Vol. 45, No. 3
Vol. 45, No. 1
Vol. 45, No. 4
Vol. 45, No. 2
Perlite is a processed volcanic mineral widely used as a propagating and growing medium for many horticultural crops, including tomatoes. The expense to dispose of the old material and replace it with new perlite shipped from distant markets can be significant.
What may well be one of the country’s largest private camellia collections is on its way to a new home at the LSU AgCenter's Burden Center in Baton Rouge.
The LSU AgCenter has released a new sweet potato named “Bienville,” which has resistance to root knot nematodes.
Researchers at Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab in Ithaca, New York, recently finished analyzing audio recordings and have determined that there is no conclusive evidence of the ivory-billed woodpecker’s existence in Louisiana. The last documented sighting of the bird was in Tensas Parish in 1942.
Advances in weed control technology have played an essential role in the development of the rice industry. Herbicides are critical to obtaining optimum yield and maximum profit. Before the development of selective rice herbicides, weed control involved intensive manual labor.
Using computers to translate remote images of crop fields into prescriptions for irrigating, fertilizing and controlling pests is the next technological advance in farming—as soon as researchers can figure out how to do it economically.
A decline in loblolly pine, first reported in Bogalusa, La., in 1966, helped trigger a long-term study at the LSU AgCenter. At first, it was suspected that it was the same disease as littleleaf disease of shortleaf pine, which was attributed to site factors and Phyphthora cinnamomi, a water mold.
Formosan termites pose a growing threat to all structural wood materials in residential construction. New products must be developed that are resistant to these aggressive and voracious insects.
Management of fertilizer nitrogen (N) is one of the most important components in producing maximum yield and profits in corn and cotton. Corn is inherently inefficient in fertilizer N uptake, typically using less than half of that applied. Cotton, on the other hand, has extremely high fertilizer uptake efficiency.
Preparing for cotton harvest involves some of the most important management decisions producers face. Applying chemical harvest aids before harvest can increase harvester efficiency, reduce leaf and trash content in harvested lint, facilitate dew drying, straighten lodged plants, retard boll rot, maintain or improve fiber quality and stimulate boll opening.
In the past few years there has been a resurgence of a boll rot often referred to as boll dangle, Phomopsis boll rot, atypical boll shed or vascular cavitation. This boll rot has been present at low levels for many years but has become more severe in the past eight years.
Research in forest pathology is shaped by the need to consider the consequences of a crop that must be managed from 20 to 100 years. If the desired end product of a forested area is wilderness, then dead and hollow trees may be considered part of the natural process and desirable for providing shelter for wildlife.
Debbie Otwell has learned tomatoes can be as profitable as they are tasty. Otwell grows about 2,000 tomato plants, which produce about 35,000 pounds per year, in her three greenhouses near Dubach, La. She got the idea after visiting the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station in Bossier City.
Several harvest aids available for cotton are described.
Treating rice seed with gibberellic acid has improved rice production in the northeastern rice-growing area. On semi-dwarf varieties gibberellic acid improves seedling vigor by hastening emergence and increasing seedling population.
Regiment, a new herbicide from Valent, will be available to rice producers for 2002.
The LSU AgCenter has long been actively involved in evaluating ornamental plants, providing recommendations for county agents and green industry professionals (landscape contractors, retail garden centers) to use when working with home gardeners. One group of plants that has generated considerable interest recently is the crape myrtle.
The LSU AgCenter has released two new satsuma varieties, LA Early and Early St. Ann. Both of these early-maturing satsumas are products of the citrus breeding program, which develops fresh-market lines of citrus with improved quality, fruit characteristics and production requirements.
Poultry production is Louisiana’s largest animal industry and is concentrated in the Coastal Plains area in north central Louisiana. Poultry litter is a byproduct of poultry production, with an estimated 180,000 tons produced in 2000. Most of this litter has historically been applied close to poultry houses on land often used for hay or pasture production.
