States Top Sugarcane Growers Recognized

4/19/2005 10:28:33 PM

No 19-Winners Frank Pearce, Jr. & Sons Farm, L-R(Pearce-Danny, Frank Sr. & Frank Jr.) with Louis Lirette, Ibverville, LSU AgCenter.

Harry Laws, County Agent, W.Baton Rouge, with winners No. 7-Robert & Bobby Morris of Port Allen, Jimmy Landry & Herman Waguespack.

Rick Louque, County Agent, Assumption, with winner No. 18 Gary Gravois of Trinity Farms, Inc. in Napoleonville .

The 50th Annual High Yield Awards Program for the 2004 crop year was held on February 22nd in Thibodaux at the Howard Johnson Hotel. The awards were presendted by Dr. Paul Coreil, Vice Chancellor and Director of Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, LSU AgCenter.

    
For the past 50 years, the American Sugar Cane League and the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center have recognized the state's top high-yield sugarcane producers. For the past six years we have held the Louisiana High Yield Sugar Producers Recognition Program in conjunction the League’s Annual Meeting. This new date and format have proved to be very successful. However, because of the need to assemble a tremendous amount of information to decide on the recipients of the various awards and the short time between the conclusion of the immediate past crop and this meeting, the awards being presented today are for the 2004 crop. Although this program is strictly voluntary on the part of the producers, we encourage all producers to participate.

    For today’s recognition program, we have producers from 13 parishes. The county agents from each parish contact the producers in their parish to inquire about their participation. Once a producer agrees to participate, the agent obtains the necessary information on total acres of cane planted from the Farm Service Agency representative for the parish and the yield of theoretical recoverable sugar (TRS) from the factories to which their producers send their crop. This information from each parish is sent to
Dr. Benjamin L. Legendre, Sugarcane Specialist with the LSU Ag Center. Dr. Legendre then collates the information from the agents and determines the Top 20 sugar producers in the state regardless of region or acreage category, the 1st and 2nd place producers in each of the four acreage categories from each of the three regions and the top producer in each participating parish.

    The three categories of awards are as follows:

1. Top 20 Producers in the State: To be recognized in this category a producer must have grown at least 100 acres of sugarcane and placed among the Top 20 in yield of sugar per acre reported statewide;

2. District Acreage Category Winners: In this category, first and second place high yield winners in their respective acreage categories (Category 1 – 100-299.9 acres; Category 2 – 300-699.9 acres; Category 3 – 700-1,499.9 acres; and, Category 4 – 1,500 acres and above) are recognized in the three districts (the River-Bayou Lafourche District, the Teche District and the Northern District).

3. Parish Winners: These are the top producers in sugar per acre in their respective parishes. Only one farm per parish receives this honor.

    I will now present the awards while Mr. Craig Caillier, president, American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc., will assist me in the distribution of the awards. I would like to ask that the county agents from each parish participating to go to the side with Mr. Mark Claesgens of LSU Ag Center Communications so that pictures can be taken with the award recipients along with a representative of the League to be published in the next several issues of “The Sugar Bulletin”.

    I will begin the awards with the parish and the district award recipients. If I skip over a parish or district, it is because the winner is also among the Top 20 producers in the state.

B.J. LeJeune Farm is the high yield winner for Iberia Parish and the 2nd place winner for the Teche District in the 700-1,499.9-acre category.

Big D Farms owned and operated by Denis Lanaux of Luling is the high yield winner for St. Charles Parish.

The farm of Winsley St. Pierre & Sons operated by Reed and Ronald St. Pierre of Paulina is the high yield winner for St. John Parish.

For St. Martin Parish, the high yield winner is Melancon Sugar Cane Farms owned and operated by John Lee (Nicky) Melancon of St. Martinville.

The district winners are as follows: for the Teche District, the 2nd place winner of the 100-299.9-acre category is Lenny Vaughn Jr. of New Iberia. The 1st place winner of the 300-699.9-acre category is Irish Bend Planting, Inc. of Franklin. The 2nd place winner in the same acreage category is Too Sweet Sugar Farm, Inc. of New Iberia. The 1st place winner of the 700-1,499.9-acre category is Blanchard Brothers, Inc. of New Iberia. The 1st place winner of the 1,500-acre plus category is Freyou Farms, Inc. of New Iberia and the 2nd place winner in the same acreage category is Square B Farms, Inc. of New Iberia.

