Dec. 8, 2022
Cooperative Extension Service to return to in-person winter production meetings in 2022
By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Winter production meetings to focus on crops in respective regions
- COVID-19 protocols will be in place: masks, distancing and hand sanitizer
- Meetings will address crops, rising input costs and mental health
- Meeting schedule available https://bit.ly/2022-ARK-Winter-Meetings
LITTLE ROCK — Winter production meetings, a long-running staple of the Cooperative Extension Service’s efforts to help Arkansas growers succeed from field prep to harvest, will again be in-person throughout the state in 2022.
Production meetings provide an opportunity for agronomists, researchers and Cooperative Extension Service agents with the Division of Agriculture to share the latest and findings and recommendations with producers, consultants and other agriculture industry professionals. The meetings also give those in attendance the chance to interact directly with those experts.
During the winter months of early 2021, all production meetings were delivered via the Zoom online platform. Each presentation focused on a major commodity, such as rice or soybeans. Vic Ford, associate vice president for agriculture and natural resources for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the 2022 meetings will be organized by geography rather than commodity, with each meeting dealing with crops common to the local area.
“We’re going to be more traditional about having cotton and corn together, and soybeans and rice together,” Ford said. He said most meetings will serve two or three contiguous counties.
In addition to the relevant commodity crops, the 2022 meetings will deal with rising input prices, especially fertilizer.
“We’re recommending getting a sharp pencil, and looking at each field,” Ford said. “Any given field may have soil test recommendations, but growers will need to do the math as far as the cost-effectiveness of using fertilizer. There are going to be some fields growers think about not fertilizing, knowing the yield may be less.”
Protocols addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be in place at each meeting, including the use of face coverings, social distancing and hand sanitizer. Although there will not be a cap on attendance, Ford said venues will be selected to accommodate expected participation, which rarely exceeds 100.
“The county agents know their counties,” Ford said. “We’re relying on their local knowledge to handle all of that.”
Ford said the meetings will also address the physical and mental health of farmers and farm workers.
“People already know that there are a lot of issues in agriculture right now related to rising input costs,” Ford said. “But we’re also concerned with the health of the farmer. We’re going to be sharing information on dealing with stress.
“We’re concerned with agricultural production, but we’re also concerned with how these rising costs and squeezing margins will affect the mental and physical health of our producers,” he said.
Winter production meetings begin in January. Dates and locations for individual meetings may be subject to change, due to weather, COVID or other factors. For specific production meeting details, contact your county extension office.
Jan. 7— Tri-State Soybean Meeting — Stoneville, Mississippi
Jan. 10 — Rice/Soybean — Cross County
Jan. 11— Rice/Soybean – Poinsett County
Jan. 12 — Rice /Soybean/ Corn – Prairie, Lonoke, and Pulaski Counties
Jan. 13 — Rice/Soybean Tri-County — Drew, Desha, and Lincoln
Jan. 13 — Corn/Cotton — Clay and Greene Counties
Jan. 18-20 — Crop Management Conference, North Little Rock
Jan. 21 — Corn/Soybean — Conway Co. Fairgrounds
Jan. 31-Feb. 2 — No-Till Conference (Jonesboro)
Feb. 3 — Rice/Soybean — Greene County in the morning, Clay County in the afternoon.
Feb. 3 — Corn/Cotton — Poinsett County
Feb. 4 — Corn/Cotton — Phillips, Lee, Monroe, St. Francis counties (Marianna)
Feb. 4 — Rice – River Valley, (Morrilton, Yesterday’s restaurant)
Feb. 7 — Rice/Soybean/Corn — Jackson and Independence counties
Feb. 8 — Rice/Soybean — Phillips and Lee counties (Marianna)
Feb. 8 — Corn/Cotton — Southeast Arkansas (McGehee)
Feb. 9 — Rice/Soybean — Ashley and Chicot counties
Feb. 9 — Corn/Cotton — Mississippi and Crittenden counties
Feb. 10 — Rice/ Soybean/ Corn/Cotton — Four States Agri Expo (Texarkana)
Feb. 11 — Rice/ Soybean/Corn — Arkansas County
Feb. 11 — Cotton — Jefferson County
Feb. 14 — Rice/Soybean/Corn — Randolph and Lawrence counties
Feb. 15 — Rice/Soybean/Corn — White County
Feb. 16 — Rice/Soybean/Corn — Jefferson County
Feb. 16 — Peanuts — Northeast Arkansas (Lake City)
Feb. 17 — Rice/Soybean — Crittenden and Mississippi counties
Feb. 18 — Rice/Soybean/Corn — Woodruff County
Feb. 28 — Rice/Soybean/Corn — Clark County
March 1 Rice/Soybean – Monroe, St. Francis counties
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu.
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch.
To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.
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 to all eligible persons 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.
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University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service