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County Horticulture Demonstrations

Fruit Tree Training and Pruning Workshop

Location: Searcy, AR | White County

The Orchard Project is a community-based hunger program focused on providing sustainable long-term food sources for individuals locally by planting perennial crops such as small fruits and fruit trees. Currently they have a half-acre orchard at 1211 West Vine Street and one at 110 North Oak in Searcy planted with blueberries, raspberries, muscadines, a variety of apples, mulberries, pears, apricots, plums, and peaches. The location on Vine street is a busy pathway for high school students (around 50) who walk to school every day. This is located in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood and the families struggle to put food on the table. The orchard is there to help provide fresh fruit for anyone, especially the youth on their way to and from school. See the workshop below.
Fruit Tree Training and Pruning Demonstration


Blackberry Demonstration - Primocane and Traditional Blackberries

Blackberry Demonstration
Blackberry Demonstration

Location: Searcy, AR  | White County

The blackberries demonstrations were planted in 2017 with Osage, Ouachita and Prime-Ark® Traveler being the three main varieties used in our location. Tissue culture plug plants were used for the Osage, Ouachita and Prime-Ark® Traveler plantings.  A standard fertility and pest management program was utilized and plants were allowed to establish over the 2018 season. During the 2019-2020 seasons the berries were harvested over several weeks and recorded the average weight of individual berries and recorded their observations.

Blackberry Demonstration - Primocane and Traditional Blackberries (multiyear project)


Tri-County Pecan Orchard Demonstration

Location: Prairie, Lonoke and White Counties

The tri-county pecan orchard demo was a collaborative effort between Prairie, Lonoke and White county and born from a basic pecan growers informational meeting the group conducted.  The pecan orchard was soil sampled on April 9th and recommendations were made on overall fertilization. An initial fertilizer application of 350 lbs. of 30-46-60-1-12 was made.  The demo was marked and trees to be included in the demo were selected.  Read the rest of the demonstration in the PDF below.
Tri-County Pecan Orchard Demonstration


No-Till Watermelon Demo

Location: Bentonville, AR |Benton County

This trial demonstrated a reduction in tillage, weed pressure, and synthetic mulch while maintaining yield and increasing fruit cleanliness. This demonstration was an attempt to reduce the time and frustration caused by removing plastic mulch from the field after harvest.
No-Till Watermelon Demonstration


Summer Hedging Blueberries

Location: Benton County

This demonstration used hedge trimmers to cut blueberry plants back to 3' tall directly after harvest.  This practice is common in North Carolina, but is not done in Arkansas.  This trial was conducted to see if summer hedging should be a recommended practice for commercial producers in Arkansas.
Summer Hedging Blueberries Demonstration

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