By JESSIE SMITH
Sept. 23 marked the first day of fall, and with changing leaves and hot apple cider, the season also brings one of the busiest times of the year for local ranchers and farmers — harvest.
Corn has already been cut, and the harvest of soybeans and cotton will follow in two to three weeks, according to Jennifer Sansom, county extension agent–agriculture. Fall is also a time of calving for ranchers, and due to the dry month, wheat will be planted a little later than normal this year.
“Fall is probably as busy or busier than planting,” Sansom said. “Here’s finally the fruition of all your labor.”
The progression of the harvest depends on the season’s weather and rainfall, but Sanson said most summer crops will be out by the first of November, and most winter crops will be in the ground.
“These guys are just finishing up harvest,” Sansom said. “Then it’s time to get equipment ready … for planting.”
Besides the harvest and calving season, other opportunities come in the fall. The Little River County Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association is holding a meeting on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Arkansas Cossatot Community College. The meal will be sponsored by Davis Feed, and Sansom will administer the educational program.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service plans to host a pesticide applicator class on Nov. 4 at the University of Arkansas Cossatot Community College in Ashdown. The fee is $20 for the class and $45 for the five-year pesticide applicator license.
Up to three producers from Little River County can also sign up for the Small Ruminant College held at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope. The program will be four sessions long for $50 per person, so if a producer is interested in goat and sheep production, they can reach out to Sansom about one of those three spots.
The county extension service, established over 100 years ago in 1914, is a branch of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, and the office provides other services such as hay and soil testing and plant and soil diagnostics among many other features. They employ specialists in every field of agriculture.
“Just about anything that you can imagine in agriculture … if I’m not trained on it, I can sure find somebody who is,” Sansom said. “That’s the really, really positive part about us.”
Sansom is a rancher as well, and she can remember her father being friends with the county extension agent.
“It’s not something that’s just utilized here and now,” Sansom said. “Agents have been utilized for years and years.”
Fall is a busy time in Little River County as a year’s worth of work culminates into the season’s harvest.
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