Animal Enterprises

Gross farm income for all animal enterprises was more than $2.19 billion for 2014, up 3 percent from $2.12 billion in 2013. Value added was nearly $1.1 billion for 2014, down from $1.2 billion in 2013. Total value of all animal enterprises in the Louisiana economy was $3.28 billion, down 1 percent from $3.32 billion in 2013.

Fisheries and Wildlife Enterprises

Total farm value of all fisheries and wildlife enterprises during 2014 was $752.6 million, up 14 percent from $657.9 million in 2013. Value added in 2014 was $550.5 million, up from $469.9 million the preceding year. Total value of all fisheries and wildlife enterprises to the Louisiana economy for 2014 was almost $1.3 billion, up 15 percent from $1.13 billion in 2013.

Plant Enterprises

The gross farm value of all plant enterprises was more than $4.15 billion in 2014, an increase of 1 percent from $4.1 billion in 2013. Value added was $3.19 billion for all plant commodities during 2014, up slightly from $3.18 billion in 2013. Total value of all plant or crop enterprises to the Louisiana economy was $7.34 billion in 2014, up 2 percent from $7.32 billion in 2013.

Beef Cattle

During 2014, the Louisiana beef cattle industry experienced a decrease in cow numbers in most parishes as producers sold cattle last year in response to higher prices due to moderate to severe drought conditions throughout much of the country during the past three years. These problems primarily were driven by the lack of precipitation and were compounded by extreme heat during the summer in parts of the country, particularly the western and southern plains states. In Louisiana, favorable growing conditions and high prices helped beef cattle producers. Louisiana cow numbers in 2014 totaled 433,050 and producers were reported at 7,379. Those were down from 622,040 cows and 10,910 producers reported in 2013.

The gross farm value of 229,786 steers sold in 2014 was $250.8 million, an increase of $42.2 million over the $208.6 million reported in 2013. The gross farm value of 213,194 heifers sold increased by $51.2 million as it rose from $170.8 million in 2013 to $212 million in 2014.

In 2014, 71,277 yearling cattle (600-800 pounds each) sold for $92.2 million, a decrease of 4,000 head, but an increase of $16 million from 2013 levels. The number of cow-calf pairs sold in 2014 decreased by approximately 900 to 68,725 pairs. These pairs sold for $139.2 million, up from $83.6 million in 2013. Gross farm values of 45,507 cull cows and 8,703 cull bulls were $71.6 million and $29.6 million, respectively.

Gross farm income from beef cattle increased from $589.6 million in 2013 to $795.3 million in 2014. With value added of $99.4 million, the total value of beef cattle production in Louisiana was $894.8 million in 2014, up $231.5 million (35 percent) from $663.3 million in 2013.


Milk production was produced in 12 parishes in 2014. Three parishes in the southeastern part of the state and two parishes in the northwestern part accounted for about 93 percent of the milk produced, 92 percent of the number of cows and 93 percent of the dairy herds. The number of dairy farms declined from 125 in 2013 to 121 in 2014. The number of milking cows decreased from 14,798 head in 2013 to 14,118 head in 2014. In addition, total milk production decreased from 203.7 million pounds in 2013 to 197.1 million pounds in 2014.

Even though total milk production was down by 6.5 million pounds, however, the on-farm value of milk increased by $8.1 million – from $44.2 million in 2013 to $52.3 million in 2014. The increase in the on-farm value of milk in 2014 was due primarily to a higher average price per hundredweight of milk ($21.71 per hundredweight in 2013 compared to $26.55 per hundredweight in 2014 – a 22.3 percent increase in price per hundredweight).

Dairy goats were raised by 25 Louisiana producers in 2014. The 555 does milked in Louisiana during 2014 produced 183,836 pounds of goat milk, which sold for $551,508, up substantially from 2013.

The value of cull cows, bred heifers, mature cows, breeding age bulls and calves was $5.8 million. The total value of milk and animal sales to Louisiana dairy producers was $58.1 million. Value added contributed $94.5 million more. The total economic contribution from dairying in Louisiana, including milk sales, animal sales and additional processing, was $153.2 million in 2014, up $21.7 million or 16.5 percent from 2013.


The horse industry is an important component of the agricultural economy of Louisiana. In 2014, there were 135,173 horses owned by an estimated 46,913 people, a 6 percent decrease from 2013. The horse industry has three sectors. Based on the gross farm value, that means the horse industry is made up of 55 percent racing, 15 percent show or competition horses and 30 percent recreational horse owners. By number of owners, however, the industry is 10 percent racing, 20 percent show or competition and 70 percent recreational.

The state’s racehorse industry in 2014 involved 1,623 breeders who owned 9.908 mares that produced 7,461 foals that sold for $59.7 million. The 353 Louisiana breeders own 1,054 stallions that were bred to 7,861 mares, generating income from stud fees of $19.7 million. The total gross farm income generated from racehorse production was $79.3 million. An additional 2,473 racehorse owners had 12,167 racehorses in training or on the track in Louisiana, with a gross farm value of $146 million. The gross farm value of the entire race sector (owners’ and breeders’ activities) of the horse industry in 2014 was $225.3 million, not including receipts or fees from racing events or gaming.

The show and competition horse industry (horse shows, barrel racing, cutting, roping, team penning and others) includes 1,846 breeders who own 5,668 mares that produced 3,959 foals that sold for $15.8 million during 2014. These breeders owned 611 stallions that bred with 2,739 mares, generating $4.1 million in income from stud fees. The total income generated from show and competition horse production was $19.9 million. Another 7,305 owners competed on their 19,552 horses, which had a gross farm value of $97.8 million. The total gross farm value of the show and competition sector of the horse industry was $117.7 million in 2014.

A large portion of the horse industry, both in terms of owners and horses, is recreational. Horses have been used for comfort, exercise and enjoyment for quite some time. Approximately 9,863 of the recreational horse owners in Louisiana bred 23,955 mares and sold 15,954 foals during 2014 for $23.9 million. These horse enthusiasts owned 2,111 stallions that were bred to 7,465 mares, generating income from stud fees of $3.7 million. The total income from production in the recreational horse industry was $27.7 million during 2014. Another 23,450 recreational horse owners have 58,015 horses valued at $87 million – making the total economic contribution of the recreational horse industry $114.7 million in 2014.

There were a total of 135,173 horses in Louisiana, owned by 46,913 people, with a gross farm value of $457.7 million in 2014. Value added contributed $50.4 million in 2014, so that combining farm-gate value and the value added, the total value of horse sector was $508.1 million in 2014, a decrease of $3.3 million from $511.4 million in 2013.

The average horse owner spends about $4,000 to $6,000 annually on feed, tack, equipment, veterinary supplies and medicines. This results in an estimated expenditure of $690 million on horses and a total economic effect of $1.3 billion.

In addition to the value of horses produced and maintained in Louisiana, the activities of the horse industry generate a tremendous cash flow for the state. The four racetracks employ 3,000 people and generate expenditures of $1.1 billion each year. The show and competition industry conducts an estimated 500 activities per year and generates $200 million in expenditures. With the value of horses, expenditures on horses and the activities in which they engage, the economic effect of the horse industry is estimated at $2.5 billion per year. This value coincides with a study by the American Horse Council that estimated the Louisiana horse industry generated $2.45 billion per year for the state’s economy.


Broilers and Eggs

Poultry production continues to be the largest animal agricultural industry in Louisiana and is second only to forestry in total income produced for all agricultural commodities. In 2014, 366 Louisiana growers (small producers and commercial operations) produced 872.3 million pounds of broiler meat with a gross farm value of $776.4 million. Commercial broilers are produced in 11 parishes: Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Sabine, Union, Vernon, Webster and Winn.

There were 131 breeder flock producers in 2014 who produced 18.9 million dozen eggs with a gross farm value of $46.9 million. There also were 56 pullet producers who produced 1.4 million pullets with a gross farm value of $14.3 million.

There were 632 edible egg producers (small producers and commercial operations) in Louisiana during 2014. Table egg production was 20.3 million dozen eggs, and the farm value for commercial egg production was $28.8 million in 2014.

The gross farm value for all poultry production in Louisiana was $868.9 million during 2014, a decrease from $1 billion in 2013. The value added from poultry production to the Louisiana economy was estimated at $847.2 million, making the total value of poultry production in Louisiana nearly $1.7 billion in 2014, a decrease of 14.5 percent from 2013.

Ratite and Other Exotic Fowl

The sale of ratites and exotic fowl did not generate $875 in gross farm sales in Louisiana during 2014 and total value of less than $1,000.


There were 34,440 birds produced during 2014 by 26 producers. Quail generated a gross farm value of $86,100 in 2014. Value added contributed $9,471, so the total value for quail in 2014 was $95,571.


