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Arkansas State University to host 2012 Soil and Water Education Conference Jan. 26


Arkansas State University-Jonesboro’s College of Agriculture and Technology will host the 2012 Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference, an all-day event that will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26, at the ASU Convocation Center Auditorium, 217 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. Registration begins at 8 a.m. in Convocation Center Meeting Room A, where coffee, fruit, and pastries will be served, and is followed by a welcome in the Convocation Center auditorium at 8:15 a.m. The opening session begins at 8:30 a.m.

The registration fee for the day-long conference is $20 and includes a luncheon. Certified Crop Advisor Soil and Water Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be awarded at this meeting; attendees will receive 3 Soil and Water units and 1.5 Nutrient Management units. Pre-registration ends Thursday, Jan. 19. Register online, or contact Loretta Thornton, fiscal support specialist, agriculture research, for more information at (870) 972-3364.

The goal of this annual conference is to educate farmers, producers, consultants, policy makers, students, and others with a vested interest in soil and water management. The educational focus of the conference is current issues and management practices in soil and water conservation and management.

The conference is divided into three sessions. Session I begins at 8:30 a.m. and will feature Dr. Dean Pennington, executive director, YMD Joint Water Management District Water and Energy Conservation, presenting “Irrigation Water Management and Regional Water Supply Balances: Problems and Solutions.”

At 8:50 a.m., Dr. Joe Massey, associate professor, Mississippi State University, will present “Practices for Rice Production in the Mid-South.” At 9:20 a.m., Chris DeClerk, irrigation resource manager, Delta Plastics of the South, will offer “PipePlanner, Web-based Efficient Irrigation Management by Delta Plastics.” At 9:40 a.m., John Lewis, National Weather Service in Little Rock, will present “Weather in 2011/Forecast for 2012.”

A poster session, displays, demonstrations, and a break for refreshments are scheduled for 10 a.m.

Session II begins at 10:30 a.m. with Dr. Chris Henry, assistant professor, University of Arkansas, presenting “Arkansas’ Water Resources Data, Gaps, and Needs.” At 10:50 a.m., Edward Swain, chief, Water Resources Management Division, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, will present “The Arkansas Water Plan: A Comprehensive Update.  At 11:10 a.m., Tim Snell, associate state director, The Nature Conservancy, will present “Healthy Rivers.” At 11:30 a.m., Dr. Mike Daniels and Dr. Andrew Sharpley, both professors at the University of Arkansas, will present “Discovery Farms and its Role in Water Quality Monitoring and the State Water Plan.” A question-and-answer session will be held at 11: 50.

At 12  p.m., luncheon will be served in Meeting Room B. The luncheon address will be given by U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford.

Session III will begin at 1 p.m. It will consist of a workshop, “Soil Sampling for Nutrient Planning,” when Dr. Keith Morris, associate professor at ASU, will present “Soil Sampling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  At 1:30 p.m., John Lee, state agronomist with the USDA-NRCS, will present “NCRS Agronomy Conservation Practices.” At 2 p.m., “Producer Perspectives on Soil Sampling,” a roundtable discussion, will take place, followed by a question-and-answer session at 2:30 p.m., and the conference will adjourn at 3 p.m.

Conference organizers offer special thanks to Arkansas State University, the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and the Arkansas Water Resources Center. This conference and program are supported in part by the USDA-ARS and the Arkansas Water Resources Center. The program committee for this event includes Dr Steven Green, Dr. Tina Gray Teague, Robert Young, Dr. Earl Vorhies, Dr. Bill Humphrey, Dr. Greg Phillips, Jason Stewart, Dr. Jennifer Bouldin, Dr. Paul Counce, Dr. Keith Morris, Kevin Cochrane, and Dr. Michele Reba.

For information, contact Loretta Thornton, fiscal support specialist, agriculture research, for more information at (870) 972-3364. Register online, view the conference program online, or visit the College of Agriculture and Technology online.