Arkansas Farmers Hope To Fare Better In The Coming Year After Brutal 2018

A perfect storm of problems ranging from the ongoing trade war with China, lower commodity prices, and bad weather plagued Arkansas farmers in 2018. Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward told Talk Business & Politics he thinks 2019 will be better for growers for one simple reason – it would be hard for it to be worse than the previous year.

“Last year was difficult for producers … it was like a perfect storm,” Ward said. “I’m really optimistic for 2019. I’m really optimistic for our producers.”

Agriculture is the top economic sector in Arkansas. It has a $21 billion impact on the state, Ward said. Gov. Asa Hutchinson plans to make the industry front-and-center in his administration with his proposal to transform state government. The governor is reducing state departments, agencies and boards that directly report to him from 42 to 15. The state’s Agriculture Department, various boards and commissions within the sector, and the Natural Resources Commission will be merged into a new Arkansas Department of Agriculture.    MORE

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