The production of rabbits for meat and exhibition involved 379 Louisiana producers during 2014. The rabbit fryer industry produced approximately 70,000 pounds of meat in 2014. Louisiana rabbit producers generated $183,938 in gross farm income. With value added of $19,313, the total value of rabbit production in Louisiana during 2014 was $203,251.

Sheep and Goats

Sheep, lambs and wool were produced by 208 producers in 30 Louisiana parishes during 2014, a decrease from 231 producers during the previous year. The total number of lambs marketed (slaughter, feeder and club/show lambs) was estimated to be 1,514 in 2014, with a value of $299,261, which was down from 1,639 lambs in 2013 but up in value from $226,899 in 2013. With a gross farm value of $36,465, the 429 head of stocker sheep sold in 2014 represented a slight decrease in animals but increase in value from the previous year, as well. The number of cull sheep sold in 2014 was 901, up from 812 in 2013. Cull sheep sold for $39,599 in 2014. Wool production from 1,148 sheep was 10,630 pounds, down from 11,758 pounds in 2013. Total farm-gate value of sheep sales was $0.7 million for 2014, up from $0.6 million in 2013. Total 2013 value was $0.8 million with value-added contributions included.

Goats were produced by 596 farmers in 60 Louisiana parishes during 2014, down somewhat from 2013. The total number of slaughter goats marketed in 2014 was estimated to be 5,338, down from 5,605 head the previous year. Stocker goats sold in 2014 numbered at 2,676, a slight decrease from 2,879 head in 2013. There were 1,658 cull goats marketed in 2014, slightly less than 1,698 cull goats sold in 2013. Goats sold as club or show goats numbered 1,469 head, down slightly from 1,787 head in 2013. Gross farm value of goats sold in Louisiana during 2014 was $2.1 million, up from $1.9 million in 2013. Total value of goat production in 2014 was $2.3 million when value-added contributions were included.


Louisiana pork producers numbered 211 in 2014, up from 285 in 2013. St. Martin, Calcasieu, Vermilion, Rapides and Beauregard parishes reported the largest numbers of swine producers.

The number of sows reported in 2014 was 1,112, down from 1,551 sows in 2013. A total of 2,728 show pigs sold for $627,440, up from the previous year’s totals. Feeder pig sales of 5,365 had a gross farm value of $212,926 in 2014, down in number, but an increase in value from the previous year. Slaughter hog sales in 2014 involved 3,269 head with a gross farm value of $863,115. This reflected a slight decrease in number of hogs slaughtered, but an increase in the value of sales from 2013 levels. There were 1,000 cull animals (sows and boars) sold in 2014 that were valued at $305,840, an increase in value from 2013.

The gross farm value of all classes of swine in 2014 was $2 million, unchanged from 2013. The estimated value added from the swine sector was $253,842 in 2014, so, with that added to the gross farm sales, the total value of all swine production in the state was $2.3 million in 2014.

Exotic Animals

Exotic animal producers of deer and llamas had gross farm sales of $65,400 in 2014, down from $87,800 during the previous year. Total value of production for exotic animals, including value added, was $72,267 in 2014.


Louisiana has long been recognized for supporting one of the most diverse aquacultural industries in the United States. Species and products such as crawfish, catfish, alligators, oysters, tilapia, baitfish, soft-shelled crawfish and crabs, ornamental fish, baby turtles, a variety of freshwater game fish and other minor species all have been commercialized successfully.

Louisiana's producers continue to lead the nation in crawfish, oyster, pet turtle and alligator sales. As crawfish, catfish, oysters and alligators exhibited production increases during 2014, so did the overall gross farm value of Louisiana aquaculture, which increased by 11 percent compared to the previous year. This was largely due to a 25 percent increase in farm-raised crawfish production and value during 2014.

Estimates from the field during 2014 indicate farm-raised crawfish production occupied 225,789 acres, up nearly 40,000 acres from the previous year. Farm-raised crawfish continued to be the state’s most valuable aquacultural commodity by a wide margin, with a gross farm value of $172 million in 2014. Production was depressed early in the season due to an unseasonably cold winter, but more favorable conditions later helped increase total production for the year.

Following several years of depressed prices and lower stocking rates for farm-raised alligator producers, 2014 saw a continued upward trend in the value of the harvest (roughly 10 percent) due to both production and price increases prompted by growing demand for hides and meat. Farm-gate value of alligators was $77.3 million, down slightly from $79.1 million in 2013.

Declines in catfish acreage and production continued in 2014. According to field estimates, Louisiana catfish acreage decreased from 635 acres of ponds in 2013 to 523 acres in 2014, with six Louisiana producers selling 1.4 million pounds of catfish valued at $1.6 million.

Reported pet turtle hatchling production declined by 3 percent during 2014, with sales of approximately 3.9 million hatchlings at a gross farm value of $3.9 million. Many turtle operations are not actively producing at this time, according to industry sources.

The oyster production information reported in this summary represents a one-year lag to avoid estimation and projection errors from using data for only part of the year (meaning figures for oysters reported this year are from 2012, not 2013). The reason for the lag is that information on oyster sales is compiled and provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the final compilation of the data is not available until the middle of the year following production.

Louisiana’s limited minnow industry had overall negative results in 2014 when compared to the prior year, with production and value down by 33 percent, to $539,700 for the year.

The oyster production information reported in this summary represents a one-year lag to avoid estimation and projection errors from using data for only part of the year (meaning figures for oysters reported this year are from 2013, not 2014). The reason for the lag is that information on oyster sales is compiled and provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the final compilation of the data is not available until the middle of the year following production.

Estimated oyster sales in 2013 of 1.4 million sacks, from a total of 905 producers, were $36.7 million. These numbers represented reductions in production (15 percent) and in value (10 percent) from 2012. By comparison, in 2008 and 2009, prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident, sales were $34.2 and $50 million, respectively.

Summing up all aquacultural enterprises across the state resulted in $293.8 million in gross farm sales for 2014, up 11 percent from the previous year. Value added to aquacultural products was estimated to be $198.3 million. Combining the two values resulted in a total value of $492 million from commercial aquaculture to the state’s economy for 2014.


The harvest of freshwater and marine finfish and shellfish in Louisiana continues to contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Fisheries landings are recorded by two government agencies. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries receives monthly reports from the initial buyers (processors, dealers, etc.) who are required to record every transaction. Species, weights and dockside sales values of the landings are reported for all commercially harvested species. The National Marine Fisheries Service also is responsible for estimating fisheries landings, using both regional National Marine Fisheries Service data collectors and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reports. The information reported here is from those two cooperating sources. All this data is provisional and subject to change.

The freshwater fisheries and marine fisheries data presented in the report this year (2014) reflect the calendar year 2013. The one-year lag is necessary to ensure data accuracy. Real-time reports on fisheries landings are not available until four months after the fact, and final data often runs six to seven months behind. Estimating landings for the second half of the year based on landings reports from the first half is inaccurate. This method of reporting fisheries landings data has been in place since the 2004 Louisiana Summary; data prior to that volume may not be directly comparable to the data reported since 2004 because of using the different estimation methods. To compare state-level landings for years prior to 2004, on a calendar-year basis, please consult the US-NOAA-NMFS website.

One final caveat is that parish totals for fisheries landings will not equal the state total because of legal confidentiality requirements. When there are fewer than three sources in a parish that report landings of a fisheries commodity in that parish, the number of landings cannot be publicly released by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or the National Marine Fisheries Service without breaking confidentiality requirements. There may be parishes reported in this volume for which no landings or values were provided by either of those agencies but for which there was catch. Furthermore, fisheries landings are reported for the parish in which the fish are offloaded – not the parish in which the boat and its crew may be domiciled or the parish where the catches actually were made.

Freshwater Fisheries

The freshwater finfish are primarily bowfin, catfish, buffalo, shad, gar and carp and typically are less valuable on a per-pound basis than marine finfish. Total freshwater finfish landings remained relatively unchanged from $4.7 million for 11.9 million pounds caught by 1,363 commercial fishers in 2012 to $4.7 million for 11.9 million pounds caught by 1,329 commercial fishers in 2013. While 2010 landings were influenced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that year, as well as the negative perceptions associated with seafood and seafood safety from the Gulf region, the 2011, 2012 and 2013 landings and value appear to have rebounded and were above 2009 and 2010 levels.

Catfish are the mainstay of the more valuable freshwater species. The commercially caught catfish are not the same as farm-raised catfish described in the aquaculture section of this summary. Sales of catfish caught commercially in Louisiana waters were $2.1 million on 4.3 million pounds in 2013, similar to 2012 levels.

