Even if the heat index hadn’t reached 110 degrees, the 2011 Arkansas Rice Expo still would’ve have been one of the hottest field days of the year, drawing more than 1,000 producers, consultants and their families.

The field day was a showcase for work done by the researchers and educators of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. The program included more than three dozen seminars, displays, and demonstrations. This year’s Arkansas Rice Expo was expanded to include a broad range of activities for the whole family, including skeet shooting, rice painting, a hunting and combine simulator and the National Guard climbing wall.

Producers heard updates on activities from Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the university. Rice grower Ray Vester provided an overview of issues under consideration by the EPA that affect agriculture, including regulation of dust and water quality.

The field day opened with tours of the research plots at the Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, including new varieties, pigweed control, nutrient management and soybean varieties.

“We were very pleased about the number of people who came out to see our research and learn about what we do and how we can be a resource for all Arkansans,” said Chuck Wilson, interim director for the Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center.

This year’s field day also featured live streaming of presentations. For those who could not attend the tours, video presentations are posted at www.youtube.com/arextension.

For more information on crop production, visit www.uaex.edu or contact your county Extension office.