Arkansas task force adopts voluntary field burning rules

wheat stubble burning

Farmers who want to burn crop residue, such as the wheat stubble pictured hear, are encouraged to follow voluntary guidelines — photo courtesy University of Arkansas

An Arkansas task force has finalized voluntary smoke management guidelines for agricultural burning. The measures are designed to address public health concerns about smoke caused when farmers burn row-crop field residue in the fall.

Among the task force were members of the Arkansas Rice Federation, Arkansas Soybean Association, Ag Council of Arkansas and the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, according to an article in USA Rice’s daily e-newsletter. Advisers included representatives from the Arkansas Agriculture Department, Arkansas Forestry Commission, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

After approval by the respective boards, the guidelines will become official and be made public.

Stakeholders will spend this coming year educating agricultural burners about the recommended steps they need to take before they light the field. Farmers also are encouraged to call 800-830-8015 to report their crop burn and to check for favorable weather conditions.

Listen to rice producer Jon Carroll, a member of the smoke management task force, talk about the voluntary guidelines on this Arkansas Farm Bureau podcast.