Most wild crawfish are caught in the Atchafalaya Basin, where water levels fluctuate as inflows are controlled by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at about one-third of the combined flows of the Mississippi and Red rivers. Although wild crawfish compete in the marketplace with farm-raised crawfish, some consumers prefer the wild product because of its frequently larger size. The volume of the wild crawfish harvest is almost completely constrained by the timing and duration of the annual winter/spring floodwater event in the Atchafalaya Basin. The 2013 crawfish season nearly tripled the landings from 2012. As a result, freshwater crawfish landings were up significantly from 6.5 million pounds in 2012 to 17.1 million pounds in 2013. For comparison, freshwater crawfish landings were 18.6 million pounds in 2009 and a record level of 50 million pounds in 1993. Wild crawfish sales were $14.3 million in 2013, up significantly from $7.8 million from the previous year.

Overall, landings from the freshwater fisheries sector in 2013 had a gross value of $12.5 million. Value added contributed $10.9 million, so the freshwater fisheries sector contributed $23.4 million to Louisiana’s economy in 2013.

Marine Fisheries

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had several effects on marine fisheries. Marine fisheries grounds were almost all reopened in 2011, and all marine fisheries saw an increase in landings in 2012 and 2011 compared to 2010. Landings in 2013 were down slightly from 2012 levels. Marine finfish landings for food are varied and complex, with about 60 different species being landed for a total of 12.4 million pounds in 2013, excluding menhaden. This was a 10 percent decrease from 2012, when 13.8 million pounds of marine food finfish were landed in Louisiana. Excluding menhaden, the five most-valued species landed in 2013, by decreasing value, were red snapper, yellowfin tuna, black drum, king mackerel and sharks. Total saltwater food finfish landings, excluding menhaden, were valued at $19.2 million in 2013, down from $21.2 million in 2012.

Landings of menhaden, a low-value but high-volume nonfood finfish species, were 849 million pounds in 2013, down from 1 billion pounds in 2012. The catch was valued at $84.9 million, up significantly from $64.9 million in 2012. Menhaden value increased in 2013, with it selling for approximately 10 cents per pound compared to 6.32 cents per pound in 2012. Menhaden oil and meal are sold on the world market for industrial purposes, animal feeds and omega-3 dietary supplements, among other uses, and the prices received for menhaden products is a function of the world supply of oils and meals, particularly those produced by the fisheries for the anchovetta of the Pacific Coast of South America.

Oysters increased slightly in value and landings in 2013 compared to 2012, and above 2010 and 2011 levels, years heavily affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and record-level flooding from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. In 2013, 11.34 million pounds of oysters were landed, less than 1 percent increase over 11.25 million in 2012. Nonetheless, this is still down from 14.7 million pounds of oysters harvested in 2009. The price in 2012 was approximately $3.98 per pound of oyster meat. To calculate prices per sack, assume 6.47 pounds of shucked oyster meat per sack ($25.77 per sack). According to US-NOAA-NMFS, the gross value of oysters harvested during 2013 was $45.2 million – up from 2012 but down from $50 million in 2009.

Blue crabs constitute nearly all of the Louisiana crab harvest, with stone crab claws making up less than 0.01 percent. Louisiana hard crab landings normally range from 40 to 50 million pounds. Hard-shelled blue crab landings were 38.8 million pounds with a gross value of $51 million in 2013. This was a 15 percent decrease from 45.4 million pounds in 2012, but an 18% increase in value of $43.1 million in 2012. This was also lower than when fishers harvested 51 million pounds in 2009 or the 43.8 million pounds in 2008, when two hurricanes caused damage to gear and infrastructure.

In 2012, production of soft-shelled crabs (7,996 pounds) and peeler crabs for the shedding business (131,719 pounds) was down from 2012. In 2009, production of soft-shelled crabs (35,484 pounds) and peeler crabs for the shedding business (171,656 pounds) had increased from the lowest ever recorded in 2008 due to many shore-side shedding facilities being damaged or destroyed by the 2005 and 2008 storms. Hurricane Isaac in the fall of 2012 may have affected shedding facilities, too.

Louisiana shrimp landings in 2013 consisted of six species: white shrimp, brown shrimp, sea bobs, rock shrimp, pink shrimp and royal red shrimp. White shrimp historically have provided 50-60 percent of the harvest by weight and around 70 percent by value. In 2012, white shrimp contributed about 58 percent (56.9 million pounds) of total weight and 71 percent ($127.4 million) of total value. In 2013, brown shrimp landings totaled 39.4 million pounds with a value of $49.6 million dockside. The weighted-average price for shrimp was $1.81 in 2013, up from $1.45 in 2010-2012. Total shrimp landings in 2013 were 96.8 million pounds, a decrease from 2012 when 101.7 million pounds were harvested, but an increase from 90.5 million pounds harvested in 2011. By comparison, 74.2 million pounds of shrimp were harvested in 2010, 114 million pounds in 2009, 89.7 million pounds in 2008 and 109.5 million pounds in 2007. Shrimp landed in Louisiana had a gross value of $178.4 million in 2012, up from 2010 through 2012.

In 2013, marine fisheries landings in Louisiana were valued at $328.7million at dockside, up from $271.9 million in 2012. Value added for marine fisheries was estimated to be $320.4 million in 2013. That means the total value of all marine fisheries, including value added, in 2013 was estimated to be $649.1 million to the state’s economy.


The 2013-2014 harvest of fur animal pelts had a gross farm value of $371,691, lower than $496,740 in 2012-2013. This value represents fur production only and excludes any value associated with meat production, predominately from raccoon and nutria carcasses.

Animals pelted and sold in 2013-2014 totaled 41,391, which represented a decrease from the 69,865 pelts taken the previous year. Pelt prices among all fur bearers were lower than last year’s average prices, but the greater number of pelts taken greatly increased the total value of the fur industry in Louisiana. During the 2012-2013 trapping season, the gross farm value for all furs taken was $125,000 less than what was reported the previous year. The average price paid for a single pelt taken during the 2012-2013 trapping season was $8.98, up from $7.11 the preceding year. This varied from a low of $0.85 cents paid for an opossum pelt to a high of $44.06 paid for the pelt of a bobcat.

Nutria removals associated with the coastwide nutria control program accounted for 388,264 animals being taken. This number is slightly higher than the 388,160 taken during the 2012-2013 period. The incentive payment for these removals was $5 each. The total number and value of all animals removed, including the nutria taken under the control program, was 419,299 individuals with a total value of more than $2.3 million. Excluding the nutria removed under the coastwide nutria control program that were not pelted and sold, the value added components raised the total value of furs sold in Louisiana during the 2013-2014 trapping season to $464.614.

Hunting Lease Enterprises

The value of recreational hunting in Louisiana is estimated by the income derived from hunting lease ent3rprises. The number of producers who leased land in the state during the 2013-2014 hunting season was 5,793. This figure consists of 4,447 individuals who leased land for upland game hunting (predominately for deer and turkey) and 1,346 individuals who leased land for waterfowl hunting. These numbers essentially are up slightly from the previous year.

Land leased for hunting in 2013-2014 amounted to 6.33 million acres for upland game and 1.78 million acres for waterfowl, relatively unchanged from the previous year. Gross farm value for leases was $62.7 million for upland game and $33.5 million for waterfowl, up slightly from the preceding year for upland game and for waterfowl.

The change in gross farm value for hunting leases was caused by a slight increase in the average lease rates for upland game ($9.90 per acre), while leases for waterfowl decreased to $18.83 per acre. Waterfowl leases averaged $15 per acre in the coastal areas of the state and $30 per acre in other areas. Prices per leased acre and the total number of acres leased for both upland game and waterfowl remained similar to those figures recorded during the previous year. Leasing rates varied greatly throughout the state from lows of $1 to highs of $35 per acre for upland game leases. In all hunting lease enterprises, rates were dependent on location, habitat quality and species involved. A high demand for a good hunting lease will many times bring prices greater than its market value.

With gross farm value of around $96.3 million and value added $8.2 million, total value of hunting leases in the state was $104.4 million during the 2013-2014 hunting season.


Honey production in 2014 was 1.7 million pounds, down from 1.8 million pounds collected in 2013. Rainy spring weather reduced nectar flow in 2014. The rains occurred when Chinese tallow trees were in full bloom reducing the ability of bees to gather nectar from this tree.

Honey prices in 2013 averaged $1.80 to $2.20 per pound in Louisiana. Assuming demand remains strong for domestically produced honey, prices should remain strong through 2015. Total production of 1.7 million pounds of honey by an estimated 446 beekeepers in Louisiana in 2014 was down from 1.8 million pounds in 2013, but an increase from 325 beekeepers in 2013. The number of hives decreased in the state, from 22,628 in 2013 to 21,726 in 2014.

