organic. So how do you find the right agency to work with you? Here are some questions you should ask the agencies and some things to ask neighboring farmers.

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Putting trees to work in conservation and production systems for farms, ranches, and nearby communities means planting the right trees, in the right places and in the correct design to achieve desired objectives. Agroforestry is a unique land management approach for landowners. The practices provide opportunities to integrate productivity and profitability with environmental stewardship, which can result in healthy and sustainable agricultural systems that can be passed on to future generations.

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 Vegetated drainage ditches can help clean up runoff water.

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Learn about small scale solutions for your farm with this instructional pamphlet.

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Conservation buffers such as filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, and field borders are especially applicable to southeastern landscapes and have multiple environmental benefits while serving to significantly improve wildlife habitats.

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Summary Findings

  • The Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds practice (CP33) is the first Federal conservation practice to target species-specific population recovery goals of a national wildlife conservation initiative (the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative).
  • Over 14 states, breeding bobwhite densities were 70 to 75 percent greater around CP33 buffered fields than around unbuffered crop fields.
  • Fall bobwhite covey densities were 50 to 110 percent greater around CP33 fields than around unbuffered crop fields, and this positive response to CP33 increased each subsequent year of the study.
  • Several upland songbirds (e.g., dickcissel, field sparrow) responded strongly to CP33 in the landscape.
  • Area-sensitive grassland birds (e.g.,grasshopper sparrow) exhibited little response to CP33 buffers.
  • These findings illustrate the wildlife value of field borders and other buffer practices implemented through EQIP, WHIP, and other conservation programs.
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The conservation provisions of the Farm Bill can produce more consistent positive wildlife habitat benefits when policy (program statutes, rules, practices, and practice standards) is developed in the context of explicit goals identified as part of large-scale conservation initiatives.

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This factsheet explains the results of a study and guidelines for using bermuda sod pasture as a means of removing P from soil by adding only N and K, then removing the forage to sites low in soil P. Read More »


This Univ. of Arkansas fact sheet explains “Testing soil for nutrients is an integral part of nutrient management planning for the use of animal manure as fertilizer.Nutrient management planning has been adopted as a requirement in virtually all the state and federal environmental laws related to confined livestock operations in Arkansas.” These include State regulation #5 and state laws defining nutrient sensitive areas, as well as the Federal Animal Feeding Operation Regulation. Read More »


Soil Phosphorus Management and Recommendations
This factsheet explains soil phosphorus or "P" numbers, the concerns about phosphorus, and suggested BMPs for managing phosphorus in the soil.


This 5-pager defines BMPs, explains how they are developed and gives a good overview of low-cost BMPs related to nutrient management and filter strips as well as BMPs that could require cost-share related to stream protection.
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Explains the objectives and benefits of developing a nutrient management plan.  Federal law requires plans for all concentrated animal feeding operations and the northwest Arkansas counties with areas designated as “nutrient sensitive” also require nutrient management plans.

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Discusses grass, 3-zone, 2-zone, wildlife, urban and naturalized buffers and recommendations for how to choose, establish and cost-share.

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Defines riparian buffers and discusses various benefits, including property value, wildlife habitat, timber, and recreational/aesthetic/spiritual values.

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This 26-page booklet introduces the Stream-A-Syst system to help landowners assess and manage their streams.  It contains a worksheet, action plan with recommended steps and sources of information to address various issues, and a visual (photographic) assessment guide.

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This 14-page summary from the Univ. of Ark., Division of Agriculture describes various forms of grazing management that can improve compaction, riparian degradation and runoff from beef cattle operations.  It also discusses management of heavy use areas, carcass disposal and confinement areas.

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This handbook address potential management actions that can be taken by individuals or groups at
households, businesses, institutions, municipalities, industrial facilities, farms, and construction sites to maintain or improve the water quality of the Illinois River. Read More »


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This is a Univ. of Ark., Division of Agriculture fact sheet about the Arkansas Natural Resource Commissions mandate to safeguard water quality in the state.  This sheet contains a map showing the 8 nutrient surplus watersheds originally designated by the Ark. General Assembly in 2003 and updated in 2005.  Within nutrient surplus watersheds, nutrients must be applied by a certified nutrient applicator according to a nutrient management plan developed by a certified plan writer or using   designated conservative nutrient application rates. Read More »


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A 293 page guide to the Legal Issues in Farming the Wind on your farm from June 2007 Read More »


This fact sheet developed by Univ. of Ark at Pine Bluff discusses requirements and considerations for AFOs and CAFOs in vegetation maintenance, space requirements for hogs, and nuisance smell issues. Read More »


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This factsheet from the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture delineates nutrient content, application procedures and guidelines for application and storage of poultry litter as a fertilizer and source of organic matter for row crops.

