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Save the Date! 2014 Horticulture Industries Show

October 11, 2013

Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture

Be sure to mark your calendar for the 2014 Horticulture Industries Show in Tulsa.

save the date

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New Issue! Arkansas Fruit and Nut News

August 23, 2013

Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture

The August issue of Arkansas Fruit & Nut News is available. In it Dr. Donn Johnson provides updates and recommendations for pecan pests and fruit pests including spotted wing drosophila (SWD). In addition, Dr. M. Elena Garcia provides an update on Phytophthora in your orchard complete with chemical and cultural management considerations. Please see the newsletter by clicking on the link below.

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Upcoming Webinar – Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production

August 9, 2013

The National Center for Appropriate Technology – ATTRA program is offering a free webinar on grafting fruit varieties for organic production.   Find information on the webinar and how to register below.

Regionally and locally adapted fruit crops aren’t just a treat for the palate. Developing them can fill a number of needs – from providing a boon to organic fruit growers to helping detail-oriented farmers and nurserymen make a decent on-farm income.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Horticulture Specialist Guy Ames will present a webinar addressing what it takes to develop fruit that’s adapted locally and regionally – and he’ll get hands-on with a discussion of grafting, budding, cuttings, and other forms of asexual fruit propagation.

The webinar, which is being offered by NCAT free of charge, will have plenty of time for participants to ask questions – general or about their own operations.  Guy will respond to any questions that aren’t answered during the webinar in the days following via email.

Webinar Title: “Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production”

Date: August 29, 2013

Presenter: NCAT Horticulture Specialist Guy Ames

Time: 11 a.m. Central Daylight Time

To Register: Go online at

As a horticulture specialist at NCAT, Guy provides farmers, especially fruit growers, with the best information available to empower them to be the most environmentally sound growers they can be while maintaining a sustainable income.

He has a B.A. in History and English and an M.S. in Horticulture. In the past, Guy has been a professional nursery man and orchardist as well as a technical writer in the area of sustainable fruit production. In addition, he was a public school English teacher for 10 years.

Guy has had a busy year. Recently he and NCAT Specialist Robert Maggiani finished work on a new ATTRA publication, “Plums, Apricots, and Their Crosses: Organic and Low-Spray Production.”  It focuses on organic and reduced-spray management options for disease and pest problems of plums, apricots, and their crosses (pluots, apriums, etc.). It also relates progress in broadening the practical climatic adaptability of the apricot. The publication discusses adding these fruits as specialty crops for small-scale, diversified farms and identifies marketing opportunities.

“Plums, Apricots, and Their Crosses: Organic and Low-Spray Production” is available to be downloaded free of charge on the NCAT ATTRA website at

The upcoming webinar will be recorded and archived on the ATTRA website as well.

ATTRA logo                   NCAT logo

Arkansas Fruit and Nut News

July 24, 2013

Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture

The July 15th issue of Arkansas Fruit and Nut News from Dr. Donn Johnson-Fruit Research/Extension is attached. Follow the link below to this supremely informative document. This issue contains a wealth of information and photographs on walnut and fall webworm caterpillars, spider mites, spotted wing drosophila, Japanese beetle, and stink bugs as well as apple and peach pests, and grape pests.


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An Invitation: USDA Fruit and Vegetable Webinar Series

June 28, 2013

Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture

The Agricultural Marketing Service’s Fruit and Vegetable Program invites you to take part in a series of free, interactive webinars on their many programs and services.  Each webinar consists of a presentation from a USDA expert on a specific topic, an introduction to the staff, and an interactive question and answer session.

These informative webinars are designed for fruit and vegetable growers, packers, shippers, processors, wholesalers and retailers of all sizes.  All of the webinars are free and available to anyone with Internet access.  Registration is required and space is limited.  Log on to register – it’s your first step to learning how you can work together with the USDA to meet your unique business needs.  If you miss a webinar, just visit the Webinar Archive to watch it online.

Follow the links below for information on each session and to register.

Market News:New CustomAverage Tool Explained July 25, 2013, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m…

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Arkansas Strawberries!

April 25, 2013

Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture

Strawberries are making an appearance on farmers’ markets stands across the state and it’s clear the strawberry season has arrived once again in Arkansas.  Because strawberries are usually grown outdoors, production in Arkansas is limited to only about 6 weeks a year leading to a highly anticipated local harvest season for consumers who seek high quality, locally grown berries.  In at least one part of the state however, the strawberry harvest is in full swing and has been throughout the winter months.   At the University of Arkansas Research and Extension Center in Fayetteville, strawberry harvest began in late November and will continue through the month of April according to David Dickey, the Horticulture Technician who conducts the day-to-day management of this strawberry production system.  These strawberries are grown under a high tunnel which provides a protected environment for berries allowing local harvest in the off-season.  The high tunnel system protects…

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January 29, 2013

Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture

Following are two invitations concerning the FDA’s proposed produce safety rules:
First an invitation from the USDA AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program to comment on the proposed rules; and second an invitation to join a one hour webinar on Feb. 7th about the proposed produce safety rules.

Dear Produce Industry Member and other interested parties,
On January 16, 2013 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in the Federal Register for public comment two proposed rules: one on Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (LINK TO FED REGISTER; and the other on Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (LINK TO FED REGISTER These proposed rules are key components of the preventive approach to food safety established by the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
As a service to the produce industry…

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