Bruce Schultz, Linscombe, Steven D. | 8/11/2009 11:49:55 PM
CROWLEY, La. – “It’s fascinating. Every time I do this, I learn more,” U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany said during a visit to the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station Monday (Aug.10).
Station director Dr. Steve Linscombe gave the southwest Louisiana congressman an overview of the work being done at the facility.
Boustany, accompanied by two staff members, said he recognizes the importance of the rice industry to southwest Louisiana. “It’s such a huge part of the congressional district,” he said.
The congressman said as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he will be able to help develop new markets for rice exports.
“I’m looking forward to understanding markets better and how to get more exports,” he said.
Linscombe said Arkansas and Mississippi rice farmers have an advantage over Louisiana rice farmers because their proximity to the Mississippi River makes it easier to get a crop to some export markets.
Linscombe said planned improvements at the Port of Lake Charles will help southwest Louisiana farmers compete with counterparts in other states if these improvements can be implemented.
Linscombe told Boustany about the origins of rice farming in Louisiana during the late 1800s and the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station’s role in developing new varieties and helping farmers improve their production practices.
He showed Boustany work being done in laboratories, which include DNA analyses of rice to make sure new lines of rice have desirable traits, and a field that includes all 42 rice varieties developed at the station during the past century of its existence.
Linscombe also commended Boustany for working with U.S. Rep. Charles Melancon to hold agricultural listening sessions in the southern part of Louisiana to hear from farmers.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture