In 2025, where in the world will Arkansas rice be found? That’s a question experts and speakers will ponder Aug. 10, at the 2016 Arkansas Rice Expo in Stuttgart, Ark.
The Arkansas Rice Expo returns to Stuttgart’s Grand Prairie Center, 2807 Highway 165 South. Doors open at 8 a.m. and will finish up with a complementary lunch. The annual half-day event celebrates a crop that in 2013 was valued at nearly $1.3 billion for Arkansas’ economy.
“There are lots of questions about the future for Arkansas rice. Where will Arkansas rice be competitive, what new markets may open up such as Cuba, how might more rice be utilized in food and beverage products, how will the U.S. table rice consumption develop with changes in the demographics of the country?” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture and head of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “These are all great questions as we think about where the industry is headed.”
This year’s general session will feature a panel of industry experts answering “Where will we sell Arkansas rice in 2025?” Panel members include:
• Keith Glover, president & CEO, Producers Rice Mill
• Eric Wailes, distinguished professor, Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, UA System Division of Agriculture
• Representative from Anheuser-Busch
During the Arkansas Rice Expo, visitors will also hear from members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation:
• U.S. Senator John Boozman
• Rep. Rick Crawford, First District
• Rep. Bruce Westerman, Fourth District
Field tours, family fun
The Arkansas Rice Expo will also have plenty of activities for the family, thanks to Arkansas 4-H, and field tours for farmers to see research from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in action.
Get a peek at this year’s Arkansas Rice Expo Recipe contest entrants as well as the creativity that goes into the Rice Tabletop Centerpiece contest.
This year’s field tours, led by Division of Agriculture faculty and staff, have three stops:
• Stop 1 – Arkansas rice breeding update with Xueyan Sha and Ehsan Shakiba
• Stop 2 – Weed resistance management in rice and soybeans – weed scientists Jason Norsworthy and Tom Barber
• Stop 3 – Rice irrigation water management – Chris Henry, water management engineer; and Mike Hamilton, Extension irrigation education
Seminar topics include new technology for in-bin rice drying and storage and factors affecting rice milling yields.
A walk-in plant disease clinic will be available to help farmers and gardeners diagnose problem plants. There will be plenty of booths with products and services on display.
For more information about the Rice Expo, visit www.uaex.edu/rice-expo/.