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This brief document is full of photos that will help landowners to determine what form of algae they may have.  It describes the major types, their causes, effects, and what can be done to manage algal blooms. Read More »


Regulation No. 5 requires that a permit be obtained from Ark. Dept. of Environmental Quality before the construction and operation of a confined animal operation that uses a liquid waste management system. This means any individual or organization that is currently operating a liquid waste management system must have a permit. The objectives of the regulation are to prevent point source water pollution, to minimize nonpoint source water pollution and to reduce offensive odors produced by confined animal operations.  The factsheet explains permitting and technical requirements of the regulation. Read More »


This Univ. of Ark., Division of Agriculture 4-pager covers three major options for phosphorus planning and management. Read More »


A Univ. of Arkansas, Division, of Agriculture factsheet by Asst. Prof. Dirk Philipp describes riparian vegetation and its relationship to water quality, and options for managing cattle including streambank crossings, partial livestock exclusion, livestock management, offstream watering, and grazing management. Read More »


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Improved performance at competitive costs is promised by this 2002 EPA publication all about anaerobic digestion and biogas recovery for energy.

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This 14-pager from the Univ. of Arkansas Div. of Agriculture summarizes the Arkansas P Index, or API, adopted by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission effective Jan. 1, 2010, which guides the preparation of nutrient management plans in watersheds that are “nutrient surplus areas.”  The API is also part of the nutrient management plans required by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for participation in most cost-share programs.  Any land application of manure in Arkansas generally requires a nutrient management plan and compliance with the API.  This API document covers diversion, fencing, field borders, filter strips, grassed waterways, ponds, riparian forest buffers, fences and herbaceaous cover, and terracing. Read More »


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This fact sheet provides techniques acceptable for organic and integrated pest management.  It specifically addresses house flies, horn flies, face flies, and stable flies. Read More »


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Another University of Arkansas gem that explains integrated odor management, which can include diet manipulation, capture and treatment of gas, and BMPs for spreading manure.
 

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This brief factsheet from the University of Arkansas defines liquid manure, discusses storage and management options, as well as solids removal and equipment.

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This document, from Cooperative Extension at the University of Kentucky, is a 15-pager how-to that covers both infrastructure and management requirements for this form of grazing, which helps farmers increase net profit by increasing yield of animal products per acre.
 

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Nutrient Management is defined as the management of the 4R's of Nutrient Management:Right amount (rate), Right source, Right placement (method of application), Right timing of commercial fertilizers, manure, soil amendments, and organic by-products to agricultural landscapes as a source of plant nutrients while protecting local air, soil and water quality.
 
The corner stone for Nutrient Management is the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 590 Nutrient Management Conservation Practice Standard. Contact John Davis via phone at 202-720-2308, or email j.russell.davis@wdc.usda.gov
 
In addition to the 590 Nutrient Management Standard, NRCS provides further guidance on the application of nutrient management via the National Nutrient Management Policy and National Instruction.
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Clovers are beneficial additions to many forage programs because of improved forage growth distribution, increased forage yield, increased forage quality and reduced nitrogen fertilizer costs. These benefits lead to increased animal performance and profitability of the livestock enterprise. Winter annual clovers are considered to be better adapted to soil and envi­ ronmental conditions in southern Arkansas than perennial clovers. Perennial clovers are slower to estab­ lish than annuals and are not very long-lived in the hot, humid Coastal Plains region of southern Arkansas.

Because annual clovers complete their life cycle each year, they must be re-established from seed.

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Gives an overview of prevention techniques for live fish, shellfish, ornamental fish and invertebrates, aquatic plants, marine shrimp and freshwater prawns. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Covers major nutrient groups, micronutrients, digestion and metabolism, feed, and feeding practices. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Lists toxicities of many different chemicals and how to reduce the risk of pesticide drift. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Discusses pathogens and parasites, genetic alterations, and genetically modified organisms. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/ Read More »


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A must-read for any responsible aquaculturist contemplating non-native species production. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Facilities design, requirements, and regulations. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/.

