Bruce Schultz, Merrill, Thomas A. | 2/9/2007 1:04:24 AM
Farmers who are considering crops of cotton, corn or soybeans this year will have the chance to get updated information at two LSU AgCenter forums in February.
The first session, focused on corn and soybeans, will be held Feb. 13 in the Rayville Civic Center. It will kick off at 8:30 a.m.
The cotton forum will be held Feb. 16 in the Delhi Civic Center and will begin at 9 a.m.
Both events will conclude with a lunch.
Experts anticipate corn acreage nationwide will increase significantly this year. Donna Lee, LSU AgCenter county agent in East Carroll Parish, said Louisiana farmers also will plant more corn. Last year, the state’s corn acreage totaled 340,000 acres.
"We expect that with the price of corn being what it is, our corn acreage is going to be up," she said.
Louisiana soybean acreage also could increase, Lee said, "but I don’t expect it to jump as dramatically as corn."
Last year Louisiana farmers grew soybeans on 830,000 acres with a record average yield of 35 bushels an acre.
Cotton acreage in Louisiana totaled 630,000 in 2006, and Lee said that figure could decline in 2007.
The Feb. 13 forum in Rayville will feature a variety of presentations by LSU AgCenter agents and specialists.
Among the topics to be covered are the detrimental effects of high plant populations on corn yields, an update on aflatoxin research, advice regarding fungicides for corn, recommendations on corn and soybean varieties, rotation strategies for Roundup Ready soybeans, competition from volunteer soybeans and other weed control issues, irrigation techniques for corn and soybeans, seed treatments for insect control, an update on Asian soybean rust and other diseases, fertility impacts of corn and soybean rotation, worker protection standards and other issues.
The Feb. 16 cotton forum in Delhi will include information from a variety of LSU AgCenter faculty members, as well as experts from other areas.
Some of the topics to be covered include glyphosate-resistant weeds, cotton variety recommendations, environmental effects on cotton fiber quality, insects and pest control, using variable rates of nitrogen, seed treatments for nematode control and worker protection standards.
Both forums can serve as educational credit for private pesticide applicator recertification.