As Louisiana cattle producers continue to improve their beef stocker programs, it is important that they choose the right ryegrass for their pastures.
Rice diseases pose a major threat to rice production. The two major diseases, sheath blight and blast, cause significant yield and quality reductions that cost rice farmers millions of dollars each year. Disease resistance is the best control method, but often it is not available or breaks down after varietal release.
Genetically engineered plants are an important part of integrated pest management (IPM) programs in cotton production. One such plant, Bollgard cotton, includes a gene from a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, that is toxic to caterpillar pests, while being safe for humans, other animals and the environment.
Of all the flowers to be found in gardens throughout the world, the rose is the most popular and the most widely grown. In 1938, the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) program was established to evaluate and promote exceptional roses. The LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge is a designated AARS Display Garden, where the public can view roses awarded the AARS distinction.
Louisianians have a new fig variety called LSU Gold to plant in their orchards, gardens and yards, said Charles E. Johnson, a researcher in the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Horticulture.
The rich, fertile soils of the Red River valley of northwestern Louisiana have supported cotton production for decades. Unfortunately, as in most agricultural soils, continuous cultivation has resulted in a steady decline in native soil fertility, especially organic matter.
Cotton seedling diseases caused by fungi can reduce seedling emergence and plant establishment. The fungi commonly found attacking cotton in Louisiana are Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Pythium. The detrimental effects from these pathogens are typically non-uniform plant populations and reduced plant vigor. In severely damaged fields, producers may be forced to replant, costing time, money and yield potential.
The rice water weevil is an important biological constraint on rice yields in the southern United States and has been recognized as such almost as long as rice has been grown in the South. Yield losses in Louisiana, where this insect is a particularly severe pest, typically exceed 10 percent and can approach 30 percent or more.
Staple is a selective herbicide labeled for both preemergence and postemergence control of broadleaf weeds in cotton. Since introduction in 1995, it has been used widely in the cotton-producing region of northeast Louisiana.
Many changes are under way at the LSU AgCenter. These changes are for the most part internal and involve some rearranging of personnel and reallocation of resources. But we see them as having profound, positive and long-term effects on you, our clientele.
Resistant starch is chemically not a fiber; however, there is an effort to have it declared so because it acts like soluble fiber in the gastrointestinal tract, thus providing the health benefits of fiber. Resistant starch and soluble fiber ferment in the small intestine—conferring their health effects.
Rice bran and its oil contain large concentrations of several compounds that could potentially prevent chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and cancer. The LSU AgCenter has been actively engaged in identifying, extracting, purifying and evaluating the functionality of several of these compounds. The focus has been on vitamin E, especially the tocotrienols, and oryzanol, which contains a high proportion of phytosterols.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that by 2025 global aquaculture will provide more than half of the world’s seafood supply. Now it is about 35 percent to 40 percent.
Ohmic heating is a food processing method in which an alternating electrical current is passed through a food sample. This results in internal energy generation in foods. This produces an inside-out heating pattern, which is much faster than conventional outside-in heating. Ohmic heating is somewhat similar to microwave heating but with very different frequencies.
The LSU AgCenter is conducting research on converting bagasse into value-added nonwoven materials. This research involves procedures for bagasse fiber extraction, bagasse fiber processing and bagasse fiber formation into nonwoven materials. It also involves methods of evaluating nonwoven bagasse products, including fiber bonding structure, mechanical and physical properties, and biodegradability.
Soy flour and more highly purified soy proteins contain a number of constituents that can be used in combating a variety of diseases. Soy isofla-vones may prevent diseases associated with post-menopausal women such as osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Because of declining natural fishery resources and increasing consumer demand for fishery and aquacultural products, it is no longer practical to discard undersized crawfish and byproducts and wastes from crawfish and catfish processing plants, especially when a significant amount of valuable raw materials can be recovered and used to produce value-added new products and functional ingredients.