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Pros and cons and essentials for this system. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Important personal, feasibility, and financial factors to consider. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/ Read More »


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Summary of the most popular method for raising tilapia in the U.S. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

 

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The basics on “the most important species of aquatic animal commercially cultured in the United States.”  Discusses blue, white, brown bullhead, black bullhead, yellow bullhead, and flathead catfish species. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Advantages and disadvantages of one of the four primary methods of aquaculture: ponds, raceways, recirculating systems or cages. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

 

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The importance of aeration in aquaculture and various methods how to.
The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center also lists all their available factsheets online.  A list of all SRAC factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/ Read More »


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Advantages and disadvantages of one of the four primary methods of aquaculture: ponds, raceways, recirculating systems or cages. The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center also lists all their available factsheets online. A list of all SRAC factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/ Read More »


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A discussion of the fish stocked in recreational fishing ponds as food for species such as largemouth bass.  Includes bluegill, redear sunfish, fathead minnow, golden shiner, threadfin shad, and tilapia and other species. The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center also lists all their available factsheets online.  A list of all SRAC factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/ Read More »


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Characteristics and requirements of the three most common baitfish in the South: the golden shiner, fathead minnow or goldfish. The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center also lists all their available factsheets online. A list of all SRAC factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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The primary goal of this Southern Regional Aquaculture Center (SRAC) project was to start verification programs in participating states (i.e., Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina), with an emphasis on developing the interdisciplinary process and internal committees within each state. 
  • Objective 1: To develop and implement verification programs of recommended management practices for  catfish and crawfish production systems in participating states.
  • Objective 2: To publish guidelines for developing infrastructure, implementing programs, and assessing the  results and benefits of aquaculture management verification.
  • Objective 3: To publish the recommended management plans developed in Objective 1.
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Discusses general considerations and various designs for such systems.

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This University of Arkansas fact sheet discusses the relationship between the poultry and cattle industry in Arkansas, namely their production and use, respectively, of phosphorus-rich poultry litter. It concludes, “Inherent in the different grazing techniques is the potential to reduce compaction and improve vegetative surface cover (percent), which has a dramatic impact on runoff, erosion and P loss.” Inclusion of vegetated buffers can have an even more dramatic impact.

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This University of Arkansas fact sheet discusses benefits and sampling principles for testing poultry litter because, “Applying poultry litter without knowing its nutrient content is similar to applying commercial fertilizer without knowledge of its nutrient content (e.g., % N/P/K).”

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Explains the benefits of using alum for both poultry production and water quality.

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Defines and discusses management of nutrients, pests, tillage, harvest, and edge/buffers to benefit waterbirds.  Also provides crop-specific BMPs for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice.

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This brief article from University of Arkansas explains that “Worm composting or vermicomposting is a suitable composting option for apartment dwellers and homes with no yard space and is also a great classroom activity. The worms stay in the bin and eat household food scraps, and the bin has no odor if properly maintained.”  It includes building and maintenance instructions.

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This fact sheet explains how to build bins from concrete blocks or wood, and how to add waste and maintain the compost.

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How to make and use a garbage can composter.

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Beyond simply covering poultry mortality with litter, includes water contamination concerns.

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This factsheet differentiates composting from biodrying, with the former leading to good soil amendments and the latter leading to good material for bioenergy production.  It explains the basics of biodrying equipment and methods.

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This factsheet explains the compost process, what can be composted, its benefits, and the major different methods of composting.

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This fact sheet defines the difference between a vegetative shelterbelt and structural windbreak.  It concludes, “A well-designed and positioned vegetative shelter-belt on a poultry farm can be used as a practical air emission mitigation technology.”

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A “cocktail mix” of winter cover comprised of tillage radishes — which can send a tuber as much as 60 inches into the soil —cereal rye, and rape/canola help Mike Taylor and his son, Mikey, prevent erosion and wind damage on their 6,500-acre Long Lake Plantation near Helena, Ark.

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Strategies and cost estimates for various forms of frightening programs and exclusion or barrier methods of control. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/ Read More »

BMPs oriented more specifically toward forest and woodlands, wildlife habitat, invasive & native species, water quality, and energy efficiency are also available.

Farm Income Opportunities
Farmers, it seems, have always lived with tight margins and boom/bust cycles. The market turmoil caused by decline of the U.S. housing and manufacturing sectors, along with continued volatility in energy prices, give people who raise food for a living an incentive to diversify their income.

