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Highlights from 2010


Bill Richardson
Bill Richardson, Chancellor

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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cotton ball
Cotton benefited from better yields and higher prices in 2010, compared to 2009. Cotton acreage went up by 10 percent, and yields were good – up 120 pounds per acre to an average of 890 pounds per acre on irrigated land. On top of that, prices were up about 35 percent to an average of nearly 80 cents per pound.

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.

sweet potato harvest
Sweet potatoes contributed $142 million to the Louisiana economy in 2010.

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.

Camelot Rose
The Camelot Rose in the Camelot series foxgloves have been designated as Louisiana Super Plants.

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.

erecting duck box
Louisiana youth erect a wood duck box during Youth Wetlands Week.

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.

Ferrin and citrus plant
Don Ferrin, plant pathologist, examines citrus plant for disease.

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.

Blueberries are good to eat and nutritious. More people are eating them and growing them, which is good for the Louisiana economy.

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, 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.

Myerses and strawberries
John and Nancy Myers are trying to grow their small business, Kingston Orchards, by signing up for MarketMaker.
Louisiana’s agriculture and seafood industries got a new marketing tool in 2010 with the inauguration of a national online service called MarketMaker. This service allows people from anywhere in the world to find Louisiana food and other ag goods and services. In addition, the service helps ag businesses, including ag tourism, do market research so they can find and target the audiences most likely to be interested in their businesses. Louisiana MarketMaker includes nearly 18,000 ag-related businesses: 10,000 eating and drinking establishments; 6,000 food retailers; 750 food processors; 800 food wholesalers; and more than 300 farmers, farmers markets and commercial fisheries operations.

Read MarketMaker helps La. ag-related businesses sell their products.

Go to Louisiana MarketMaker.

Stephenson and johnsongrass
Daniel Stephenson, weed scientists, tells farmers at a field day about weeds resistant to herbicides found in Louisiana fields in 2010. This weed is johnsongrass.

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.

LSU AgCenter scientists discovered ways to add solubilizing properties to a chemotherapeutic drug.

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.

total expenditure bar chart
Our state budget for Fiscal Year 2011 covers July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011, and the total budget is under $95 million (Figure 1).
The LSU AgCenter is one of 11 institutions of higher education in the Louisiana State University System. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, it provides educational services in every parish and conducts research that contributes to the economic development of the state. The LSU AgCenter does not grant degrees nor benefit from tuition or student fee increases. Our state budget for Fiscal Year 2011 covers July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011, and the total budget is under $95 million (Figure 1). This number includes state appropriations, federal appropriations and self-generated funds from various fees, including soil testing services we provide; it does not include grants and contracts from private sources.

Read more about the AgCenter's budget.
Last Updated: 4/2/2014 9:23:06 AM

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