Commercial and hobby beekeepers have continued to develop a large local and statewide clientele – with some having to buy honey to meet demands. This increase in purchasing of local honey from beekeepers and in local stores (rather than buying commercial brands) has greatly improved the sales and value of Louisiana honey. It has expanded from stores and bakeries to restaurants, coffee houses and out-of-state markets. In many local markets, clientele have increased demand for local or state honey, and storekeepers say local honeys are popular.

Pollination services provided by honeybees continue to be a valuable commodity for Louisiana crops. Some have estimated these pollination services are valued at millions of dollars annually. These services include pollination of many vegetables, fruits, nuts, flowers, grasses and other plants that feed wildlife, livestock and people, and the services come in commercial production, home gardens and wild settings. Such values are not included in these estimates of honeybee value.

The gross farm value of honey production in Louisiana increased from $3.4 million in 2013 to $3.8 million in 2014. Value added from cleaning, processing, supplies, packaging and local sales in 2014 was $939,362, so the total value of honey production for 2014 was $4.7 million, up from $4.3 million in 2013.


Land planted in cotton in 2014 was 164,132 acres, up 32 percent from 124,415 acres harvested in 2013. From 2000 to 2006, cotton acres ranged between 500,000 and 850,000 acres annually. Since 2007, cotton acres have ranged from 124,000 to 320,000 acres annually. This significant decline in acreage is anticipated to continue in 2015. The level of harvested acreage in 2014 was the second lowest ever recorded in the state of Louisiana. In 2014, there were 53,718 acres of irrigated cotton harvested, up from 2013 when there were 26,306 acres of irrigated cotton harvested. Non-irrigated acreage in 2014 was 110,414, up from 98,109 acres of non-irrigated cotton harvested in 2013.

Lint yields per acre for 2014 were the highest ever recorded in Louisiana just surpassing the 2013 record crop. Cotton lint yield on irrigated land was 1,322 pounds per acre in 2014, compared to 1,321 pounds per acre in 2013 and 1,138 pounds per acre in 2012. Non-irrigated yields in 2014 were 1,131 pounds of lint per acre, compared to 1,194 pounds of cotton lint per acre in 2013 and 952 pounds per acre in 2012. The number of producers in 2014 was 282, down from 287 producers in 2013 and 415 producers in 2012. Lint production in 2014 was 71 million pounds on irrigated land, while 124.8 million pounds were produced on non-irrigated land, bringing total lint production to 195.9 million pounds or 408,048 bales in 2014.

Gross farm value of cotton lint sales was $127.3 million in 2014, with $46.2 million from lint harvested on irrigated land and $81.1 million from sales of lint harvested from nonirrigated land. Sales of cotton seed contributed an additional $31 million. Gross farm value of all cotton sales was $158.3 million, with value added contributing $39.6 million, so that total value of cotton production in 2014 was $197.9 million.

Feed Grains

In 2014, there were 495,298 acres of feed grains harvested in the state, down from 754,717 acres of feed grains harvested in 2013. The planted and harvested area for feed grains declined considerable, with the exception of grain sorghum and oats, primarily due to lower corn prices. Those prices in 2014 declined considerably from historically high levels most of 2013, which had fallen toward the end of 2013 and continued at those levels in 2014.

With nearly ideal growing conditions throughout much of the year and much of the state, near record high yields of feed grain production, particularly corn, occurred in 2014. Gross farm value of all feed grains in Louisiana was $337.3 million, down 57 percent from $791.8 million in 2013. Value added for feed grains was estimated to be $59 million in 2014, so the total value, including both gross farm value and value added, of feed grain production in Louisiana for the year was $396.4 million, down dramatically (57 percent) from 2013.


Corn was grown on 1,157 Louisiana farms in 2014, down from 1,369 farms in 2013. The statewide average yield was 182 bushels per acre in 2014, which was near the record set last year of 186 bushels per acre. There were 395,279 acres of corn harvested in 2014, down by roughly 250,000 acres from 643,480 acres of corn harvested in 2013.

Gross farm value of corn production in 2014 was $298.1 million, down significantly from the 2013 value of $735.5 million. This significant decline in value of corn production in the state was due to a combination of decreased harvested acres and lower grain prices which adversely affected the gross value.

Grain Sorghum

Grain sorghum followed a similar pattern to corn, in that acreage, yield and prices were lower in 2014 than in 2013. Overall production decreased compared to 2014 due to fewer acres being harvested for sorghum – 95,735 acres harvested in 2014 versus 107,790 acres harvested in 2013. There were more producers (504) growing sorghum in 2014 than the ones (276) who harvest sorghum in 2013. Nonetheless, despite solid yields of 53.5 hundredweight per acre (compared with 58 hundredweight per acre in 2013), overall sorghum production in 2014 (5.1 million hundredweight) was lower than the level of 2012 (6.3 million hundredweight). Despite dry conditions in select areas of the state early in the growing season, growing and harvesting conditions were favorable in 2014 throughout much of the sorghum growing areas of Louisiana.

Gross farm value of sorghum production was $37.9 million, down substantially from $55.1 million in 2013, due primarily to lower farm-gate prices for grain sorghum.


Oat production rebounded somewhat in 2014, due in large part to an increase in acreage levels. During 2014, Louisiana producers harvested 4,284 acres, up from 3,448 in 2013. Oat yields in 2014 were 86 bushels per acre, down slightly from 2013 levels of 87 bushels per acre. Gross farm value of oat production was $1.3 million in 2014, up from $1.2 million in 2013.


The projected Louisiana gross farm value of forest products increased by 10 percent during the 2014 calendar year. The pine saw-timber harvest decreased by six percent from the prior year and posted a total statewide harvest of approximately 845.6 million board feet during 2014. The hardwood saw-timber harvest decreased slightly as well during 2014, a 2 percent reduction to 102.3 million board feet. Pine chip-and-saw harvested during 2014 totaled 805,172 cords, an increase of approximately 12 percent from 2013 levels. The pulpwood harvest was 6.4 million cords, up 785,000 cords (14 percent) from the 2013 harvest. Pine pulpwood harvest increased 18 percent, from 4.7 million cords during 2013 to 5.5 million cords in 2014. Hardwood pulpwood harvest decreased by 8 percent, from 911,000 cords in 2013 to 841,000 cords in 2014.

In general, delivered prices were up across several timber classes over the period reported, 4 percent for all products; except for pine sawtimber, which was up 2 percent and hardwood sawtimber, which was up 14 percent. It must be noted that individual landowners should not look at Timber Mart South Prices as an indication of what they will get for timber sold on their land, but rather as a gauge to judge price trends and directions. Timber owners should also consult Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for their price report and work with a consulting forester who can help them best gauge the market for their timber as the prices received for individual tracts varies considerably depending on local conditions.

Stumpage prices paid for pine saw-timber during the fourth quarter of 2013 averaged $248.48 per thousand board feet Doyle. This average represents a 0.16 percent increase from the previous quarter and 0.48 percent increase compared to a year ago. Prices paid for mixed hardwood saw-timber during the fourth quarter of 2013 averaged $491.53 per thousand board feet Doyle, which is a 39 percent increase from the previous quarter and 18 percent higher than a year ago. Pulpwood stumpage prices averaged $23.14 per standard cord for pine and $22.94 per standard cord for hardwood.

During the year, Louisiana’s private forest landowners received an estimated $450 million from the sale of forest timber (stumpage), up seven percent from the $420 million in the previous year. Timber harvesting contractors and their employees earned approximately $515 million from harvesting the trees and moving wood to mills during 2014, an increase of 11 percent from $462 million in 2013. The most recent estimates for earnings generated by forest sector employment was approximately $2.67 billion, and tax revenue of 711 million. Estimates also reveal that the forest sector employs around 45,600 people - 20,000 directly.

Look for pine saw timber prices to trade sideways this year. There will be seasonal fluctuations but I do not expect meaningful gains due in large part to oversupply remaining and a steady but flat housing market in the U.S. (1 to 1.1 million starts). Fluctuations in pine sawtimber and chip-n-saw prices will mimic housing starts, trend upward in the first half of the year, peak in late summer or early fall 2015, and trend down in 2016. Pine Pulpwood prices are forecasted to increase in-state and around the south in the coming year but we also had bad weather early and wet weather late in 2014. I’ll hedge and say up fifty cents a ton. Why not more? Warmer and dryer weather in the spring and summer months will postpone original forecasted gains.

Hardwood saw timber and pulpwood demand will take slight dips as export markets cool and imports from South America look for U.S. markets but nothing that would warrant panic among landowners. Solid wood products demand from Europe will also be muted.

Given the last two years of stumpage prices, those in the forestry sector had much to feel good about in the short term and going forward into 2015. Consensus among many economists watching the housing market is that a slower housing market may be positive for the forestry sector, at least in the short-run. The fundamental economic baseline conditions necessary for sustained, real growth in the housing sector are not yet present, so if big gains in housing market materialized, this may indicate suspect bubble activity. Rentals remain too large a percentage of housing starts at 35% of all starts and rental rates indicate that will not subside anytime soon. However, as wages increase and employment continues to move downward home ownership will likely increase at a sustainable pace. Combine that situation with strong pellet activity in Louisiana and around the southeast and the forest products sector should see a boost to pulp prices over the next decade.

