Departments

Tall wading bird has ravenous appetite for apple snails

limpkin

A visitor from Florida that has taken up residence in Terrebonne Parish could be good news in Louisiana’s fight against the invasive apple snail. At least three pairs of limpkins (Aramus guarauna), a wading bird found primarily in Florida’s freshwater marshes, are now breeding in Terrebonne Parish. The upside is that limpkins have a ravenous appetite for apple snails, an ... Read More »

Invasive apple snails threaten Louisiana rice, crawfish production

snail in crawfish trap

• By Blake Wilson, Julian Lucero and Mark Shirley • Invasive apple snails — sometimes called giant, golden or channeled apple snails — are native to South America but have been introduced into many regions. Several species of apple snails are invasive pests in many parts of Europe, Asia, and North and South America. But the species that has been ... Read More »

Corn, rice and soybean markets climb as USDA reports 2021 planting intentions

seed production

• By Ryan McGeeney • As world markets slowly unfurl from the global knot of the COVID-19 pandemic, futures markets for both soybean and corn responded in a powerfully positive manner March 31 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Prospective Plantings Report. The report, conducted by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, reflects producers’ intended acreage for crops across ... Read More »

California snowpack survey finds only 59% of average moisture

DWR snowpack survey

The Department of Water Resources conducted the fourth snow survey at the Phillips Station snow course April 1. The manual survey recorded 49.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 21 inches, which is 83% of average for this location. The snow water equivalent measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack and is a key ... Read More »

USDA predicts 2.71 million acres of planted rice, or 11% less, for 2021

drill seeding rice near crowley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service has released its perspective planting report for 2021, and it shows a reduction in rice plantings of about 326,000 acres — or about 11% — nationwide compared to 2020. Based on surveys that asked growers how many acres they plant to plant, USDA projects about 2.71 million acres of planted rice ... Read More »

MSU’s targeted conservation tool helps improve profitability for farmers

wet spring rice in Mississippi

• By Vanessa Beeson • Two Mississippi State researchers and pioneers in the growing field of economically targeted conservation are showing farmers that making money off their land can be feasible even when the land isn’t producing. Wes Burger and Mark McConnell, MSU researchers in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, are launching the MSU Precision Conservation Tool. The decision-making ... Read More »

Coronavirus assistance expands for producers

Express rice harvest

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced an expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 provides additional CFAP assistance for producers of eligible row crops under CFAP 2. Row crops eligible for CFAP 2 include: alfalfa, amaranth grain, barley, buckwheat, canola, corn, Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, upland cotton, crambe (colewort), einkorn, emmer, ... Read More »

USDA announces aid for producers affected by the pandemic

usda pandemic assistancd

• By Jamison Cruce • The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP) initiative that provides aid to agricultural producers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $12 billion initiative contains four parts, including $4.5 billion in direct payments to farmers as provided for in the COVID aid package passed and signed into law in December ... Read More »

USDA, Extension provide trapping assistance to fight feral hogs

feral hogs

• By Ryan McGeeney • Although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed many human activities, it hasn’t stopped feral hogs from reproducing and causing damage. Throughout 2021, the Cooperative Extension Service, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and other partnering organizations, is reaching out to residents to help reduce populations of the rampaging ... Read More »

Arkansas Rice seeks high schoolers to become ‘Rice Reps’

arkansas rice logo

Arkansas Rice is once again seeking high school juniors and seniors in the state who want to learn more about rice and participate in rice advocacy programs. Participants also will be eligible for 10 scholarships. The program,  dubbed “Rice Reps,” runs from May through September and is sponsored by Arkansas Rice. During this period, reps will actively participate in a ... Read More »