LSU AgCenter Schedules Citrus Field Day For Oct. 20

Wayne J. Bourgeois, Vaughn, James A., Morgan, Johnny W.  |  4/19/2005 10:29:08 PM

LSU AgCenter county agent Alan Vaughn of Plaquemines Parish says he expects a bumper crop of satsumas and other citrus in Louisiana this year. Vaughn said storm damage has been minimal to the fruit this hurricane season and that satsumas should start hitting the commercial market just weeks before Halloween.

News Release Distributed 09/28/04

The LSU AgCenter’s Citrus Research Station has set Oct. 20 for its field day this year to report on ongoing research projects and improvements at the station.

The 2004 field day will begin at 1:30 p.m. with registration, followed by a welcome by Dr. Pamela Hodson, southeast region director for the LSU AgCenter, and Dr. Wayne Bourgeois, professor and resident coordinator at the station.

Bourgeois said items to be covered at the field day include a wide range of topics such as sprayer calibration, information on citrus pests, a review of ongoing citrus research and an update on termite research, which also is being conducted at the station.

"As always, we will discuss topics that our producers need to continue increasing their production," Bourgeois said, adding. "Attendees will see the current demolition work of the buildings that were damaged by a tornado a few years ago, renovation of the remaining buildings and site preparation for the construction of a new administrative office building and a new dry storage building here at the station."

Bourgeois also pointed out that the Citrus Research Station is one of three LSU AgCenter research stations involved with projects dealing with coastal restoration.

"Ivan had a minimum impact on the station," Bourgeois said of this year’s only storm to come near the state this year. "With 1.05 inches of rain and maximum winds of 60 miles per hour recorded, there was minimal crop damage."

Bourgeois said grapefruit trees dropped some fruit, but there was no tree damage.

As for more on the condition of this year’s crop, Alan Vaughn, an LSU county agent in Plaquemines Parish, where most of the state’s citrus is grown, said there seems to be a bumper crop of citrus – with satsumas leading the way.

"In the weeks before Halloween, we should see fruit hitting the commercial markets in large numbers," Vaughn said, adding. "It’s important for the public to know that fruit can be sweet while showing only slight yellowing."

Vaughn also explained that even the small fruit often is as sweet as the larger fruit.

According to Vaughn, in addition to the satsumas, navels also will be in good supply and will be harvested in large numbers after Thanksgiving.

Statewide, citrus is grown in 15 parishes on more than 1,300-1,400 acres, according to Vaughn, who said most of the state’s 800 citrus growers have operations with only about 1 acre to 3 acres. The crops include satsumas, grapefruit, navel oranges, lemons and kumquats.

Although hurricanes have been a problem in Florida, the LSU AgCenter experts say their production losses still won’t have a dramatic influence on markets for the citrus grown here.

"Since Florida raises 90 percent of its crop for juice, their losses to the hurricanes should have little direct influence on our market," Vaughn said.

The LSU AgCenter’s Citrus Research Station is located on Louisiana Highway 23 in Port Sulphur, and the public is invited to attend field day.

For additional information about the field day, contact Bourgeois at (985) 564-2467 or wbourgeois@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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Contacts: Wayne Bourgeois at (985) 564-2467 or wbourgeois@agcenter.lsu.edu
Alan Vaughn at (985) 564-2467 or avaughn@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer: Johnny Morgan at (504) 838-1170 or jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu

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