Arkansas rice center sets field day: Aug. 13

Small-scale units for making fuel from vegetable oil or animal fat and from residue of crops or other plants will be demonstrated during an Aug. 13 field day at the Rice Research and Extension Center, Stuttgart, Ark.

The bio-fuel processes will be shown by Samy Sadaka, director of the Bioenergy, Biofuel and Bioproducts Laboratory at RREC, which is a unit of the University of Arkansas System’s Division of Agriculture.

The field day begins at 8 a.m. and will include tours and presentations on agricultural field research and Extension programs and family-oriented activities.

The biofuels demonstrations will include a unit for making biodiesel, a gasification unit that transforms solid biomass into a gas that can be substituted for natural gas, and a pyrolysis unit that converts biomass into bio-oil, which is similar to fuel oil and can be further refined.

Three different tours of research plots, each lasting about an hour, will depart multiple times at staggered intervals during the morning.

Tour A will include rice breeding for Clearfield and conventional rice lines, soybean plots for lespedeza worm and soybean rust, fertility research for minimum nitrogen and other fertilizers, and biomass energy research.

Tour B will include agronomics of row rice, disease research for smut, and weeds research for levees and soybean herbicides.

Tour C will include USDA Agricultural Research Service sites of the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center including research on rice-weed interactions and rice diseases.

Family-oriented activities from 8 to 10:30 a.m. will include sessions on 4-H ATV safety; wildlife and water quality; hands-on 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; and consumer education.

Posters and displays of other division research and corporate sponsors will also be on display all morning. The field day will conclude with an indoor program.

Speakers will include UA Vice President for Agriculture Milo Shult, RREC Director Chris Deren, DBNRRC Director Anna McClung and the commodity board chairs for rice, soybeans, wheat and corn and sorghum.

Andrew McKenzie, associate professor of commodity marketing, will present “What is basis and what does it mean to the farmer?”

Lunch will be served following the indoor presentations. Field day programs, received at registration, will be required as tickets for the lunch.

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