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Arkansas rice industry to form field burning task force

Plumes of smoke fill the autumn skies in the Delta as farmers burn row crop field refuse, and many complain about the side-effects of the smoke. (TBP

Plumes of smoke fill the autumn skies in the Delta as farmers burn row crop field refuse, and many complain about the side-effects of the smoke. Arkansas rice industry leaders have decided to form a task force to examine the issue, Arkansas Rice Federation Executive Director Lauren Waldrip Ward told Talk Business & Politics.

How many members the task force will have and when it will meet have not been determined, but it will include stakeholders from across the state’s agricultural industries and there will be communications with those who oppose field burning, she said.

“The primary goal is to draft management guidelines. … We want to educate our farmers about the best agricultural practices,” she said.

Arkansas rice farmers and stakeholders met at the Brinkley Convention Center on Tuesday (Nov. 7) for board meetings of the Arkansas Rice Council, Arkansas Rice Farmers and Arkansas Rice Federation. Members decided a task force was needed to study the issue. The task force will work with agriculture partners in forestry and conservation to consider a model already in place by the Arkansas Prescribed Fire Council’s voluntary smoke management guidelines for forest landowners, and private, state, and federal forestry agencies and companies. The goal will be to construct better guidelines.

To read the full story, click HERE.

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