In-state prices for pine stumpage were up 2 percent (for all classes) over the last two years, despite abundant inventory. The increases in hardwoods were even stronger. Sawtimber and pulp are up 13.5 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Those gains were spread evenly over the last two years across all classes. For predictions and outlook for 2015, please see the special edition “stumpage speak outlook” document that is available online at the LSU AgCenter website on the “Stumpage Speak” link or contact your area forester.

The general trends are encouraging for timber owners. Sawtimber prices have recovered nicely since 2010, due in large part to export markets and a slow but improving housing market. Heading into 2015, the housing market should continue to recover at a steady, gradual pace. Home builders in many markets across the country have seen their businesses improve over the course of the year, and builders remain confident in 2015. Last year was expected to be the comeback year in forestry, largely due to beliefs that housing starts would approach normal levels again. Like GDP, housing was below expectations as originally forecast. While unemployment was down, wages stagnated. This indicates that many of the systemic problems present since the 2008-2010 recession are still present and market participants remain uncertain about the future. Nonetheless, stumpage prices continued to trend upward due to a combination of demand and supply conditions and expectations are that those trends will continue through 2015 and into the next several years.

Fruit Crops

Louisiana’s commercial fruit production is diverse, ranging from berries, citrus and peaches to muscadine grapes and mayhaws, among others. In 2014, commercial fruit crops were raised by more than 1,000 producers. Gross farm value for commercial fruit production was $43 million in 2013, up 49 percent from $28.9 million in 2013, due to strong prices received by producers, particularly for citrus and strawberries. Value added contributed $15.1 million to the total value of fruit production of $58.1 million in 2014, up 49 percent from 2013.


Gross farm value of blackberries decreased during 2014 and was $1.6 million, down from $2.2 million during 2013. During the past year, the number of commercial blackberry producers was 88, and they cultivated 103 acres of blackberries in 2014, essentially unchanged from 2013. Average production was up slightly, from 5,651 pints of blackberries per acre during 2013 to 5,698 pints for 2014. Overall production was up, as well, in 2014, going from 583,500 pints during 2013 to 587,158 pints in 2014. Despite increased production, lower prices contributed to the decrease in gross farm value.


In 2014, blueberries were grown commercially by 95 producers on 184 acres, up slightly from 2013. Blueberries yielded, on average, 5,556 pints per acre for producers in 2014, down from 2013 levels. These conditions resulted in total production remaining relatively unchanged at 1 million pints in 2014. Gross farm value of blueberries during 2014 was $5.6 million, up from $4.4 million in 2012, primarily due to increased prices received by commercial blueberry producers in Louisiana.


The Louisiana citrus industry in 2014 involved 304 growers in 22 parishes, down from 419 growers in 2013. Producers harvested 799 acres of citrus during 2014, up from 744 acres of citrus in 2013. The citrus industry continues to recover from flooding associated with Hurricane Isaac that caused extensive damage or destroyed orchards in Plaquemines Parish, in particular.

Citrus production and harvesting of fruit occurred on 255 acres of navels, 516 acres of satsumas and 29 acres of other types of citrus (lemons, grapefruit and kumquats, among others). Despite damage caused by Hurricane Isaac, Plaquemines Parish remained the leading producer of citrus in Louisiana, with 515 acres of citrus that had gross farm sales of $4.15 million in 2014, up from $3.1 million in 2013.

Although some citrus is sold through traditional marketing channels, the majority of Louisiana citrus is sold by direct marketing at roadside stands and farmers markets. Peddlers buy citrus on the farms and sell it again across the state, while some growers deliver citrus to grocery store warehouses, individual grocery stores and fruit stands.

Satsumas were grown by 222 producers on 516 acres during 2014. Total satsuma production was 199,089 bushels in 2014, up from 184,642 bushels sold in 2013. Value of satsuma sales in 2014 was $4.5 million, up from $3.8 million during 2013, due primarily to increased production and slightly stronger prices at the wholesale and retail levels. Navel oranges were grown by 134 producers on 255 acres, with 75,835 bushels harvested and sold. Gross farm value of navel orange sales was $1.7 million in 2014, up from $1.3 million in 2013. The gross farm value of all citrus production in Louisiana in 2014 was $6.4 million, up from $5.4 million for 2013.


The gross farm value for mayhaws was $2.4 million in 2014, significantly higher than 2013. Orchard and native mayhaw trees produced approximately 392,000 and 765,000 pounds respectively for a total production in 2014 of 1.1 million pounds, essentially unchanged in total production from 2013. Production, centered in Grant Parish, occurred on 350 acres statewide in 2012 and averaged 3,300 pounds per acre of orchard production.

Miscellaneous Fruit

Many miscellaneous fruits were planted as small commercial plantings or as backyard plantings. These crops included figs, grapes, pears, plums, apples and persimmons. These fruits were planted on 132 acres and had estimated gross farm value of $1.75 million in 2014.


Reports concerning muscadine production were divided into fresh fruit production and commercial production. The total gross farm value of all muscadine production in 2014 was $675,828.

Muscadines were grown for fresh fruit on 75 acres by 71 growers who produced 98,688 pounds of grapes in Louisiana during 2014. The fruit usually was sold at $4 to $10 per gallon, with an average of $6 per gallon. The lower prices generally were used at U-pick operations.

Production for juice and wine was considered commercial muscadine production. Muscadines grown for wine production are concentrated in East Feliciana Parish, and Louisiana produced 465 tons of commercial muscadines on 30 acres in 2014.


Gross farm value of peaches during 2014 was $0.9 million, down from $1.1 million in 2013. Peaches were grown on 246 acres by 40 commercial producers and yielded 29,190 bushels during 2014, up from previous year.


In 2014, the Louisiana strawberry industry involved 81 growers who produced berries on 367 acres for a gross farm value of $23.7 million. This was up in value since producers harvested about the same number of acres, which resulted in similar total production, but was increased by stronger prices for berries harvested. Tangipahoa Parish was the leading strawberry-producing parish in the state, with 285 acres and $19.3 million in sales during 2014, an increase in value from 2013 levels.

The majority of the Louisiana strawberries were sold commercial. Growers delivered berries to grocery store warehouses, individual grocery stores and fruit stands. The remaining portion of the crop was sold at farmers markets and roadside stands.

Louisiana strawberries were available as early as November, December and January. This was due to the use of the variety Strawberry Festival, plug plants from nurseries in Quebec, Canada, row covers and wire hoops. These early berries brought premium prices and played a large part in the high returns for the crop in Louisiana.

Commercial Greenhouse Vegetables

During 2014, 20 parishes had farms commercially growing greenhouse vegetables on 5 acres, similar to the greenhouse space used in 2013. As in the past, most production (90 percent) was devoted to tomatoes during 2014, with some greenhouse space devoted to cucumbers and lettuce. All of the greenhouse produce was sold on the fresh market, much of it direct-retail at local markets. Energy costs, which became a major cost of production during the winter of 2009, continued to affect production decisions over the past few years, though temporary declines in energy costs during this past year were welcomed by producers in the industry.

The estimated gross farm value of Louisiana greenhouse vegetables was $2.3 million in 2014, up slightly from 2013 levels. Total value of greenhouse produce, including value added, was $2.1 million for 2014, an increase of $500,000 over 2013 levels.

Hay Sold

Hay production for commercial sales is a limited part of the total hay production in Louisiana. Nevertheless, hay produced from 46 acres of alfalfa and 344,798 acres of grasslands was sold by 3,073 producers in 2014. Yields averaged 3 tons per acre from the grasslands harvested for sale and 4 tons per acre from the alfalfa harvested for sale. Production included 1.07 million tons of grass hay and 197 tons of alfalfa hay. Compared to numbers reported in 2013, the acreage of grasslands used for commercial hay production decreased by 4 percent. Yields were unchanged between the two years. As a result, the total production of the 2014 hay crop for sale was slightly lower than that of the 2013 crop.

Yields averaged 3 tons per acre from the grasslands harvested for sale during 2013, up from 2.9 tons per acre in 2012. Production included 1.1 million tons of grass hay in 2013, up slightly from 1 million in 2012. Alfalfa hay production, which averaged 5 tons per acre, was 225 tons in 2013.

Weather conditions were variable across the state in 2014. Many of the southern parishes were abnormally wet during the summer, while dry weather conditions persisted throughout much of northern part of the state during the spring and summer months. Fall weather conditions were generally favorable for hay production across the state.

