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The first Arkansas Farm Bureau Ag Youth Leadership Seminar was held July 10-12 in Little Rock. This programprovided 20 high school juniors and seniors with an in-depth look at agriculture as a degree and a career. During the seminar, the group toured a farm, statewide agriculture agencies and the Arkansas State Capitol. At the end of the seminar, there was a drawing for a $500 scholarship and Maggie Mason of Bradford was the lucky winner!

 In Farm Bureau O&L Conference “E3: Engage. Educate. Empower.” is the theme for this year’s Arkansas Farm Bureau annual Officers and Leaders Conference scheduled for July 23 and 24 in Rogers. Registration will begin at 10 a.m., July 23, followed by a noon luncheon, which will kick off the first general session. Highlights of the conference will include presentations of the YF&R Achievement and Excellence in Ag Awards, a mid-year update from ArFB President Randy Veach, and appearances by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Deacue Fields Dean of Bumpers College. In addition, Leaders will be able to attend a variety of workshops Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.


Gordon R. Brown Scholarship The Gordon R.

Brown Scholarship offered by the Lonoke Co. FB was awarded to Clayton J. Parker, son of C.J. and Cara Parker of Carlisle. Parker earned a $1,000 scholarship for the 2018-2019 school years. Parker is a student at the University of Arkansas, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences and is an agricultural business major with crop science minor.

On June 29, Dr. Jason Cater of Monticello planted the state’s first crop of commercial bamboo on his farm near Monticello. Three years from now he’ll begin harvesting his first crop of shoots from the 6-acre planting, which will be used in food products. The following year the “barrels” or canes will be harvested for use in flooring and other products.


His academic honors include chancellor’s and dean’s list for the 20172018 school year, Bumpers College honors student board and honors mentor liaison 2018-2019. He is involved in University of Arkansas Collegiate Farm Bureau and participated in the Collegiate Discussion Meet and Young Farmers & Ranchers conference in January. In honor of Gordon Brown’s interest in


A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

July13, 2018 • Vol. 21, No. 14

Ag tech conference Aug. 15-16 the National Agricultural Law Center, National Association of Attorneys General, and the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General will host a first-of-its-kind national program titled, “Advancing American Agriculture: Ag Technology & The Law.” Governor Asa Hutchinson will deliver the keynote address Aug. 16. The program will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center. Registration information, presenters/topics, and all other information is available at http://

Miller Co. Conservation District presented grants to three Miller Co. school districts: Geona Central, Fouke and Texarkana districts. The grants were $2,600 per school district, totaling $7,800. The grants were presented by (left to right) Heath Clark, Clyde Davis, Barbara Sutton, Jessica Riley, Nedra Turney, Genia Bullock, Angie Conaway and Annette Lachowsky. forestry team is not skimping on training time in their effort to bring home the national title for the third year in a row. This 4-H team is led by Jaret Rushing,


Arkansas 4-H team heading to national competition The 2018 Arkansas 4-H champion


In Arkansas


youth education, Lonoke County Farm Bureau established the Gordon R. Brown Scholarship Fund in 1983 to award a scholarship for $1,000 is awarded each year to students that are a sophomore or higher from Lonoke County, enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas or Arkansas State University.

The U.S. began imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports July 6 and China has announced it will retaliate with $34 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, including soybeans and other key agricultural commodities. In our latest Arkansas AgCast Matt King, director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for ArFB explains the impacts this trade battle. Listen at

We may have found one of the tastiest summer treats you can make at home … Peach Pops! Grab your favorite kitchen helper (and some Arkansas peaches) and watch as Woodruff County Cooperative Extension Staff Chair Leigh Ann Bullington shows how easy it is to make these delicious and healthy snacks on Taste Arkansas, at Calhoun County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. Rushing, who is leading a team to nationals for the second time in his career, said that his state-title-winning team members are dedicated and ambitious. “I feel like my team won this year because of preparation time alone,” he said. “These kids set out a goal to win this contest this year and even turned down an opportunity to compete in the Regional Conservation District Contest in Farmerville, La., to prepare for the event.” The national contest will be held in Weston, West Virginia, July 30-Aug. 1. The forestry teams will have to compete in areas such as tree identification, volume determination, compass and pacing, map interpretation, forest pest ID, forest disease ID and forest evaluation. They will also take part in a Forestry Quiz Bowl. Arkansas rice field day The Arkansas Rice Field Day is set for Aug. 3 at the Rice Research and Extension Center and this year’s event features a pair of two-hour field tours that will cover the spectrum of production issues including breeding, irrigation, weed, disease and pest management, and fertility. With harvest so close at hand, one of the



House committee approves bill to help improve irrigation A bill recently approved by the House Ways and Means Committee would help farmers and ranchers more efficiently

ArFB President Randy Veach visited Washington, D.C. to meet with officials and members of the Arkansas delegation to talk about trade, tariffs, the new Farm Bill and other critical agriculture issues. Watch his in-depth discussion with U.S. Rep. French Hill of Arkansas’s 2nd


most timely discussions will be about cover crops, said Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We’ll be talking about cover crops and where they’ll fit into rice production or rice rotation,” Hardke said. “We’re about to start harvest and soon after is when we’ll need to put in cover crops.” Ehsan Shakiba, an assistant professor and rice breeder with the Division of Agriculture, will be discussing hybrid rice breeding and Manuel Esguerra will join him to talk about high nighttime temperatures and the effects on grain yield and quality. Trent Roberts, associate professor and expert in soil and rice fertility, will have a talk on GreenSeeker and proper use of the handheld. For more information, visit

Thirty students attending the camp at Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith completed the two-week program July 6. The medical enrichment experience allows high school students interested in a medical career to shadow health-care professionals and is sponsored by the state and county Farm Bureaus in partnership with UAMS regional centers, Baptist Health and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. operate mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Water and Agriculture Tax Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 519) would multiply the sources from which mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies can obtain capital to expand and improve their water systems. Current law requires mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies’ capital improvements be 85 percent shareholder financed, which can be limiting. “Mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies are important to agriculture because they allow farmers, ranchers and others to form collaborative businesses to install and maintain vital infrastructure,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a letter to the bill’s author, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.). “The bill multiplies sources from which mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies can obtain capital to expand and improve their water systems.” Specifically, the legislation would allow mutual water and storage delivery companies to retain their nonprofit status even if they receive more than 15 percent of their revenue from non-member sources. Additional non-member revenue raised must be used for maintenance, operations and infrastructure improvements.

