Ag innovation, sustainable crop practices and soil health top conference agenda

Initiatives for innovation and sustainability are top of the agenda for the 20th annual Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference set for Jan. 31 in Jonesboro.

“Attendees will learn about three initiatives: the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance, the Ducks Unlimited rice-sustainability program and a new public-private partnership that seeks to foster ag innovation in the Arkansas Delta,” said Joseph Massey, steering committee chair and Delta water management researcher with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. “Other professionals will discuss ways to detect and reduce soil compaction, and how digital technologies are impacting agriculture.”

The program will also feature updates on the state’s Water Plan, nutrients in the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers and conservation initiatives in the new Farm Bill.

“Last, but not least, four farmers will discuss how they have successfully approached water and soil conservation on their own farms,” Massey said.

Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture; Chris Henry, associate professor with the Division of Agriculture at the Rice Research and Extension Center; and Steve Green, professor of soil and water conservation for Arkansas State University and the Division of Agriculture, will discuss the latest issues and trends in soil and water conservation.

Other speakers include Arkansas producers, Arkansas State University experts and a representative from the Arkansas Farm Bureau.

The event will take place Jan. 31 and will also include the Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference Expo, a vendor tradeshow and an opportunity to earn 7.5 hours of soil and water continuing education credits for certified crop advisors.

The conference will be held at the First National Bank Arena-Arkansas State University from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If registered by Jan. 19, the conference fee is $20 and includes lunch. To register visit If registering after Jan. 19 or at the door, the fee increases to $40.

For more information, call Chris Jones at 870-972-2043 or email [email protected].

The conference is co-sponsored by the Division of Agriculture and Arkansas State University.