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April 29, 2020
By Tracy CourageU of A System Division of Agriculture
(503 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
KIBLER, Ark. — Watermelon growers can see the results of no-till production in watermelons
at a May 15 virtual field walk from the University of Arkansas System Division of
Agriculture’s Vegetable Research Station near Kibler.
Horticulture specialists from the Division of Agriculture will explain best practices
for incorporating cover crops into no-till watermelon production, what cover crop
mixes work best, and how to plan for weed, disease and insect pest management.
The tour will be hosted by Amanda McWhirt, extension horticulture specialist; Aaron
Cato, extension horticulture integrated pest management specialist; Steve Eaton, director
of the Vegetable Research Station; Alden Hotz, graduate student in the department
of horticulture and program associate at the Vegetable Research Station; and Matt
Bertucci, research scientist in the department of crop, soil and environmental sciences.
The tour is an effort of both the research and extension arms of the Division of Agriculture,
the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.
Webinar topics will include:
“The research our team is doing has shown good results regarding the potential to
use winter cover crops for no-till watermelon production systems in Arkansas,” McWhirt
said. “We know that cover crops are important to protecting the soil from erosion,
but we have also observed that cover crops can suppress weeds well into the watermelon
season and can contribute nitrogen to the crop, which can support good fruit yields.
We look forward to taking participants of the webinar on a virtual tour of our research
plots and showing them some of these results up close,” she said.
For people not able to view the virtual tour as it is broadcast, a recording will
be available on the Division of Agriculture’s horticulture YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzPEeCm2tCZ0yIBKA7wIsQ.
The field walk is part of the Arkansas Soil & Water Conservation Virtual Field Trip
Series. It focuses on the conservation benefits researchers have developed concerning
water quality, irrigation water use, climate change, soil health, profitability and
sustainability through their partnership with farmers on selected farms, including
some farmers involved in the Arkansas Discovery Farms Program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources and Conservation Service provides
funding to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture to integrate
the efforts of the Arkansas Discovery Farms and the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance.
The goal is to educate a statewide network of participants through a series of no-cost
virtual research-based, interactive demonstrations and educational experiences.
More information about the Arkansas Soil & Water Conservation Virtual Field Trip Series
is available at https://bit.ly/NRCS-AR-Soil-and-Water-VFT-Webpage.
To learn more about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media contact:Tracy CourageDirector, Communications ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org