Luckily numerous trends in marketing and agriculture support opportunities to create new farm income streams. These include agritourism, community-supported agriculture, organic agriculture, the “locavore” and sustainability movements, grassfed beef, farmer’s markets, online shopping, and ecosystem markets.

Agritourism is exactly what it sounds like: farms as travel destinations. Agritourism offerings run the gamut from working farms that allow visitors or U-pick opportunities to those focusing primarily on the educational and gastronomic experiences of their guests.

Community-supported agriculture, or CSA, is a system that allows customers to sign up to “pre-purchase,” directly from the farm, a set amount of seasonal produce throughout the growing season while cutting out the middle man.

Food Hubs are "business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of course-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand." According to the USDA’s Regional Food Hub Resource Guide.

Organic agriculture and grass-fed beef are part of the broader movement toward more holistic or non-chemical intensive forms of agriculture. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, “the demand for organically produced goods has shown double-digit growth for well over a decade.”

Farmers markets have also been rapidly increasing in popularity over the past decades. They provide yet another venue for farmers to bypass the middle man and not only sell directly to consumers, but form relationships. Part of the “locavore” movement, to eat locally grown seasonal produce, puts an emphasis on “knowing your farmer,” and farmer’s markets are uniquely suited to this task.

Many producers of goods and services, including farmers, are harnessing the vast power of the internet at an accelerating pace to market and sell their goods to a previously unreachable audience. A key component that allows supermarkets or restaurants to meet the consumer demand for local, organic, or sustainable agricultural products is their ability to find adequate production sources within a given geographic area. Services to assist both producers and consumers in finding one another on the internet, such as the Private Landowner Network and affiliated state sites are increasing exponentially. One site focusing specifically on Arkansas is the Arkansas MarketMaker.


Farmers Markets news in Arkansas Conservation Center
The following news articles are provided by the Google News service and do not reflect the views or imply an endorsement by the Arkansas Conservation Center and its affiliates. We cannot guarantee the relevance of the content of this page or any links that may be followed from the articles herein.
Google News

Rain hasn't hindered farmers' market
Log Cabin Democrat
Rain has created a challenge for Conway's Farmers' Market to get the gardens growing and vegetables and fruits harvested. However, the market will continue to be open. The market will have a Grand Opening weekend on May 30. Some of the event ...




Rachel's Rumors: Shopping center, Argentine food, farmers market
Log Cabin Democrat
This week some coworkers and I went to the groundbreaking of the new Andy's Frozen Custard — not because a groundbreaking takes more than one reporter to cover, but because they were giving away free samples of custard. The soon-coming ...




Log Cabin Democrat

Farmer's market, plant sale set May 9
Log Cabin Democrat
The Conway Farmers Market and Faulkner County Master Gardeners will kick off events on May 9 in Conway. The FCMG will host its annual plant sale at the ... The schedule for the market will be Saturdays only through May 30, and Tuesdays and Saturdays ...




Hola Arkansas

Little Rock farmers' market to return May 2nd
Hola Arkansas
Out of the 259 farmers' markets in Arkansas, the LRFM will become one of the 31 markets in the state to accept SNAP. And thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant, the LRFM will be able to offer this benefit at no cost to Farmer ...

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Log Cabin Democrat

Farmers market, plant sale starts Saturday
Log Cabin Democrat
The Conway Farmers Market and Faulkner County Master Gardeners will kick off spring events Saturday in Conway. The FCMG will host its annual plant sale at the Conway Expo Center, 2505 E. Oak St., beginning at 8 a.m.. Thousands of plants will be ready ...




Conway Farmers Market, plant sale set to open
Log Cabin Democrat
The Conway Farmers Market and Faulkner County Master Gardeners will kick off events on May 9. The FCMG will host its annual plant sale at the Conway Expo Center, 2505 E. Oak St., beginning at 8 a.m. Thousands of plants will be ready for purchase until ...




Shreveport Times

Farmers Market to open next week
Gurdon Times
Vendors must grow all of what they plan to sell and adhere to the Cottage Food Operation Act of 201 and to any Arkansas Department of Health regulations governing cottage foods. Some of the items that can be sold at the Farmers Market include produce, ...
Farmer's Market season opens Thursday at ProvenanceShreveport Times

all 7 news articles »



University of Arkansas Newswire

Horticulture Honors Student Discovers Why Small Farmers Continue to Farm
University of Arkansas Newswire
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fayetteville is home to one of Arkansas' largest farmers markets and boasts fresh, locally grown produce. Customers have a variety of reasons for grocery shopping on the downtown Fayetteville Square — and the farmers have their ...