American Farm Bureau statement on Hammond pardon American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall had the following to say after the pardon: “President Trump’s pardon of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond tells us there is still hope for justice in environmental law enforcement. The Hammonds were thrown into prison for nothing more than burning an invasive species that threatened their ranch – a standard ranching practice that is both lawful and widely accepted. The fire spread further than it should have, and consumed more than 100 acres of federal grazing land, but that hardly makes the Hammonds criminals. Pardoning them was the right thing to do, and we thank Rep. Greg Walden for advocating so effectively for these men. “Farm Bureau was shocked by the minimum five-year sentence the Hammonds faced. Even worse was the Justice Department’s decision to use antiterrorism laws to prosecute them. We could not be happier this ugly chapter in governmental overreach has Editor come to an end.” Maddison Stewart

In the Market Soybeans The news for soybeans over the past couple of weeks has gone from bad to worse. The USDA’s planted acres and stocks reports, both survey based, were bearish for soybean prices. Soybean acres in the U.S. are larger than corn acres for only the second time in history. The total was pegged at 89.56 million acres, down 1 percent from a year ago total as farmers shifted into other crops like cotton, rice and spring wheat. In Arkansas, acreage is up 2 percent from last year to 3.6 million acres. Soybean stocks came in at a record high 1.22 billion bushels as of June 1, up 26.5 percent from the same date in 2017. Export cancellations, especially from China, are also taking their toll on the market, totaling over 5 million metric tons for the marketing year. Another round of tariffs, $200 billion worth of Chinese goods annually, sent soybean futures sinking to new contract lows. Corn Corn futures are also trading at contractlow levels, with significant spillover weakness from soybeans being a key factor in the downturn. Corn acres are pegged at 89.13 million acres, down 1 percent from the year ago total. Arkansas farmers report having 650,000 acres of corn planted this year. Nationally, 75 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent, and weather forecasts continue to look favorable across the corn belt for the time being. Corn stocks are also higher than year-ago totals, pegged at 5.31 billion bushels, up 1.4 percent from the year-ago total, and the third highest total on record. Cotton Cotton futures are attempting to stabilize after a sharp selloff. USDA has pegged all cotton production at 13.518 million acres, with 420,000 acres in Arkansas. Strong export movement has continued to provide some support for cotton despite the trade war with China. On July 6, both countries implemented tariffs, which included a 25 percent tariff on U.S. cotton. Another round of tariffs was announced by the U.S. this


As of July 12, 2017

Soybeans in Monroe County. week, and included textiles imported from China. Forty-one percent of the crop is rated good to excellent. However, drought stress is hitting the Texas crop particularly hard, with 42 percent of its crop in the poor to very poor category. Rice Rice futures have enjoyed a rally but are finding resistance in the $12 area for the time being. U.S. acreage is pegged at 2.84 million acres, up from 2.463 million a year ago. Arkansas farmers planted 1.391 million acres this year. Despite a slow start thanks to a record-cold April, the record-setting heat in May pushed the crop forward and Arkansas is now 21 percent headed, right in line with the five-year average. The June 1 stocks report provided support for rice, with rough rice stocks down 32 percent from a year ago at 45.1 million cwt. Milled rice stocks were down 6 percent at 5.05 million cwt. Livestock The dog days of summer are taking their toll on the cash livestock markets. Holiday buying is over, and demand will slow somewhat as we move toward fall. However, export sales and shipments of beef are running 22 percent ahead of last year, providing underlying support for the market. Domestic and export demand for pork is also strong. Futures are trading at a discount to cash markets, as traders appear to be cautious in light of larger supplies and trade concerns as trade continues to be uncertain. Ag contribute to deficit reduction According to a recent article by American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Market Intelligence, Dr. John Newton, both the House and Senate versions of

the 2018 Farm Bill contribute to deficit reduction by reducing spending. The Congressional Budget Office’s May 2013 Baseline for Farm Programs projected farm program spending over a 10-year period at approximately $978 billion. CBO’s most recent May 2018 baseline for USDA’s mandatory farm programs projected 10year outlays at $867 billion. The most recent CBO cost estimates for the House and Senate committee-passed farm bills show that from fiscal years 2019 to 2023, H.R. 2 would reduce direct spending by $7 million and S. 3042 would reduce direct spending by $107 million – meaning both bills are effectively budget-neutral. A comparison of the House and Senate committee-passed farm bills to the May 2013 baseline shows a cumulative difference in farm bill spending of approximately $112 billion over a 10-year period – driven by both the 2014 and 2018 committeepassed farm bill reforms. That’s more than $100 billion toward deficit reduction — a strong signal that agriculture is doing its part to reduce the federal deficit by cutting spending in several key farm program categories such as nutrition and crop insurance.


Brandy Carroll 501-228-1268,

Farm Bureau Press for July 13  

Read the latest edition of the Farm Bureau Press!

Farm Bureau Press for July 13  

Read the latest edition of the Farm Bureau Press!