Gross farm value of all hay sales, including some minor alfalfa production, was $145.7 million, which was 6 percent lower than the 2013 hay crop. Total value of hay production, including value added, was $171.2 million for 2014.

Hay for all noncommercial purposes was grown on 470,000 acres and produced 2.7 tons per acre for a total production of 1.27 million tons.

Home Vegetable Gardens

Parish reports indicate there were an estimated 500,243 home gardens statewide during 2014. This number was up slightly from 2013 and higher than in previous years due to a change in the method used to estimate the number of home gardens, which started in 2011. This revised method used a formula based on research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that indicated approximately one in three households have some kind of garden, including backyard fruit trees, vegetable plots, berry patches, etc. As a result of that research, the number of gardens was adjusted in some parishes to more accurately reflect this range of home garden production.

Nonetheless, the number of home gardens in any given year fluctuates greatly with people’s interest and the economy. When economic conditions are weak, as have existed for the past few years, the number of households using home gardens increases. Vegetable gardening is not only a hobby but also extends the family budget by freeing up limited funds for other food purchases.

A survey of Louisiana home gardeners in 2008 showed the average age of gardeners was 62 years, with a median age of 67 years. The median Louisiana garden size was 800 square feet and was calculated to generate produce valued at $525 per garden. This value was used to calculate the gross farm value of home gardens in Louisiana.

The 2014 gross farm value of home vegetable gardens in Louisiana was estimated to be $262.6 million.

Nursery Crops

The commercial nursery industry in Louisiana consists of fruit and nut tree nursery stock production, foliage plants, woody ornamentals, and floriculture and bedding plants. Commercial nursery crop production in Louisiana had a gross farm value of $107.7 million in 2014. This was up approximately 8 percent from 2013. Wholesale nursery sales in Louisiana have improved over the past 3 years and spring sales in 2014 were excellent.

Wholesale production was $5.8 million for the growers of fruit and nut tree nursery stock in 2014. This category, consisting of citrus, blueberries and figs, among others, has been up 10 to 20 percent annually the past three years. Bedding plant and floriculture crop production was $36.9 million in farm-gate sales in 2014, up about $5 million from 2013. The largest segment of the nursery industry continues to be woody ornamentals, primarily trees and shrubs. At the wholesale level, woody ornamental growers sold products worth $64.2 million during 2014. Wholesale production of foliage plants remained relatively stable at $0.8 million in 2014.

Including value added of $59.2 million, the total value of the Louisiana nursery industry at the wholesale level was $166.9 million in 2014.


During 2014, there were 1,188 acres of peanuts harvested, which was up significantly from 578 acres in 2013. Production of peanuts increased from 2.3 million pounds in 2013 to 4.8 million pounds of peanuts sold for commercial processing in 2014. Gross farm value of peanuts in 2014 was approximately $1.1 million, up from less than $1 million in 2013. Value added of approximately $162,000, when combined with gross farm value, resulted in $1.2 million in total value for Louisiana peanut production during 2014.


The state’s pecan crop estimates during the summer ranged from 15 to 16 million pounds, with the harvested crop estimated to be 13.7 million pounds for 2014, which would be over 15 percent above the 10 year average (2004-2013) of 11.9 million pounds. Insect pressure was sporadic with no significant losses being attributable to a specific insect statewide. Crop loss from Pecan Nut Casebearer was greater for 2nd and 3rd generation than 1st. Several growers reported some late season defoliation due to black aphid infestations. Scab disease was light in northern Louisiana, but more abundant in the south. Powdery mildew infection on the pecan shucks was common across the state and some shuck dieback was reported. Several growers also reported some defoliation due to some minor foliar fungal pathogens.

Input from growers, LSU AgCenter agents and accumulators estimated the final pecan crop at 13.7 million pounds, which would be 1.3 million pounds less than the last “on-year” crop in 2012 and 7.6 million pounds more than last year’s “off-year” crop of 6.1 million pounds. The 2014 crop is forecast to consist of 4.3 million pounds of improved pecans and 9.4 million pounds of native pecans.

Wholesale prices in Louisiana were highly variable with natives ranging from $0.45 to $1.00 per pound, while improved pecans ranged from $1.40 to $1.90 per pound. The variability on prices was due to quality, location, time of sale, and quantity of pecans sold. Early in the season the price for native pecans was low, ranging from $0.45 to $0.70 per pound, but the price rebounded at the end of the season with some growers receiving $0.90 per pound for their crop. In March, 2015, the USDA estimated that the average 2014 price for improved varieties was $2.12 and native pecans was $0.88 per pound. Using the prices estimated by the USDA, the gross farm value of pecans in Louisiana would be approximately $9.1 million of improved pecans and $8.2 million of native pecans.

Native trees accounted for the majority (78 percent) of the production in Louisiana from 2004 to 2013. Native production was on this year, however, accounting for 69 percent of total production in 2014. The 2015 pecan crop in Louisiana will be an “off-year” crop because of the alternate bearing nature of pecan production. It is yet to be seen what effects other nut commodity prices will have on pecan demand in 2015. The prices of almonds, pistachios and walnuts currently are near historic high levels. Such high prices may lead consumers, retailers, and food manufacturers purchasing those nuts to switch to pecans, which are currently competitively priced with almonds and cheaper than pistachios and walnuts. Pecan nut consumption has rebounded from decreases due to the record high prices a couple of years ago and should continue in a positive direction.

The gross farm value of Louisiana pecans was estimated to be $17.4 million in 2014, up considerably (124 percent) from the $7.7 million for 2013. Total value of pecan production, including value added, was estimated to be $22.2 million for 2014.


Rice acreage in Louisiana increased from 410,902 acres in 2013 to 449,362 acres in 2014. Medium grain production increased from approximately 4 percent of acreage harvested in 2013 to 14 percent in 2014. Much of this increase in medium grain production was due to the decrease in rice acreage in California. The variety ‘Jupiter’ was the predominant medium grain variety grown in Louisiana.

The 2014 rice crop began with a cool and wet March. This delayed much of the drill-seeding and caused a slight increase in water seeded acreage. The cool March also slowed the early season growth and development. Disease and insect pressure were average to below average in 2014. Daytime and nighttime high temperatures were not excessive during the grain fill period. Harvest season was marred with wet conditions which delayed first crop harvest and postponed the onset of the ratoon crop. The wet conditions also slightly decreased the ratooned acres in southwest Louisiana. The mild temperatures coupled with below average disease and insect pressure led to high crop yields with excellent milling and grain quality traits. Average yield in 2014 was 7,541 pounds per acre, lower than the record of 7,568 pounds per acre set in 2013.

The 2014 Louisiana rice crop was harvested by 1,042 producers. The gross farm value of the state’s rice crop was $492.4 million for 2014, $2 million (0.4 percent) less than 2013. The higher acreage, combined with high yields, helped offset slightly lower prices received in 2014 for rice that accounted for the slight decrease in overall farm-gate value in 2014. Value added of $164 million, when combined with farm-gate value, brought the total value of rice production in Louisiana to $656.3 million.

Sod and Turfgrass Production

During 2014, sod was produced by 16 Louisiana sod farmers on 3,515 acres of fine turfgrasses, compared with 3,305 acres harvest in 2013. About 60 percent of the turf sod acreage in Louisiana is centipedegrass and about one-third is St. Augustinegrass. The remaining acreage is divided among hybrid bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. However, zoysiagrass acres are increasing on sod farms.

Construction remained steady in 2014 which may have influenced producers to increase sod acreage in 2014. Shipping costs are always a major component in the eventual cost of sod. Growers welcomed reduced shipping costs in 2014, especially during the late summer and fall months. Lower fuel costs increase overall profit margins and should help increase sales in 2015. However, lower transportation costs may also increase competition from out of state sod farms. Due to increased demand for zoysiagrass and its higher price point, several sod producers are increasing acres of this particular sod species in 2015.

Gross farm value of sod and turfgrass sales in 2014 was estimated to be $17.6 million. Value added for turfgrass production was $13.2 million, so the total value of sod and turfgrass production in Louisiana during 2014 was $30.8 million, up 6 percent from $28.9 million in 2013.


The soybean yield of 57 bushels per acre in 2014 broke the Louisiana soybean yield record again. USDA reported Louisiana at 57 bushels per acre which was the highest state average yield in the United States. Soybeans were harvested from more than 1.39 million acres by 2,509 producers during 2014. This was up from 1.1 million acres in 2013. The record Louisiana soybean yields in 2014 combined with higher acreage harvested resulted in the largest harvest of soybeans recorded in the state – 79.6 million bushels.

Yields were higher than 2012 by 5 bushels per acre, due to rainfall and good growing conditions through most of the grain filling stages of development. Drought conditions were reported in some areas of the state, which reduced soybean yields and prevented some acreage from being planted, although other areas had wet conditions that delayed planting.

