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Southeast Research and Extension Center
Programs and Projects

Insect Pest Management
Dr. Scott Akin, Extension Entomologist

The focus of our research program is to evaluate and disseminate valuable information involving both current and new methods of insect pest management in Arkansas row crops.  Research efforts include investigations into efficacy trials that evaluate new compounds developed for control of various insect pests in cotton, soybeans, and corn.  These evaluations assist Arkansas growers by reducing potential risks associated with using new and untested materials.  Efficacy trials have been conducted to address cotton and soybean insect pests such as thrips, plant bugs, bollworms, tobacco budworms, stink bugs, and occasional lepidopteran pests (e.g., armyworms, loopers).  Research evaluating efficacy and economic benefits of various transgenic Bt cottons (e.g., WideStrike®, Bollgard®) is also conducted. 

Another focus of our program is to support the county agent clientele in Arkansas.  Providing education and support addressing insect identification, pest thresholds, and insecticide recommendations is paramount to the success of extension personnel in the southeastern part of the state.  Grower meetings, in-service trainings, and various crop scouting schools are used for disseminating information not only to county agents, but also growers, consultants, and industry reps.  

Future research efforts will include insect pest management in other crops of interest as well as cotton, corn, and soybeans.  Other future research may include, but not be limited to, insecticide resistance monitoring programs, identification, biology, and control of lesser-known stink bug species (e.g., redbanded stink bug), and other IPM-related issues that may arise.      

Weed Management Dr. Ken Smith

Dr. Ken Smith,
Extension Weed Scientist
P.O. Box 3508
Monticello, AR 71656
(870) 460-1091 off
(870) 723-5527 cell

Dr. Smith conducts applied research and farmer educational programs on weed management throughout the state.  He currently holds a 75% Extension and 25% Research appointment in the Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Department at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and adjunct professor in the Agricultural Department at University of Arkansas – Monticello.  He teaches upper level classes and advises graduates students.  His graduate students have consistently published well and have placed high in speaking and presentation skill contests.  His students are aggressively recruited by industry and university extension.  He conducts approximately 100 small plot research trials annually and has published in excess of 65 papers in scientific journals and proceedings over the past five years.  One paper was selected as the outstanding paper in Weed Technology in 2005.  Additionally, Dr. Smith has assisted county agents throughout the state conduct over 75 weed control educational programs to over 2000 farmers.  He coauthors “MP-44 Recommended Chemicals for Weed and Brush Control” which is the most used publication in Arkansas Extension with over 12,000 copies utilized each year by farmers, industry representatives, consultants and other university personnel.  He gives leadership to the herbicide resistant weed management educational programs throughout the state.  The horseweed management educational program “Horseweed, Wanted Dead Not Alive” has been extremely successful with greater than 90% adoption rate by farmers in the area of emphasis and has been highlighted in an Extension Faculty Conference.  His efforts in management of glyphosate resistant Palmer amaranth are recognized internationally as well as throughout the US.
Dr. Smith is nationally recognized and has served in leadership positions in scientific societies such as Southern Weed Science Society, American Forage and Grassland Council, and Weed Science Society of America.  He currently serves on the Herbicide Resistant Weed Committee in the Southern Weed Science Society.  He has served, and currently serves, on several committees throughout the Division of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas, Monticello.

Research is focused on weed control techniques in rice, cotton, soybeans, corn and grain sorghum and on evaluation of harvest aids in cotton.  Educational programs emphasize prevention, detection, and management of herbicide resistant weeds. 

Arkansas grows approximately 1.6 million acres of rice, 0.9 million acres of cotton and 2.4 million acres of soybeans each year in the eastern one-third of the state. This close proximity of the various crops is conducive to off-target herbicide movement. The weed science program at SEREC is actively involved in documenting herbicide symptomology at low doses on cotton and rice.  Dr. Smith helped initiate the “Keep It In The Field” educational program which emphasizes reducing herbicide drift.

Plant Disease Management
Cliff Coker, Extension Plant Pathologist
Soybean Research:
Disease ratings involving Frogeye Leaf Spot, Aerial Blight, Stem Canker, Sudden Death Syndrome, and Root Knot Nematode at NEREC, RREC, CBES, PTBES, SEBES and producer fields.
Fungicide evaluation studies at SEBES, CBES and NEREC for foliar diseases involving  Aerial Blight, Frogeye Leaf Spot, Anthracnose and Brown Leaf Spot disease ratings.

Rice Research:
Sheath Blight fungicide evaluation study at SEBES involving Rhizoctonia solani inoculated plots.

Cotton Research:
In-furrow fungicide evaluation studies at SEBES involving Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium sp inoculated plots.

Tomato Research:
Foliar fungicide and nematicide evaluation studies in Ashley, Drew and Bradley counties  involving Early Blight, Timber Rot, Root Knot Nematode, and Southern Blight.

Wheat Research:
Foliar disease ratings at NEREC, RREC, CBES, PTBES, SEBES involving Stripe Rust and Leaf Rust.

Beef Cattle
Dr. Whitney A. Whitworth, Associate Professor of Animal Science -- UAM
Research at the University of Arkansas Southeast Research and Extension Center focuses on practical research trials used to develop strategies which can be directly implemented into production systems of local livestock owners.  The main focus for the last several years has been methods by which cattle producers can reduce feeding and input costs while maintaining an optimum level of production. Stocker calf research has evaluated different combinations of winter annuals seeded into bermudagrass, including studies focusing on comparisons of tillage intensity and seeding date, to determine which combination provides the greatest calf gains and/or the greatest economic returns. Cow-calf research has focused on proper mineral supplementation to increase production and fertility, as well as forage and grazing strategies aimed at reducing winter feeding costs. Reproductive efficiency in the beef herd has also become a research focus, including trials to optimize first service conception rate in heifers and increase conception rates to artificial insemination in fall calving Brahman-influenced cows.  Research is coordinated by Whitney Whitworth with Ken Coffey, David Kreider, Paul Beck, Shane Gadberry, Brett Barham, Paul Francis, Robert Stark, and Kelly Bryant cooperating on various projects.

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University of Arkansas System • Division of Agriculture
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
E214 AFLS Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701 • USA
Phone (479) 575-4446
Fax (479) 575-6363

University of Arkansas System • Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
2301 South University Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204 • USA
Phone (501) 671-2000