UACES Facebook July 25 field day to feature healthy soils, sustainable cotton
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July 25 field day to feature healthy soils, sustainable cotton

June 28, 2019

By Mary Hightower
For the U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • July 25 field day includes demos in Cotton Plant, Lonoke
  • No cost to attend; attendees should register by July 19
  • Field day will also include animal ag
  • Register with Debbie Moreland, 501-425-2891

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LITTLE ROCK – Two farmer-mentors, specialists from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Soil Health Institute will be guiding growers on July 25 through demonstrations and discussions of ways to improve soil health on Arkansas cotton farms.

The Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farm Field Day in Arkansas will start at 8 a.m. at the Brinkley Convention Center, 1501 Weatherby Drive in Brinkley.

Participants are asked to register by July 19 to ensure a lunch count. Register by calling Debbie Moreland, 501-425-2891. There is no cost to attend. 

6-28-2019-Rolled Cotton
COTTON — Cotton coming up in rolled cover crop on Adam Chappell’s farm in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Bill Robertson).

“Growers will learn what ‘soil health’ is and the indicators used to measure it,” said Matt Fryer, extension soil health instructor with the Division of Agriculture. “They will also learn what equipment is needed, what cover crop mix to plant based on the following cash crop and desired goals, cover crop planting methods, and the obstacles to overcome when planting a cash crop into cover crop residue.

“Most importantly, growers will hear the lessons learned from two Arkansas producers with a combined 18 years of cover cropping experience,” he said.

The two farmer-mentors are Adam Chappell of Cotton Plant, and Robby Bevis of Lonoke. Adding to the discussion will be three Division of Agriculture staff and faculty, Fryer, Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist and Trent Roberts, associate professor in Crop, Soils and Environmental Sciences, and David Lamm of the Soil Health Institute.

Animal ag and healthy soils

Robertson will be talk about how animals fit into the picture of healthy soils – something that’s not often discussed.

“The discussion around the grazing will concentrate on species selection,” he said. “We plan to have one animal unit of cattle and sheep on display,” he said. “We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each, fencing requirements, and potential for marketing. 

“The livestock must also be profitable for this to work,” Robertson said. “Adam had good success with cattle last year and is wanting to use sheep this year.”

The agenda:

8 a.m. – Welcome and bus trip over to Chappell’s Farm.

9 a.m.-9:30 a.m. – Overview of soil health management system

930-11 a.m. – Concurrent demonstrations;

  • Chappell - Adapting Equipment for Soil Heath;
  • Robertson - Cover Crops used in Cotton Systems.
  • Lamm - Linking Soil Biology to Soil Health

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch and travel to Bevis Farm in Lonoke.

1 p.m.-2 p.m. – Bevis – Overview of Soil Health Management System.

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. – Fryer and Roberts – Cover Cropping with a Purpose

3:30 p.m. – Return to convention center, discussion.

To learn about soil health and other extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.

About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126