An agriculture field day is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Pearlie S. Reed/Robert L. Cole Small Farm Outreach Wetlands and Water Management Center (SFO-WWMC.) The center is located on the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Farm at Lonoke.


Field day starts with registration at 7:30 a.m. and welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m. Tours begin at 9 a.m. with the last tour at 11 a.m, according to a news release.


A noon luncheon will feature Mike Sullivan, state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS.)


Learning stations on the tours will feature scientists, researchers and faculty reporting on specific projects, according to the release.


Tractor-pulled trailers will transport participants to three main tour areas:


The Crop Production Systems tour — will feature eight stops and includes native tall grass prairie seed production plots in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Memphis District, weed sciences studies conducted by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Extension Service, and UAPB’s alternative cropping systems designed for small and limited-resource farmers. These systems include the sweet potato collaborator’s trial, Go Sweet Potato production and southern pea production following cover crops, no-till verses conventional soybean production, soybean variety maturity demonstration and southern cowpea breeding, according to the release.


The Water Management Activities tour — will feature two activities – a Pipe Planner Irrigation Demonstration with Dan Carthel, David Sullivan and Julius Handcock and a discussion led by Aaron Pugh on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer groundwater elevation studies and a data collection platform that measures the water table within the aquifer that supplies groundwater to the Lonoke Farm and surrounding areas.


The Agriculture-Related Activities stop — will feature the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Tank, the Arkansas Forestry Commission Progeny Test, a presentation on understanding honey bees and an economic analysis of sweet potato production in Arkansas.


The field day is dedicated to the late Albert Eugene “Gene” Sullivan, who retired from the NRCS after having served as state conservationist in Nebraska, Mississippi and Arkansas. He assisted UAPB in the development of the UAPB Lonoke Farm.


The SFO-WWMC was created on the 871-acre UAPB farm to address critical groundwater issues facing Arkansas and the economic plight of the small-scale, limited resource farmer. Currently, 10 research and demonstration projects are underway at the center, headed by a multi-agency group of scientists, engineers, professors and community organizations. Their primary focus is the efficient and effective use of surface and underground water.


For more information on the field day or if participants have special needs, contact Julius Handcock at 501-676-1534 or Obadiah Njue at 870-575-8152 or njueo@uapb.edu.


The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.