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Northwest Arkansas News

State farmers study: Profit or pesticides?
Northwest Arkansas News
Carroll, who sits on the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and the United Soybean Board, said that even as genetically modified seeds, also known as bio-tech seeds, came to dominate the market, he never stopped planting conventional varieties because ...

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The State (blog)

GOP presidential hopefuls campaigning in SC this week
The State (blog)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee visited Columbia on Thursday as part of his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, will make his White House bid official June 1 in Central where he grew up.

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Google News
Community Supported Agriculture
CSACommunity-supported agriculture (CSA) is generally the practice of focusing on the local production of high quality foods using ecological, organic or biodynamic farming methods. The core design includes developing a cohesive consumer group that is willing to fund a whole season's budget in order to get quality foods. By CSA theory, the more a farm embraces whole-farm, whole-budget support, the more it can focus on quality and reduce the risk of food waste or financial loss. Most CSAs have a transparent whole season budget for producing a specified wide array of products for a set number of weeks a year as well as a 'shared risk and reward' agreement, i.e. that the consumers eat what the farmers grow even with the vagaries of seasonal growing.

CSA is a relatively new model of food production, sales, and distribution aimed at both increasing the quality of food and the quality of care given the land, plants and animals - while substantially reducing potential food losses and financial risks for the producers. CSA's focus is usually on a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables, sometimes also flowers, fruits, herbs, milk or meat products. An advantage of the close consumer-producer relationship is increased freshness of the produce, because it does not have to be shipped long distances. The close proximity of the farm to the members also helps the environment by reducing pollution caused by transporting the produce.

Typically, CSA farms are small, independent, labor-intensive, family farms. By providing a guaranteed market through prepaid annual sales, consumers essentially help finance farming operations. Individuals, families or groups do not pay for x pounds of produce, but rather support the budget of the whole farm and receive weekly what is seasonally ripe. This allows farmers to not only focus on quality growing, it can also somewhat level the playing field in a food market that favors usually large-scale, industrialized agriculture over local food. The cost of a share is usually competitively priced when compared to the same amount of vegetables conventionally-grown, partly because the cost of distribution is lowered.

Find a CSA in your area »

Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture


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A food hub is defined as: "A centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products." Regional food hubs provide many benefits for producers and consumers alike. They expand market opportunities for agricultural prodducers, facilitate the creation of jobs in rural areas, and increased access to fresh healthy food for consumers, which is especially important in underserved areas and 'food deserts'. This presentation illustrates what the core components of food hubs are; provides examples of  successful food hubs, one urban - La Montanita Co-op Food Market in New Mexico, and one rural - Appalachian Sustainable Development in Virginia; describes the lessons learned to date about coordinating successful food hubs; maps existing and potential food hubs; and, finally, gives the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Regional Food Hub Subcommittees work plan for the future.

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The guide is an extensive collection of information and resources, providing background on everything needed to develop or participate in a regional food hub. The guide highlights the economic contributions food hubs make to local communities and the role they play in expanding regional food systems. Food hubs are businesses or organizations that connect producers with buyers by offering a suite of production, distribution, and marketing services. It's an innovative business model that allows farmers of all sizes to meet the growing consumer demand for fresh, local food by gaining entry into commercial and larger volume markets such as grocery stores, hospitals and schools. Read More »

Community Supported Agriculture news in Arkansas Conservation Center
The following news articles are provided by the Google News service and do not reflect the views or imply an endorsement by the Arkansas Conservation Center and its affiliates. We cannot guarantee the relevance of the content of this page or any links that may be followed from the articles herein.
Google News

Arkansas Online

'Feast' sells Heifer's home work
Arkansas Online
By international standards, the Delta of east Arkansas is fertile. The ground supports nearly any cash crop, but it barely ... One way they do that is through the Community Supported Agriculture program. Local residents buy a share of a farmer's crop ...

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NBCNews.com

AP News in Brief at 7:58 p.m. EDT
WRAL.com
Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops — including some operating artillery and other heavy weapons — in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S ...
AP News in Brief at 9:58 pm EDTKansas City Star

all 2,296 news articles »



Agri News

Cooperative agriculture delivery services grow
Agri News
WALNUT, Kan. (AP) — Twenty years ago, Darren Swartz dressed in a suit and tie each day as a sales representative for a Kansas City-based pharmaceutical company. He grew hot peppers in pots on his urban patio. Today, he dresses in muck boots and ...