Yields were higher in 2014, due to timely rainfall and good growing conditions through most of the grain filling stages of development. Wet conditions were reported in some areas of the state early in the planting season, which reduced soybean yields and prevented some acreage from being planted, and other areas had wet conditions that delayed planting.

Overall, producers statewide were able to plant early, which coincided with optimum planting periods. Getting a large portion of the soybean crop planted on time contributed to the high yields. The usual weed, disease and insect problems were present during 2014, but because of the good conditions early in the growing season, insect and disease pressure were mild to moderate until late in the season. Cold temperatures during winter resulted in decreased red banded stink bug numbers and little Asian soybean rust. Asian soybean rust continues to be a threat in Louisiana, although its presence so far has not resulted in major yield losses. Excellent weather conditions and timely rains for most of the state and favorable conditions during harvest contributed to the state’s record yield.

Gross farm value of soybeans in Louisiana was $988.1 million for 2014, a 28 percent increase from the $773.4 million in 2013. Value added from cleaning and processing soybeans in Louisiana contributed $172.9 million and resulted in $1.2 billion in total economic contributions to the state’s economy from soybeans.


In 2014, sugarcane was grown on 412,351 acres in 23 Louisiana parishes. An estimated 396,681 acres were available for harvest for sugar, assuming that 6.5 percent of the total acres were used for seed cane.

The 11 operating raw sugar factories in the state processed 12.8 million tons of cane, which was lower than the amount processed in 2014. In total, the 11 factories produced 1.478 million short tons of sugar (96º pol), which exceeded expectations because of the late start to the growing season due to cold weather during the winter and spring of 2014.

The average yield of cane produced from each harvested acre amounted to 33.3 tons per acre (a decrease of 0.8 tons per acre compared to 2013). The average sugar recovery at the 11 raw sugar factories was a new state record of 11.6 percent or 232 pounds of sugar (96º pol) per ton of cane; this was an increase of 10 pounds of sugar per ton of cane compared to the 2013 crop. The yield of commercially recoverable sugar produced per harvested acre was approximately 7,730 pounds (an increase of 160 pounds compared to the 2013 crop). The 2012 crop had the highest recoverable sugar per acre of any sugarcane crop ever grown in Louisiana when production was recorded at 8,412 pounds of sugar/harvested acre.

Although the pricing period is not completed for the 2014 crop, sugar prices have risen slightly compared to the pricing period for the 2013 crop. The average predicted value for raw sugar for 2014 is $0.23 per pound. Molasses prices have remained high at an average of $120 per short ton at 79.5 Brix.

The gross farm value of the 2014 sugarcane crop was $440.8 million for sugar and molasses. The gross farm value represents 60 percent of the value of the sugar and 50 percent of the value of molasses produced. The remaining percentages are for processing and marketing, which amounted to $305.9 million. Therefore, the total value of the sugarcane crop to Louisiana producers, processors and landlords at the first processing level was $746.7 million.

The 2014 sugarcane crop got off to an extremely slow start. Late winter and spring temperatures were well below normal. In addition, rainfall was above normal during this same time frame. In fact, below average temperatures were experienced for the months of January through June (data from Baton Rouge Airport). Temperatures conducive for optimum growth of sugarcane were not experienced until mid-June. Summer rainfall was above average and generally well distributed, which provided for good sugarcane growth in late summer. As the planting season neared, the crop was short and planting was delayed for about two weeks for many growers. Planting ratios were generally average for the 2014 planting season. Stands of newly planted cane are considered excellent.

At harvest, cane yields (tons/acre) were higher than expected, which was likely due to very warm temperatures experienced in August through early October that resulted in excellent late season crop growth. Louisiana harvested a relatively erect crop because no tropical systems affected the Louisiana sugar industry in 2014. In addition, sugarcane brown rust levels were low and crop canopies remained very green. These factors along with abundant fall sunshine were conducive to providing for a crop with record sugar recovery along with good tonnage. Weather conditions for the 2014 harvest were generally dry, except for the last three weeks of processing. An erect crop along with dry weather allowed growers the ability to harvest and factories to process clean cane. Lower mud and fiber content were good news for the raw sugar factories as these conditions minimize sucrose losses in raw sugar processing.

Sugarcane acreage (412,351 acres) in Louisiana for 2014 was lower than the acreage reported in 2013. The cold and wet winter and spring caused stand problems in some sugarcane varieties. As a result, more acreage of older stubble crops was ploughed out than in more normal years. Production acreage continues to be lost to urban encroachment and industrial development.

The 2014 sugarcane variety census showed Louisiana producers have spread their risk and continued to rely on several varieties. The most widely grown variety was HoCP 96-540, which was grown on 37 percent of the production acres. This was followed by L 01-299 (22%), L 99-226 (13%), L 01-283 (10%), HoCP 04-838 (6 %), HoCP 00-950 (4 %), and L 03-371 (3 %). Seed-cane of the newly released variety Ho 07-613 was sold to growers from secondary increase stations.

Sugar yield (lbs of sugar/acre) at the beginning of the harvest was good considering that growers harvested their older stubble crops and heavy clay land first. Sugar recoveries were excellent where ripeners were applied and much lower where ripeners were not applied. The 2014 harvest produced record sugar recoveries and variety response to ripeners was some of the best response in many years. Sugar recoveries were also higher due to the erectness of the crop. An erect crop can be topped when harvested.

Sugar yield (lbs of sugar/acre) at the beginning of the harvest was good considering that growers harvested their older stubble crops and heavy clay land first. Sugar recoveries were excellent where ripeners were applied and much lower where ripeners were not applied. The 2014 harvest produced record sugar recoveries and variety response to ripeners was some of the best response in many years. Sugar recoveries were also higher due to the erectness of the crop. An erect crop can be topped when harvested.

The 11 factories processed less tonnage than the 2014 crop. The first factory to open was Cora Texas on September 25, 2014, and the last factory to close was Enterprise, which processed sugarcane until January 10, 2015.

Sweet Potatoes

Louisiana producers harvested 8,494 acres of sweet potatoes in 2014 compared to 7,322 in 2013. This was a 16 percent increase in acreage. This was a reversal of the trend of declining acreage over the past few years. Louisiana remained fourth in sweet potato production in the United States for 2014-behind North Carolina, Mississippi, and California.

Seedbed production was delayed in 2014 due to an unusually wet spring. However, conditions did improve as season progressed and producers were able to plant the crop in a timely manner. Growing conditions remained favorable during the season. Approximately 55 percent of the sweet potato acreage in the state can be irrigated. Harvest began in mid-August for some producers while the majority of producers began harvest the second week of September. Harvest weather was cooperative with no significant weather conditions causing significant crop loss. The entire acreage in Louisiana was harvested with the majority of producers completing harvest in early November. Insect pressure was light in 2014. The main weed issues growers dealt with were yellow and purple nutsedge, pigweed, and smell melon. Weed problems are compounded by the fact that few registered herbicides are available for weed control in sweet potatoes. Roundness of potatoes seemed to be of concern this year, as well as skinning at harvest.

A few producers are bulk harvesting the crop, using newly designed harvesters or modified Irish potato harvesters. More producers are expected to move toward bulk harvesting in the future as growth in the processing sector increases. Bulk harvesting reduces labor needs and increases the acreage harvested per day which can reduce the risk of adverse weather during the harvest season and allows for a shorter harvest window. Some growers are beginning to market a majority of their sweet potato crop into the processing sector. This market is viable under the current price structure that is in place. Some producers are marketing their entire acreages under field run contracts to the processing sector while others are moving a percentage of their crop to processors while maintaining traditional fresh markets. A few producers are storing sweet potatoes in bulk piles which can also reduce the cost of production. Production and packing cost for sweet potatoes in Louisiana are estimated to be in the $3,000 to $3,500 per acre. Almost 25 percent of the acreage in Louisiana is grown exclusively for the processing sector.

Louisiana sweet potato producers experienced a “good” year in 2014. Producers were able to harvest all acreage planted. Producers reported yields in the range of 450-500 bushels with the state average estimated at 480 bushel. The prices reported for fresh market was in the $18-20 FOB for a 40 pound box of U.S. No. 1’s, $11-12 for U.S. No.2’s, and Jumbos was in the $10-12 price range for the year. Frozen processor paid a price of $16-24/cwt. While producers received $5-8 per hundredweight for canner grade sweet potatoes.

Two new varieties were released by the LSU AgCenter sweet potato breeding program in 2012, “Orleans” and “Bayou Belle”. Together the new varieties are gaining in popularity in both the fresh market and processing sectors. It is estimated that the two new varieties account for 20 percent of the acreage grown in Louisiana with more expected as sufficient seed becomes available to producers. These varieties have excellent yield potential and are beginning to replace some of the other varieties grown. Producers are experiencing a 15-20 percent yield increase which these new varieties. The Louisiana variety with the most acreage continues to be “Beauregard”. This variety was released in 1987 by the LSU sweet potato breeding program and is the leading variety grown in the sweet potato producing states in the southeastern U.S.