For the River/Bayou Lafourche District, the 2nd place winner of the 100-299.9-acre category is Robichaux Farms, Inc. of Labadieville.

For the Northern District, the 2nd place winner of the 100–299.9-acre category is Trabeaux Farms of Bueche. The 1st place winner of the 300-699.9-acre category is Dale A. Purpera of Plaquemine. The 2nd place winner in the same acreage category is Flint Langlois of Rougon. The 2nd place winner in the 1,500-acre plus category is Joe Beaud III of New Roads.

    The success of a sugarcane farming operation depends on hard work and the ability to produce good stands of plant cane and maintain suitable stands in the stubble crop. Keeping good records is an essential part of good management. It is also important that growers use a sound pest management strategy to control weed and insect pests. For varieties to yield up to their full potential, it is essential that seed cane be free of diseases. For the Top 20 producers, they indicated that they followed the recommendations provided by the county agents and crop consultants based on sound science. They further stated that they relied on a close working relationship with personnel of the LSU AgCenter research and extension, USDA-ARS, SRRC, Sugarcane Research Unit and the League for their variety, herbicide, insecticide, ripener and/or harvest recommendations. Also, many producers stated that their success was the result of a close working relationship with family members.

    In 2004, sugarcane was grown on 461,738 acres by 718 producers in 24 Louisiana parishes. An estimated 424,799 acres were harvested for sugar with a total production of 1,174,028 short tons of sugar. Sugar produced per harvested acre was 5,527 pounds while sugar produced per total acre was 5,085 pounds. The average cane yield was approximately 24.9 tons per total acre and 27.0 tons per harvested acre. The 15 factories reported an average recovery of 204 pounds of sugar (96 pol) per gross ton of cane.

    We congratulate the following high yield winners who have excelled in the production of sugar per acre for 2004 when the yield of sugar per acre statewide decreased by 13% from the 2003 crop year. Approximately 91% of the state’s acreage was planted to one variety, LCP 85-384. Further, 47% of the 2004 crop was in second and older stubble that had been harvested during the 2002 harvest as plant-cane and first-stubble cane.

    With these average yields for the state in mind, I will now announce the Top 20 producers in ascending order as well as those Top 20 producers that were also parish and/or district winners.

The No. 20 high yield producer in the state is Carmouche Planting Co., Inc. of Belle Rose (Assumption Parish). L.J. and his sons produced 6,279 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,016.5 acres.

The No. 19 high yield producer in the state is also the high yield winner for Iberville Parish and the 2nd place winner of the 1,500-acre plus category for the River/Bayou Lafourche District. The winner is Frank Pearce Jr. & Sons Farm of Maringouin with 6,304 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,960.7 acres.

The No. 18 high yield producer in the state is Trinity Farms, Inc. of Napoleonville (Assumption Parish) with 6,326 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,012.5 acres. This operation is owned and operated by Mr. Earl, Gary and Laurent Gravois.

The No. 17 high yield producer in the state is also the 1st place winner of the 1,500-acre category for the River/Bayou Lafourche District. The winner is Woods Farms, Inc. of Paincourtville (Assumption Parish) with 6,359 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,711.5 acres. Congratulations go out to Eugene, Ronald and Danny.

The No. 16 high yield producer in the state is Dupre & Landry Farms, Inc. of Belle Rose (Assumption Parish) with 6,364 pounds of sugar per acre on 656.3 acres.

The No. 15 high yield producer in the state is Gerald Thibodeaux Farms, Inc. of Napoleonville (Assumption Parish). Gerald and his sons produced 6,421 pounds of sugar per acre on 840.8 acres.

The No. 14 high yield producer in the state is also the high yield winner for Lafourche Parish. The winner is Mire’s Farm of Thibodaux with 6,450 pounds of sugar per acre on 329.1 acres. Mire’s Farms is owned and operated by Richard and Perry Mire.