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IS militants purge Syrian town of Assad loyalists - 12 News
12NewsNow.Com
It also was part of a campaign to win the support of President Bashar Assad's opponents, who have suffered from a government crackdown in the town and surrounding province in the last four years of Syria's civil war. The strategy included promises to ...

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Arkansas Catholic

FFIC dissolves but farming continues at St. Joseph
Arkansas Catholic
“I think the positive news from this is we left a really thriving community garden,” Hardin said. “They were able to get funds to tear down the rotting balconies, build new ones. Heifer is still a big tenant with the CSA program … It really put in a ...




Christian Science Monitor

Food Revolution Day: how to help bring food education to children worldwide
Christian Science Monitor
Food Revolution Day is hosted by Jamie Oliver and supported by the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (JOFF). JOFF is a nonprofit organization that works to bring food education to schools and communities, raise awareness to generate policy change, and ...
Join the Fight for Food Education! #FoodRevolutionDayThe Women's International Perspective

all 254 news articles »



NerdWallet (blog)

5 Accelerators Outside Silicon Valley to Help Grow Your Business
NerdWallet (blog)
Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, the 3-year-old accelerator sets itself apart by focusing on three vertical markets few others do: agriculture, sports and marketing technology. Managing director Brian Ardinger says NMotion is also unusual ... About the ARK ...

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Politico

GOP race to replace Marco Rubio could be bloodbath
Politico
MIAMI — The Republican race for Florida's soon-to-be open Senate seat has the potential makings of a primary bloodbath, pitting the establishment wing of the party and insurgent movement conservative groups against each other as they prepare to pick ...

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Arkansas Online

State's rice, proximity called ideal for Cuba
Arkansas Online
Since Arkansas produces slightly more than half of the nation's rice, selling to Cuba would translate into the state's farmers being able to devote consistent acreage to the grain, he said. And the added market access would help ... Getting easier ...

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Interior Department Plans Removal of Louisiana Black Bear from Endangered ...
Targeted News Service (subscription)
The subspecies is now viable over the next 100 years with sufficient protected habitat to support breeding and movement of individuals between sub populations so that the subspecies is not currently, and is not likely to again become, a threatened ...

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Google News
Agritourism
Agritourism is a business on a working farm, or other agricultural enterprise that offers an educational and fun experience for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner such as...U-pick gardens, farm arts & crafts, seasonal festivals, or just about any agricultural actitivty that brings income from agriculture.

This concept is a direct expansion of ecotourism, which encourages visitors to experience agricultural life at first hand. This type of tourism is gathering strong support from small communities as rural people have realised the benefits of sustainable development brought about by similar forms of "green tourism". Visitors have the opportunity to work in the fields alongside real farmers and wade knee-deep in the sea with fishermen hauling in their nets.

Farm and Ranch Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism Resource Evaluation Guide

This guide is designed to assist farmers and ranchers in taking the first step in identifying alternative enterprises and agritourism opportunities on their farm or ranch. It is designed to provide a basic understanding of how the interaction of soil, water, animals, plants, air, and human resources, and the conservation of them, provide opportunities for the development of alternative enterprises and agritourism. Changing to a new enterprise involves different production techniques, processing methods, and marketing activities.

This is an interactive web-based tool based on the NRCS publication Taking the First Step: Farm and Ranch Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism Resource Evaluation Guide dated January 2004 on the NRCS website here It is a database driven application that allows users to collect and store the information for each farmer's and rancher's assessment of their natural, family, and community resources.

Try out the Agritourism Resource Evaluation Guide now!

Learn more about Agritourism Learn more about Agritourism


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Includes: Certification Agencies • Educational and Outreach Resources • Certified Organic Operations • Suppliers of Inputs for Organic Farms • An Introduction to Organic Research

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Agritourism is a business on a working farm, or other agricultural enterprise that offers an educational and fun experience for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner.  These activities can be as simple as U-pick gardens, farm arts & crafts, seasonal festivals, or just about any agricultural activity that augments traditional farm income.
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Discusses clientele, permitting, advertising, location, design and security, water source, concessions, time of operations, signs, and safety and liability.  A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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The basic types of operations and associated business considerations. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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