Governor Hutchinson Declares March as Arkansas Peanut Month

On behalf of Governor Hutchinson, Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward presented a proclamation to a group of nearly 25 farmers, agriculture leaders, and industry partners in declaring March as Arkansas Peanut Month. The proclamation recognizes the contributions of the peanut industry to Arkansas’s economy. The full Arkansas Peanut Month proclamation can be found here. Photos from the event are available here.

“Agriculture is the state’s largest industry, contributing over $21 billion to our state’s economy with the 2020 peanut crop adding more than a $35 million value to that statistic,” said Secretary Ward. “Peanuts are the seventh largest cash crop in the state. With the introduction of modern peanut production in Arkansas 10 years ago, we have become a major force in the peanut industry nationally.”

Secretary Ward also presented the Arkansas Agriculture Week proclamation. Governor Hutchinson declared March 21-27 as Arkansas Agriculture Week. The full proclamation can be found here.
Public Comment Period Set for Proposed Dicamba Rule

A 30-day public comment period has been set for a proposed rule to allow the use of dicamba in Arkansas on soybean and cotton varieties resistant to dicamba. The draft rule may be found at Written public comments will be accepted from March 24 through April 22, 2021. Comments may be submitted online at starting March 24 or mailed to: Plant Industries Division, P.O. Box 1069, Little Rock, AR 72203.

At its March 3 meeting, the Arkansas State Plant Board approved a draft rule for dicamba use in Arkansas that would allow farmers and applicators to follow the federal label in the use of dicamba. The proposed rule would allow the over-the-top spraying of Engenia, Xtendimax, and Tavium through June 30 on soybeans and through July 30 on cotton. The proposed rule will also require a pH buffering agent, also called a Volatility Reducing Agent, to be tank-mixed with dicamba, and will require a downwind buffer of 240 feet. The current cutoff date for spraying dicamba in Arkansas is May 25.

The May 25 cutoff will remain in effect until a new rule has received final approval. In accordance with the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act, the proposed rule will be open for public comment for 30 days.

Following the public comment period, the board will review any comments received and determine if any changes should be adopted as a result of the comments. The rule will then go to the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Administrative Rules Subcommittee, with additional review and approval by the full Arkansas Legislative Council. Notice of future Plant Board meetings will be posted on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s website as the information becomes available. For more information, visit
After Identifying Gaps in Previous Aid, USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.

USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers was needed, said Vilsack, after a review of previous COVID-19 assistance programs targeting farmers identified a number of gaps and disparities in how assistance was distributed as well as inadequate outreach to underserved producers and smaller and medium operations.

USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has committed at least $2.5 million to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will establish partnerships with organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.

The payments will go out under the existing CFAP rules; however, future opportunities for USDA Pandemic Assistance will be reviewed for verified need and during the rulemaking process, USDA will look to make eligibility more consistent with the Farm Bill. Moving forward, USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers will utilize existing programs, such as the Local Agricultural Marketing Program, Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach, and Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, and others to enhance educational and market opportunities for agricultural producers.

2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Proposals Due April 16

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). These grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enhance the competitiveness of the Arkansas specialty crop industry. Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits, vegetables, horticulture, floriculture, and tree nuts.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture uses a two-phase application process for administering the grant funds. Project concept proposals outlining the project’s goals, tasks, and budget requirement must be submitted by April 16 using this form.

After all concept proposals are reviewed by an advisory committee, selected projects will be invited to submit detailed project proposals.

Applicants are encouraged to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:
  • Increasing sales and marketability and driving demand for specialty crops;
  • Increasing consumption of specialty crops in Arkansas’s schools by expanding child knowledge and/or improving access to the nutritional benefits of specialty crops;
  • Increasing access to local healthy foods;
  • Research projects focused on helping specialty crop growers reduce financial costs, improve pest and disease management, and/or value-added products; and
  • Enhancing specialty crop food safety.

More information about the grant is available in the full Request for Applications (RFA) at
For additional information, contact Amy Lyman,
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture Announces Updated Memberships for Branding Programs

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the restructuring of its Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made branded programs to offer new ways to support its Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made members.

The Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made logos are now available free of charge to all grower and producer members for use in their promotional material, including websites, printed materials, advertising, and banners. In past years, memberships were tiered with varying benefits and fees according to the membership level. More than 900 producers and makers are members of Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is also introducing a new membership category, the Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made Supporter. This membership is intended for retail companies, restaurants, and other organizations that sell Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made products or support these programs in general. The annual membership dues for organizations with locations in-state are $250. Membership dues for organizations with locations outside of Arkansas are $500. As an additional benefit for Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made members and consumers, a new and enhanced website for the programs is being developed and will be launched by early summer.

“The Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made branded programs support Arkansas agriculture, our state’s largest industry, by connecting consumers and producers and helping consumers more easily identify locally grown and made products,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “These changes and improvements are the result of much research and input from members and industry partners and are part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to provide effective and efficient service to Arkansas agriculture and the public. Interest in these new options has been positive, and we look forward to welcoming new members and to the programs’ continued success.”

For more information about the programs or becoming a member, visit or contact Karen Reynolds at
Memorial Seedlings Available to Honor the Memory of Loved Ones Lost Due to COVID-19

As announced by Governor Hutchinson, the State of Arkansas through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture donated oak tree seedlings to families to honor those lost due to COVID-19.

