Partners in Research

Linda Benedict  |  5/31/2005 9:31:09 PM

Each year, Cameco of Thibodeaux donates a used, refurbished combine harvester to be used in the research effort at the LSU AgCenter’s Sugar Research Station. This photo was taken at the 2001 annual sugarcane field day. Two of the presenters were Ben Legendre, sugarcane specialist, left, and Mark Tassin, Iberville Parish county agent. (Photo by Mark Claesgens)

The comprehensive research program in sugarcane at the LSU AgCenter results from cooperative relationships with many organizations and institutions. Two prominent cooperators in Louisiana are the American Sugar Cane League, headquartered in Thibodaux, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service’s Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma. A stellar example of the power of this three-way partnership is the development of LCP 85-384.

“The LSU AgCenter helps our farmers be better growers and business people,” said Charles J. Melancon, president and general manager of the American Sugar Cane League. “Agriculture in any state cannot do without the land-grant colleges that support the industry. We work together for our mutual benefit.”

The American Sugar Cane League’s mission is to support research and legislation for the betterment of the domestic sugar industry. The league includes nearly 100 percent participation among Louisiana’s sugarcane growers and processors.

The mission of the USDA’s Sugarcane Research Unit is to conduct basic and applied research to increase sugarcane production efficiency while minimizing the impact of the crop’s culture on the environment and other ecosystems in the high rainfall, mineral soil and subtropical climate of the lower Mississippi Delta with general applicability to other mainland sugarcane-producing areas.

“Working together, the research programs of the LSU AgCenter and the USDA, with the help and support of the American Sugar Cane League, provides the Louisiana sugarcane industry with the varieties and management strategies necessary to insure the industry’s profitability despite frequent threats from weather-related disasters and attacks from disease, insect and weed pests,” said Edward P. Richard Jr., research leader at the Houma Sugarcane Research Unit. “As a result of these research efforts, which also extend into the processing aspects, sugarcane continues to be a major contributor to the state’s economy.”

Linda Foster Benedict

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