Arkansas: Virtual Rice and Soybean Field Day, Oct. 7

    Visitors tour rice test plots as Dr. Xueyan Sha discusses medium grain rice breeding at field day. Photo: Fred Miller: University of Arkansas

    Research advancements in rice and soybeans, two of the top agricultural commodities in Arkansas, will be the focus of a virtual field day 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, presented by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

    The online field day is free, but registration is required to connect. Registration will remain open up until the event starts.

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    The format for the online field day will consist of pre-recorded presentations with a Q&A session that allows viewers to ask Division of Agriculture scientists questions about how the research applies to their crops and operations.

    Jeremy Ross, a professor and soybean extension agronomist for the Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service, said farmers may take a particular interest this year in the presentations on insect management.

    “This year has been a struggle from the beginning on soybeans, because of armyworm and corn earworms,” Ross said. “It was surprising because we had really cold conditions in February that typically pushes insects further south, but that wasn’t the case this year.”

    In addition to presentations on pest and weed management, Jarrod Hardke, professor and rice extension agronomist, said updates on the rice breeding program will also be of interest to rice farmers.

    According to the 2020 Arkansas Agriculture Profile, Arkansas ranks first in the nation in rice production. More than 1.6 million acres are harvested annually in over 40 counties. Commodity value in 2019 for Arkansas rice was more than $985 million.

    Arkansas harvests about 3.5 million acres of soybeans annually and is ranked 11th in the nation for soybean production, according to the 2020 Arkansas Agriculture Profile. Soybeans are the No. 2 agricultural commodity in value for the state with a value of more than $1.1 billion in 2019.

    What topics will be covered?

    The field days will cover research on new rice and soybean varieties, soil fertility, weed management, and disease and pest control. The following presentations are planned for the rice and soybean field day on Oct. 7.

    Topics and speakers include:

    • Billbug control in row rice — Nick Bateman, assistant professor and extension entomologist
    • Update on rice breeding program — Xueyan Sha, professor of rice breeding and genetics and Christian De Guzman, assistant professor of rice breeding and genetics
    • Weed control in rice and soybean —Tommy Butts, assistant professor and extension weed scientist
    • Soil fertility, cover crops and fertilization in rice and soybeans — Trent Roberts, associate professor of soil fertility and soil testing
    • Update from the soybean breeding program— Leandro Mozzoni, associate professor of soybean breeding and genetics
    • Assessing nematicide effectiveness in soybean — Travis Faske, professor and extension plant pathologist
    • Insect control in soybean — Ben Thrash, assistant professor and extension entomologist

    Presentations from the online event will be made available on-demand after the event. An online field day for corn and cotton will be held on Oct. 28.




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