“Our deepest sympathy is extended to the Arkansas families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “We are deeply honored to provide a remembrance to these families on behalf of the State of Arkansas.”
National Agricultural Law Center Resources

Webinar: Proposals to Change Slaughter and Processing Requirements in the United States: (Upcoming, April 7th, 12:00 – 1:00 EST) The processing of livestock is governed on a national level by the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Similarly, the processing of poultry is governed by the Poultry Products Inspection Act. In those laws, USDA-FSIS is given primary authority for oversight of meat products that will be offered for sale. That authority, however, may be designated to a state agency in those states that chose to apply for such authority. This webinar, while providing an outline of the current regulatory structure, will primarily focus on the federal and state policy proposals that would change the requirements, standards, and oversight of slaughter and processing facilities. Learn more and register here.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture Coloring Contest

To celebrate Arkansas Ag Week and Arkansas agriculture, we are hosting a coloring contest! The deadline has been extended to next Thursday (4/1) at 5 p.m. You can submit entries on our social media under this post ( The official coloring page can be accessed on our website at All ages are welcome to enter!
Download the Feral Hog Handbook Today!

The newly created Arkansas Feral Hog Handbook began distribution to citizens in late 2020. The handbook was created by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Feral Hog Eradication Task Force and funded through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). It is a guide to resources available in Arkansas to assist with feral hog control and eradication. 

“The handbook was developed with the mindset that we wanted to produce a user-friendly document that could provide landowners with general information regarding feral hogs, including disease risks to humans and livestock, agricultural damages, and who to contact for assistance,” said J.P. Fairhead, Feral Hog Program Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. “There is also an update on laws and regulations pertaining to feral hogs.”
Selfie Contest to Help Plant Trees Statewide in Honor of Arbor Day

Launching its second annual #SelfieTree contest, the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC), in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division, will again be giving away trees for the best tree selfies over the next month. 

The #SelfieTree event is a Facebook contest created by AUFC and the Forestry Division to promote the benefits of trees and to encourage tree planting across the state in honor of Arbor Day. Arkansans are encouraged to take a selfie with a tree, post it to Facebook using #SelfieTree, and tag the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council and the Arkansas Forestry Division. 

“Though community tree planting events have been limited this year due to social distancing guidelines, we still want to actively encourage Arkansans to learn about tree conservation,” said Anthony Whittington, AUFC president.

Arkansans with the most likes for their #SelfieTree post will win either a four-foot to five-foot-tall potted tree or 10 pin oak or maple leaf oak sapling. Winners will be announced on the Arkansas Forestry Division page on April 5, 12, 19, 26, and May 3.

“Studies have found that people who have access to trees, whether in their own yards or nearby in their communities, feel more empowered, less stressed, and better able to cope with illness and anxiety. We hope this contest provides a fun way for Arkansans to celebrate trees,” said Kristine Kimbro, Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator for the Forestry Division. 
Four Arkansas Counties Receive Water and Wastewater Project Funding Approval 

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission approved $59,633,800 for water and wastewater projects serving more than 11,125 customers in four Arkansas counties on March 17, 2021 as follows:
  • The City of Greenland in Washington County was approved for two loans from the Arkansas Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund. One loan totaled $2,192,866 and the second loan was approved for $1,617,434 with principal forgiveness. These funds will be used to replace and expand one lift station and replace a force main. The number of customers served by this project will be 482.
  • The Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority (NACA) in Benton County received a $55,000,000 loan from the Arkansas Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund to make improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. This project will serve Bentonville, Tontitown, Elm Springs, and Bethel Heights. The number of customers served by this project is 8,543.
  • The City of Shannon Hills in Saline County received a $823,500 loan from the Arkansas Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund to make wastewater treatment plant improvements. The project will serve 1,700 customers.
  • The City of Tyronza in Poinsett County received approval to apply unexpended funds from a previously approved tank repair project to the installation of electronic water meters. The new electronic meters will provide increased efficiency and accuracy. The customer base for the project is 400. 
2021 Arkansas Grown

The latest edition of the Arkansas Grown magazine is here! With over 20 features about Arkansas agriculture, there’s something for everyone. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state very soon!
Weekly Market Summary

Each Friday, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture publishes a comprehensive Weekly Market Summary, which includes the Arkansas Weekly Livestock Auction Summary and Related Individual Market Sale Summaries, National Weekly Rice Summary, Memphis Weekly Feed Report, Weekly Rice, Grain, Cotton, and Feed Futures Trends, Weekly Livestock and Milk Futures Trends, Bid Prices to Farmers, Arkansas Daily Grain Report, Heading Links for Historical Data, and news.

The summary is available on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Market Reports webpage, as well as each Division's webpage and Facebook page, and you may sign-up to receive the summary by email at Subscribe To Notifications And Publications.
Follow us on social media!

For the latest in Arkansas agriculture, be sure to follow us on social media! Links to our social media pages can be found here.
  • Ag Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.
  • Ag Week promotes understanding of how food and fiber products are produced, and the essential role that agriculture plays in the economy.
  • Ag Day was celebrated on March 23, 2021 and falls during National Ag Week. 
  • You can find out more about Ag Day at
  • Arkansas Department of Agriculture celebrated Ag Week on social media this year.
  • Governor Hutchinson declared March 21-27 as Arkansas Agriculture Week.
COVID-19 Resources

Phase 1-C has started which includes essential workers in food service and agriculture. Stay on top of COVID-19 Vaccine information with news from the Arkansas Department of Health.

Need more resources? The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has produced numerous shareable and printable COVID-19 resources. We invite and encourage the use of all resources which can be found on our COVID-19 Resource page, including:

Department COVID-19 resources can also be found on our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
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