The LSU AgCenter makes a unique contribution to Louisiana through its research and extension programs. Of the many accomplishments in 2010, here are nine stories that give you a snapshot of who we are and what we do. Follow the links with each section for more information. The LSU AgCenter, which is headquartered in Baton Rouge, conducts agricultural research at 20 research stations across the state and in 11 departments on the LSU campus. The results of this research are then extended to the farmers, consumers and business people of Louisiana through extension agents, who are located in extension offices in all 64 Louisiana parishes. The LSU AgCenter is here to serve you, and we will continue to do so as long as we exist. Please let me know if you have any questions. Read About Us.
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2010 featured record yields and record prices for some of Louisiana’s major crops – soybeans, cotton, corn and sugarcane. Overall, Louisiana agriculture contributed $9.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2010 – up 20 percent from the year before, according to the latest figures compiled by the LSU AgCenter in its annual Ag Summary. AgCenter scientists conduct research to develop new, better-producing varieties. They also evaluate and determine the varieties best suited for the state’s conditions and the best production methods to use for the highest profits.
Read Louisiana agriculture up 20 percent in 2010 to $9.9 billion.
Watch Louisiana ag producers have good year in 2010.
Read 3 new rice varieties ready for 2011.
The Louisiana sweet potato is considered the best in the world, and the LSU AgCenter is actively involved in expanding its world market. We have the country’s only research station devoted solely to the sweet potato in Chase, La. In fact, there would be no sweet potato industry in the state if it weren’t for the varieties developed at the LSU AgCenter and our foundation seed, which provides healthy seed to help the sweet potato growers increase yields. One of the reasons ConAgra Foods opened a new state-of-the-art sweet potato processing facility in Delhi, La., was to take advantage of the close proximity to the Sweet Potato Research Station. The plant opened in August and right away put nearly 300 people to work, which has helped boost the state’s economy.
Officials thank LSU AgCenter at sweet potato plant opening
Watch Sweet potato harvest helps farmers recover.
Watch the Sweet Truth about Sweet Potato Production.
The LSU AgCenter received a $233,000 three-year grant to promote Louisiana-grown plants. The project identifies superior plants that perform well in all areas of the state. These Super Plants are grown at Louisiana nurseries and marketed through retail establishments. Starting in the fall of 2010, the AgCenter released a list of Super Plants for fall. This process of issuing lists will be repeated each spring and fall. Increased sales of these plants will help boost the economy and make for happy gardeners who can achieve success in growing beautiful flowers.
Read more about Super Plants.
Watch LSU AgCenter promotes La. Super Plants.
Watch Frostproof gardenias are sweet-smelling La. Super Plants.
Since the Youth Wetlands Program began in 2007, more than 200,000 Louisiana youth have learned about the state’s wetland resources and their importance to the world’s ecosystem and the nation’s economy. They have learned through curricula developed by specialists at the LSU AgCenter and distributed to the schools through 4-H agents. Since January 2010, youth participants have planted more than 50,000 wetland plants across Louisiana to combat wetland loss. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration have put $3 million into the program through 2012.
Read about the national conservation award presented to the Youth Wetlands Program.
Watch a school tree planting event during Youth Wetlands Week.
Learn more about Louisiana 4-H.
LSU AgCenter faculty work hard to secure grants for research and extension projects to augment state support. In 2010, the following grants are among those awarded:
– $600,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to make upgrades in biotechnology laboratories.
– $424,000 from NSF to support developing a database and image library at the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum to aid with insect identification.
– $117,400 for three grants from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to support research and promotion of Louisiana specialty crops, including citrus and pecans.
– $79,000 from NSF to study dispersant toxicity to organisms critical to the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.
– $21,350 from the USDA to support education for vendors at farmers markets.
– $13,750 from the USDA to help screen for citrus diseases.
Read a summary of the grants.
As demand for blueberries keeps increasing so does the need for more people to grow them. To promote both the production of blueberries and their nutritional value, the LSU AgCenter with a $518,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative has developed a new website about blueberries. The site is part of eXtension.org, a national website that features educational information posted by land-grant universities across the country.
Read Learn all about blueberries on new website.
Visit the eXtension site on blueberries.
Become a Facebook fan of All About Blueberries.
Read MarketMaker helps La. ag-related businesses sell their products.
Go to Louisiana MarketMaker.
A big problem plaguing farmers across the South finally came to Louisiana. And that is weeds resistant to glyphosate herbicide (Roundup). When these weeds rise up in a cotton or soybean field, they outcompete the crop because they are fast-growing, and they can interfere with harvest, slowing it down and even damaging equipment. AgCenter scientists have been diligently monitoring the arrival of these weeds, principally Palmer amaranth, and devised production plans that help slow down their spread.
Read Herbicide-resistant weeds another limitation to crop production.
Listen to Herbicide-resistant weeds will affect cotton growers.
Watch Weed scientists warn of herbicide-resistant weeds.
The LSU AgCenter has the most successful record of commercialization of intellectual property within the LSU System and, in fact, within higher education in Louisiana. Since 2000, twelve new companies have been started based on licensing technology from the AgCenter. Royalties from these companies and from other licensing agreements have generated more than $29 million since 1999. This income is distributed among the LSU System, the inventors and the AgCenter, where it is funneled back into research. The most lucrative of these licensing agreements has been with the international chemical company BASF for a herbicide-resistant line of rice varieties known as Clearfield.
Learn more about LSU AgCenter Intellectual Property.
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