• By Fred Miller •
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will present a series of online and in-person field days this summer that will display key research and Extension programs. The series will kick off with a Cotton Sustainability Field Day in July.
“Recovering from a pandemic and struggling through torrential weather, Arkansas farmers need all the best information and technology to make their crops in 2021,” said Nathan Slaton, associate vice president for agriculture and assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.
“Research field days are a tradition going back to the birth of the land grant university system. The land grant mission is threefold — research to develop new knowledge and technology, Extension to move research results to the farms and communities of the state, and education to prepare future generations of scientists and educators to carry on the mission.
“Field days offer a direct connection between the laboratory and the field. Researchers and specialists meet face-to-face with farmers to deliver the latest agricultural tools, and to hear from growers about what they need to meet the challenges of growing food and fiber.
“This year’s slate of in-person and online field days will give agricultural producers and businesses face time with Division of Agriculture faculty and demonstrate research and extension programs aimed at helping Arkansas farms keep up with ever changing environmental and economic conditions and become more sustainable and profitable.”
Planning is in progress for three in-person field days, including:
• July 30 — Cotton sustainability field day near Trumann.
• Aug. 6 — Rice field day at the Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart.
• Aug. 12 — Rice College at the Pine Tree Research Station near Colt.
Online field days
Online field days presented during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 proved popular, Slaton said, so the division will present three online field days this year:
• Aug. 12 — Turfgrass field day.
•Oct. 7 — Rice and soybean field day.
• Oct. 28 — Corn and cotton field day.
Cotton Sustainability Field Day
The Cotton Sustainability Field Day July 30 will be a program of the Northeast Research and Extension Center held at the Judd Hill Farm near Truman.
The program is still being developed, but will include field tours showing:
• Soil and water conservation research
• Soil fertility research
• Field-scale soil health demonstrations
• Discussions presented under a tent just before lunch will include:
• Update on the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Program
• Update on the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
• Better Cotton Initiative 2030 Targets
• Sourcing Trends: Brands Want to Know More
• After lunch, at 1 p.m., training and enrollment opportunities will be available for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Better Cotton Initiative. Sign-ups for these will be in the Judd Hill Farm office.
The 2021 field day schedule is available at https://aaes.uada.edu/events. Additional event details will be added as they become available.
Fred Miller is a project/program specialist with University of Arkansas Communication Services. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.