A year-round market has developed in recent years, and producers, shippers and brokers are interested in maintaining a year-round supply to meet their buyer’s needs. In addition to the fresh market demand, there also has been an increase in processed consumer-friendly sweet potato products in recent years, such as sweet potato fries, canned sweet potatoes and sweet potato chips and cookies. Growth in value-added use and markets for producers is expected to result in acreage increases in Louisiana and across the southeastern U.S. during the coming years.

A year-round market has developed in recent years, and producers, shippers and brokers are interested in maintaining a year-round supply to meet their buyer’s needs. In addition to the fresh market demand, there also has been an increase in processed consumer-friendly sweet potato products in recent years, such as sweet potato fries, canned sweet potatoes and sweet potato chips and cookies. Growth in value-added use and markets for producers is expected to result in acreage increases in Louisiana and across the southeastern United States during the coming years.

Total gross farm value for sweet potatoes was estimated at $66.7 million. Total value of sweet potato production, including value added of $50 million, was $116.8 million in 2014.

Vegetables, Commercial

The Louisiana vegetable industry continues to be incredibly diverse. In 2014, more than 3,400 growers harvested and sold 33 different vegetables crops that were grown on 8,246 acres. Those crops had a gross farm value of $76.1 million.

The majority of the vegetable crops grown in Louisiana were sold by direct marketing at farmers markets and roadside stands. Direct marketing offered producers opportunities to sell at retail prices – but with some handling and marketing risk. The development of more than 140 farmers markets in Louisiana has greatly enhanced the marketing and value of vegetable crops harvested and sold by Louisiana producers. Vegetable crops not sold by those methods were delivered to grocery store warehouses, individual grocery stores and fruit and vegetable stands.

Louisiana MarketMaker, a free online marketing program administered by the LSU AgCenter, has added opportunities to market Louisiana produce to brokers, buyers, grocery stores, restaurants and consumers throughout the region. Accessing these markets via the Louisiana MarketMaker website allows producers to potentially receive increased revenues from sales to markets where they traditionally have had limited access. Information on the Louisiana MarketMaker program is found at:

Watermelons constituted one-quarter of the acreage devoted to vegetable production in Louisiana. Most of the watermelons grown in the state were sold to peddlers, and only a small percentage was sold to the wholesale markets. Gross farm value of watermelon production for 2014 was $12.1 million.

Other top crops in terms of farm-gate value of production in Louisiana during 2014 were sweet corn (770 acres) at $13.7 million, tomatoes (351 acres) at $12.3 million, peppers (270 acres) at $6.5 million, green tomatoes (351 acres) at $5.1 million, and southern peas (1,888 acres) at $3.8 million.

The gross farm value of all commercial vegetable sales in the state was $76.1million for 2014. Combined with value added ($102.7 million), the total value of Louisiana commercial vegetable production for 2014 was $178.8 million.


Wheat was harvested from 149,838 acres by 443 producers during 2014, which was down from 232,813 acres by 506 producers during 2013. The decline in prices received for wheat during 2014, compared to 2013 prices, combined with damage sustained from inclement weather over the winter of 2014 were the primary causes for this reduction in wheat acreage harvested in Louisiana during 2014.

Louisiana’s 2014 yields for wheat averaged 67 bushels per acre, which was up from the average yield of 64 bushels per acre reported in 2013. Total Louisiana production for 2014 was 10 million bushels, down sharply from14.8 million bushels in 2013.

The gross farm value of the 2014 Louisiana wheat crop was $63.4 million, which was 41 percent lower than the 2013 crop. This decrease in gross farm value of the wheat crop was due to lower prices received for wheat and decreased production. Value added for wheat production was $11.1 million, which resulted in a total value of production for Louisiana wheat of $74.6 million for 2014.

Progress Report

Animal Commodities

Commodity Gross Farm Value Value Added Total Value
Cattle and Calves $795,346,335 $99,418,292 $894,764,626
Milk $58,684,542 $94,482,113 $153,166,655
Horses $457,735,000 $50,350,850 $508,085,850
Poultry $868,904,371 $847,181,762 $1,716,086,133
Rabbits $183,938 $19,313 $203,251
Ostrich/Ratite 875 44 919
Quail/Pheasant $86,100 $9,471 $95,571
Sheep $722,814 $83,124 $805,938
Goats $2,066,679 $258,335 $2,325,014
Swine $2,030,739 $253,842 $2,284,581
Exotic Animals $65,400 $6,867 $72,267
Total $2,185,826,793 $1,092,064,013 $3,277,890,805

Fisheries and Widllife Commodities

Commodity Gross Farm Value Value Added Total Value
Aquaculture $293,752,571 $198,282,985 $492,035,556
Freshwater Fisheries $18,943,623 $16,575,670 $35,519,292
Marine Fisheries $328,665,448 $320,448,811 $649,114,259
Fur Animals $371,691 $124,185 $620,925
Alligators (wild) $10,843,500 $5,963,925 $16,807,425
Hunting Lease Enterprise $96,255,043 $8,181,679 $104,436,722
Honey $3,757,450 $939,362 $4,696,812
Total $752,589,325 $550,485,355 $1,303,074,680

Plant Commodities

Commodity Gross Farm Value Value Added Total Value
Cotton $158,336,324 $39,584,081 $197,920,405
Feed Grain Crops $337,326,338 $59,032,109 $396,358,447
Forestry $965,972,339 $2,897,917,016 $3,863,889,354
Fruit Crops $43,010,957 $15,053,835 $58,064,792
Greenhouse Vegetables $2,332,285 $816,300 $3,148,585
Hay, Sold $145,729,499 $25,502,662 $171,232,161
Home Gardens $262,627,575 -- $262,627,575
Nursery Stock and Ornamentals $107,686,500 $59,227,575 $166,914,075
Other Oilseed -- -- --
Peanuts $1,080,452 $162,068 $1,242,520
Pecans 17,373,914 $4,777,826 $22,151,741
Rice $492,384,445 $163,964,020 $656,348,465
Sod Production $17,575,000 $13,181,250 $30,756,250
Soybeans $988,139,472 $172,924,408 $1,161,063,880
Sugarcane $440,764,545 $305,890,594 $746,655,139
Sweet Potatoes $66,717,784 $50,038,338 $116,756,122
Vegetables, Commercial $76,094,155 $102,727,109 $178,821,264
Wheat $63,447,670 $11,103,342 $74,551,012
Total $4,186,707,853 $3,921,907,963 $8,108,615,816
Total All Commodities $7,125,123,970 $5,564,457,331 $12,689,581,301

5 Year Average

Animal Commodities - 2010 - 2014

Year Gross Farm Income Value Added Total Value
2010 $1,684,025,121 $947,860,649 $2,631,885,770
2011 $1,693,260,071 $951,852,096 $2,645,112,167
2012 $1,937,984,254 $1,112,449,972 $3,050,434,226
2013 $2,123,737,059 $1,197,266,284 $3,321,003,343
2014 $2,185,826,793 $1,092,064,013 $3,277,890,805

Fisheries and Wildlife Commodities - 2010 - 2014

Year Gross Farm Income Value Added Total Value
2010 $575,103,681 $381,078,214 $956,181,895
2011 $569,400,722 $387,037,623 $956,438,345
2012 $643,477,136 $457,481,759 $1,100,958,895
2013 $657,887,827 $469,867,507 $1,127,755,334
2014 $752,589,325 $550,485,355 $1,303,074,680

Plant Commodities - 2010 - 2014

Year Gross Farm Income Value Added Total Value
2010 $3,261,827,739 $3,092,764,355 $6,354,592,093
2011 $3,824,167,187 $3,237,899,996 $7,062,067,182
2012 $4,095,035,296 $3,113,754,585 $7,208,789,881
2013 $4,154,018,312 $3,188,981,201 $7,342,999,512
2014 $4,186,707,853 $3,921,907,963 $8,108,615,816

Progress Measured in Dollars for 5 Years
Animals, Fisheries, Wildlife and Plant Commodities

Year Gross Farm Income Value Added Total Value
2010 $5,520,956,542 $4,421,703,217 $9,942,659,758
2011 $6,086,827,980 $4,576,789,714 $10,663,617,693
2012 $6,676,496,686 $4,683,686,316 $11,360,183,001
2013 $6,935,643,198 $4,856,114,991 $11,791,758,188
2014 $7,125,123,970 $5,564,457,331 $12,689,581,301

For more information, contact John Westra, LSU AgCenter economist, at 225-578-2721 (office) or 225-205-2826 (cell) or

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