Willow Bend Farms
Point Remove/ Arkansas River Watershed- MRBI, Conway County
Ruth Spillar, Farm Manager
Willow Bend Farms is a beef (about 1,300 acres) and row crop (about 1,200 acres) operation managed by Ruth Spillar. The farm is in the Point Remove Watershed in Conway County, and beef cattle are pastured immediately adjacent to Point Remove Creek and the Arkansas River. Water quality analysis is being conducted on the beef production portion of the farm.
Pastures are fertilized with poultry litter purchased from other farms. Many of the pastures are utilized to produce irrigated, high quality bermudagrass hay while others are underlain by poorly drained soils that stay wet for much of the winter and are prone to intermittent flooding. In one pasture, runoff drains into a natural wetland.
One goal for this site is to determine the effects of poultry litter management (e.g., application rate, timing, and placement) on nutrient and sediment content of runoff draining from the pasture into the wetland area. Runoff water entering and leaving the wetland is analyzed for nutrient and sediment content, and the wetland's ability to store these constituents and remediate water quality will be evaluated. Plans are currently underway to construct a levee near the wetland for use as a cattle crossing during the winter when the ground is ordinarily very wet.