Carol Pinnell-Alison | 1/28/2008 11:32:15 PM
DELHI – Some 130 Louisiana corn and soybean producers attended the 2008 Louisiana Corn and Soybean Forum Jan. 15 to learn the latest in research for growing profitable crops.
Topics included crop nutrient removal, corn bagging systems, fungicides, use of poultry litter, insects and wheat/soybean double-cropping considerations.
Also discussed was corn storage. Efforts are under way to find alternative sources of corn storage for farmers, according to Carol Pinnell-Alison, LSU AgCenter agent in Franklin Parish. Yields were exceptional in 2007, but those high yields resulted in some infrastructure shortage to hold the corn.
Regarding bagging, the agricultural agent reminded farmers that bags should be in a clean, well-drained site free from sharp objects and vegetation. Holes can let rodents in.
Pinnell-Alison said deer or raccoons have not been a problem in her parish, but she knows of instances in other parts of the state.
“Make sure you seal the bags well,” the agent said. “Water can cause spoilage, which causes the whole bag to have a sour smell.” A bag can be aired out, but that adds another expense.
Pinnell-Alison has conducted tests that show it is possible to store corn six months without any major problems or quality issues.
Regarding soybeans, Dr. Boyd Padgett, LSU AgCenter pathologist, said the major disease that affects that crop is soybean rust, but that current temperatures are “working in our favor.”
Cercospora blight is also a significant disease in the state. In addition, Padgett said he has concerns about stem canker, which was prevalent in the 1980s, but is “creeping back in.” Farmers should choose soybean varieties tested in their areas.
Matt Stephens, LSU AgCenter poultry agent, discussed the increasing use of chicken litter as fertilizer, noting that neighbor relations is the most important take-home message. Chicken litter results in strong odors for a short period of time.
“Inform your neighbors when you put out litter. Stay away from property lines and public areas,” Stephens said.
The poultry agent also recommended to keep piled litter covered and not to spread it before a predicted heavy rain or before a holiday when people will be outdoors.
Those considering fertilizing with chicken litter should ask what type of flock it came from, how long it has been in the broiler house and what the moisture content is.
LSU AgCenter conducts various forums, which are approved as private applicator recertification meetings by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.
For more information, call LSU AgCenter agent Keith Collins at (318) 728-3216 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org