The No. 13 high yield producer in the state is R & R Farms, Inc. of Belle Rose (Assumption Parish) with 6,455 pounds of sugar per acre on 632.9 acres.

The No. 12 high yield producer in the state is SJM Farms, Inc. of Napoleonville (Assumption Parish) with 6,471 pounds of sugar per acre on 394.8 acres. Congratulations go out to Joe Michel.

The No. 11 high yield producer in the state is also the 2nd place winner of the River/Bayou Lafourche District in the 700-1,499.9-acre category. The winner is Joel Landry of Landry Farms of Paincourtville (Assumption Parish) with a production of 6,498 pounds of sugar per acre on 972.5 acres. Congratulations, Joel.

The No. 10 high yield producer in the state is Four Oaks Farm of Morganza (Pointe Coupee Parish) with 6,583 pounds of sugar per acre on 842.6 acres.

The No. 9 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in Terrebonne Parish and the 1st place producer in the River/Bayou Lafourche District in the 100-299.9-acre category. The winner is Triple K & M Farms, Inc. of Thibodaux with 6,644 pounds of sugar per acre on 134.8 acres.

The No. 8 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in Ascension Parish as well as the 1st place winner in the River/Bayou Lafourche District in the 700-1,499.9-acre category. Sugar Haven Farms, Inc. produced 6,667 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,037.8 acres.

The No. 7 high yield producer in the state is also the 2nd place winner in the Northern District in the 700-1499.9-acre category. The winner is Robert Morris of Port Allen (West Baton Rouge Parish) with 6,759 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,103.5 acres.

The No. 6 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in Assumption Parish as well as the 2nd place winner in the River/Bayou Lafourche District in the 300-699.9-acre category. Meinrad (Musky), Mr. Al and Red of Blanchard Farms, Inc. of Labadieville produced 6,975 pounds of sugar per acre on 673.1 acres.

The No. 5 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in St. James Parish and the 1st place winner in River/Bayou Lafourche District in the 300-699.9-acre category. The winner is Martin & Poche, Inc. of Paulina where they produced 7,035 pounds of sugar per acre on 677.8 acres. Congratulations, Keith Martin for a job well done.

The No. 4 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in Iberia Parish and the 1st place winner in the Teche District in the 100-299.9-acre category. The winner is John Broussard III of New Iberia with 7,046 pounds of sugar per acre on 134.1 acres.

The No. 3 high yield producer in the state is also the 1st place winner of the Northern District in the 1,500-acre plus category. Engemann Farms of Maringouin (Pointe Coupee Parish) produced 7,697 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,279.5 acres. This, too, is truly a family operation with two brothers, two cousins and six children that help on the farm when not in school. Congratulations Mark et al.

The No. 2 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in West Baton Rouge Parish as well as the 1st place in the Northern District in the 1,500-acre plus category. Charles G. Landry & Sons, Inc. of White Castle, owned and operated by Mr. Charles and sons Chuck, Camille and Antoine, produced 7,748 pounds of sugar per acre on 1,930.7 acres.

The No. 1 high yield producer in the state is also the top parish producer in Pointe Coupee Parish as well as the 1st place winner of the Northern District in 100-299.9-acre category. Ricky Rivet of Morganza produced 8,137 pounds of sugar per acre on 286.2 acres. This is truly an accomplishment considering the average yield for the state.

    Our congratulations go out to all of the High Yield Award Winners for the 2004 crop. This is probably the last year that we will conduct the High Yield Awards ceremony under the current format. The LSU AgCenter and the League are considering possible changes in the program that will encourage all producers to participate. I would like to thank all producers and county agents who participated in the High Yield Awards Program for 2004. I also want to thank the LSU Ag Center, Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and the American Sugarcane League for sponsoring the event.

*This concluded the High Yield Sugar Producers Recognition Program for the 2004 crop year.*

CONTACT(S):

Dr. Benjamin L. Legendre
Sugarcane Specialist

Blegendre@agcenter.lsu.edu

(225) 642-0224

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