LSU AgCenter holds crop forum for growers

Donald J. Boquet, Leonard, Billy R., Stephenson, Daniel O., Levy, Jr., Ronald J., Williams, Billy James, Stevens, Jr., J. Cheston, Van Osdell, Mary Ann  |  1/24/2009 2:57:05 AM

News Release Distributed 1/23/09

Farmers, consultants and others involved in agriculture heard about the latest in research designed to influence the growth and yield of crops at the Northeast Louisiana Crop Forum Jan. 21 at the Delhi Civic Center.

“One way to compete in the world market is fiber quality,” said Dr. Donald Boquet, an LSU AgCenter agronomist, who talked about cotton production. “Variety selection is about the best way to improve fiber quality,” he said, citing www.lsuagcenter.com/cotton for more information.

Each year, scientists at the LSU AgCenter evaluate cotton varieties at four locations and publish guidelines for cotton production practices associated with planting time and variety selection.

“We cannot identify the best variety,” Boquet said. “If you plant several of the top varieties on your farm, you are probably going to have that best variety.”

When you pick a variety, you’re buying an insect pest management system for the entire year, said Dr. Roger Leonard, an LSU AgCenter entomologist. He explained that seed treatments are continuing to evolve.

Two LSU AgCenter weed scientists talked about effective weed management.

Weed management involves timely herbicide applications, consideration of the whole cropping system and making crop rotations work, said LSU AgCenter researcher Dr. Bill Williams.

“We don’t have widespread resistance,” Williams said. Many weeds are simply avoiding control attempts, he added.

Some weeds are making a comeback from farmers not using residual herbicides and changes in management programs, Williams said.

Dr. Daniel Stephenson, an LSU AgCenter weed specialist, said the weed palmer amaranth is resistant to herbicides in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.

“We have been very fortunate so far that our growers are using management practices to help reduce potential buildups of resistant weeds,” he said.

“Don’t assume you have a resistance problem,” Stephenson told the growers. “Look for a reason for failure.”

Missed applications can be caused by poor spray coverage, improper rate or calibration and improper timing, Stephenson said. Adverse environmental conditions can include temperature, moisture, physical stress, rainfall and irrigation wash-off.

Soybean irrigation at the proper time is important “before you see any signs of drought stress,” said Dr. Ron Levy, an LSU AgCenter soybean specialist.

“It’s important that we have that moisture available,” he said. “Typically in Louisiana we require about 18 to 22 inches of irrigation, and most of that is peak in June through July.

“Liberty Link soybeans may help reduce resistance issues associated with currently available herbicides,” Levy said of a new soybean technology that uses glufosinate, a broad-spectrum herbicide.

Levy said he doesn’t have information on how Liberty Link varieties will perform in Louisiana. “Most research has been done in other states. Hopefully this will give us another mode of action that will help in resistance problems,” he said

Levy cautioned growers to be sure they have a buyer before planting grain sorghum this year, and he warned growers not to plant corn too late.

J Stevens, an LSU AgCenter soil scientist, said soil pH is an important aspect of fertilizer use.

“Fertilizer efficiency increases as soil acidity is neutralized,” Stevens said. “You need to be sure that you meet the nutrient requirements to be able to produce efficiently and profitably.”

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Contacts: Don Boquet at (318) 435-2157 or dboquet@agcenter.lsu.edu 
Roger Leonard at (318) 435-2157 or rleonard@agcenter.lsu.edu 
Bill Williams at (318) 435-2908 or bwilliams@agcenter.lsu.edu 
Daniel Stephenson at (318) 473-6590 or dstephenson@agcenter.lsu.edu 
Ronald Levy at (318) 427-4424 or rlevy@agcenter.lsu.edu 
J Stevens at (318) 427-4408 or jstevens@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Mary Ann Van Osdell at (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or mvanosdell@agcenter.lsu.edu

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