About 200 farmers, consultants and other agriculture industry professionals recently attended the 64th annual Tri-State Soybean Forum, taking stock of both the good and bad in soybean production in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The forum, held this year at the Dumas Community Center in Dumas, Arkansas, was sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board as well as the land grant university systems in the three participating states, which together produce a substantial portion of the country’s soybean crop. Kevin Norton, staff chair for the Ashley County Cooperative Extension Service, served as the 2020 forum chairman.

While standard issues of agronomy—seeding rates, marketing, pests and so on—have always been important topics of discussion, Bob Stark, professor of agriculture economics for the University of Arkansas at Monticello and secretary-treasurer for the forum, said two issues seemed to predominate this year’s meeting: The immediate past, and the immediate future.

Hank Chaney, area agriculture and natural resources specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the same weather patterns that made 2019 so arduous for Arkansas growers affected Louisiana and Mississippi as well. Nevertheless, average soybean yields throughout the region proved better than feared.

As the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China continues, growers will likely consider overall market conditions in preparing their crop budgets for the 2020 planting season, Chaney said.

Jim Carroll, a soybean producer from Brinkley, Arkansas, was elected as president of the United Soybean Promotion Board. Carroll is the first Arkansan to head the national board. He has represented the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board at the national level since 2010.


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