Rice Expo at its roots: growing rice better

STUTTGART, Ark. — The 2013 Arkansas Rice Expo isn’t forgetting its roots — as a learning day for those in the agriculture industry.

This year’s Rice Expo is set for Friday, Aug. 2, at the Grand Prairie Center, 2709 U.S. 165, in Stuttgart. Doors open at 8 a.m.

“We are offering a deep lineup of field tours and seminars that feature new technology that can be used in the field or on your smartphone,” said Chuck Wilson, director of the Rice Research and Extension Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

There will be buses to shuttle participants from the Grand Prairie Center to the fields at the Rice Research and Extension Center and back. The first buses leave at 8:30 a.m., then again at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

This year’s field tours include:

• “Breeding for Higher Yield and Quality,” with Xueyan Sha, associate professor and rice breeder for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

• “Managing Rice Diseases,” with Yeshi Wamishe, plant pathologist

• “Hybrid Rice for Arkansas Rice Farmers,” Greg Berger, rice breeder

• “NST*R or Nitrogen Soil Test for Rice, implementation in Arkansas,” Trent Roberts, soil fertility specialist

• “Nutrient Management for Rice Rotation,” Nathan Slaton, professor and director of soil testing for the U of A Division of Agriculture

• “Agronomics of Rice Production,” Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist

• “Rice Weed Control,” Jason Norsworthy, weed scientist

• “Irrigation Management,” Chris Henry, irrigation engineer

• “Soybean Management,” Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist.

There will also be two sets of agricultural seminars. In Classroom C there will be:

• “Arkansas Water Plan with Tom Riley,” director of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center

• “Farm Bill Updates,” with Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center

• “Market Trends and Updates,” with Robert Stark, extension economist

• “Yield Mapping,” with Jeremy Bullington of Greenway Inc.

In Classroom D, these two seminars will be repeated:

• Phone/iPad apps for Agriculture with Mike Hamilton, Poinsett County extension agent and

• U of A developed, ag-related apps and websites, with Dharmandra Saraswat, extension engineer.

In addition, there will be exhibits on integrated pest management, Flag the Technology, verification programs, grain bin safety, sprayer cleanup, crop production and aquaculture.

Sen. Mark Pryor is set to be the keynote speaker. Also on the agenda are Janet Carson, extension horticulture specialist, author and columnist and Betsy Ward of the USA Rice Federation as the luncheon speaker.

A fresh, hot catfish lunch, catered by the Yoder Ruritan, begins at 12:15 p.m.

To find out more about the 2013 Arkansas Rice Expo, visit http://aaes.uark.edu/rice.html or follow us on Twitter at @ARiceExpo