Search for Excellence in Crop Production

Kevin Lawson
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Faulkner County

Lawson, K.*1, , Gardner, Z.2, , Van Pelt, K.3,
1 County Extension Agent - Staff Chair, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Conway, AR, 72034
2 County Extension Agent - Agriculture, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Perryville, AR, 72126
3 County Extension Agent - Agriculture, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Morrilton, AR, 72110

The Arkansas River Valley is a stretch of row crop land that runs along the Arkansas River on the western side of Arkansas.Faulkner, Conway and Perry Counties sit at the eastern end of the Valley and make up the Lower Arkansas River Valley (LARV).There are a combined 35,000 acres of row crop land in the counties including rice, soybeans, wheat and corn.Producers rely on the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture for unbiased information to help them make a profit in times of high input costs and lower commodity prices.Agents in the LARV use several educational methods to assist producers including:

  • Demonstrations that are timely and pertinent to LARV situations and needs
  • IPM Multiplier Fields and IPM Insect Trapping
  • Production Meetings and Tours

Demonstrations are valuable to producers because they see best management practices and varieties on their own farm and surrounding area.  Demonstrations are used in row crop tours to show producers firsthand the information they need to produce the best crops possible and then summarized in a demonstration summary book every year.  IPM fields are scouted by agents weekly and the producers agree to follow Extension recommendations.  This allows agents a chance to see what is going on in fields every week and relay this information to other producers through texts, emails, social media and one on one consultations.  IPM insect traps are used for insects such as the corn earworm.  The moth is trapped and the traps checked weekly by the agents.  When numbers get high an insect alert is sent out for producers to scout closely.   Production meetings are a chance every year for agents to present all of the educational methods they used throughout the growing season for producers in the River Valley.  In the last 3 years the LARV has had 41 demonstrations, 11 production meetings and tours and 74 IPM multiplier fields.