Value-added industries and activities are fundamental to agriculture’s viability, stability and contribution to economic development of the state. In general, value-added means any activity or process that increases the market value or utility of a product to consumers.
The term “value-added” broadly means “adding value to a product.” For food items, adding value implies a degree of innovation that makes a product more desirable to consumers, perhaps in terms of shelf stability, improved functionality, better color, texture, flavor and more convenience.
The history of sugarcane began in New Guinea, which is the home of a cultivated form of sugarcane. In ancient times, people migrating from the Indochina area to New Guinea encountered different types of wild sugarcane. High-fiber forms were used for construction; softer and juicier forms were propagated in gardens for chewing.
Solid wood forest products as opposed to pulp and paper products can be characterized broadly as primary or secondary. This classification is not always clear, but most industry observers agree that primary products are those produced directly from raw timber input. Examples include chips, lumber, veneer, plywood and their byproducts.
Louisiana has the nation’s most productive commercial shrimp fishery, landing about 100 million pounds a year with a dockside value of $150 million. White and brown shrimp make up most of Louisiana’s harvest.
The large-scale and economic diversification of sucrose in other than food products has not been realized. The biorefinery concept can solve this problem.
In recent years, many large food and beverage companies have adopted team approaches to new product development. The approach typically involves both a marketing department and a research and development department generating product ideas, concepts and ultimately prototypes, which are subsequently tested in selected target markets.
The usable carbon and nutrients contained in rice hulls and bran, sugarcane bagasse and sweet potato skins, which are Louisiana agricultural byproducts, may be converted by microorganisms to high-value products. LSU AgCenter researchers are developing bioconversion processes that can be used to produce specialty or nutra-ceutical compounds from these byproducts.
The LSU AgCenter is operating a program in Ukraine that is a model for how to run a successful educational effort in a country formerly part of the Soviet bloc. The program, “Improving Income of Private Ukrainian Agricultural Producers,” targets farmers with fewer than 250 hectares and household plot owners (HPOs).
The overwhelming majority of microbes in the world are not harmful to humans. Food processing researchers have established two kinds of microorganisms that are undesirable in food: spoilage microorganisms, which spoil the food but are not toxic to consume, and pathogenic microorganisms.
Processed beef products in the U.S. market include sausages and cured, canned, dehydrated and convenience meat items. The convenience and snack meat products make up about 2 percent of the total meat production.
The cranberry was once an obscure, regional fruit that through research and marketing has been propelled to a commodity with international demand. LSU AgCenter researchers hope that the mayhaw may also achieve such prominence, and research projects are under way. The following study involves mayhaw-muscadine juice blends.
Macular (a region of the retina) degeneration is a physiological process that involves the formation of excessive new blood vessels in the retina and is the leading cause of cataract formation, glaucoma and irreversible blindness indiabetic patients and the elderly.
A freshly prepared mayhaw fruit juice should correspond to the composition of the fruit selection from which it has been prepared. If the juice extraction method has been effective, there should not be significant differences between the fresh juice and the original fruit.
LSU AgCenter scientists conduct research to identify the best insecticides to manage sugarcane insect pests without causing damage to the environment. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Louisiana sugarcane industry relied exclusively on aerial sprays of the organochlorine insecticide, Endrin, averaging more than three applications per acre annually to control the sugarcane borer.
Waterfowl managers face an unusual situation with the midcontinent population of snow geese – there are just too many. Some estimates have the population of these geese that winter in the central part of the United States, especially in Louisiana and Texas, at more than three million.
Sturgeons have inhabited lakes, streams and rivers for millions of years. Worldwide there are 24 species of sturgeon, including the beluga sturgeon of the Caspian Sea, which can reach a length of more than 16 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Alligator populations in Louisiana have changed drastically during the last century in response to changes in management and in the environment. American alligators are strictly carnivorous reptiles whose native range was restricted to the southeastern part of the United States. They occur in a wide variety of aquatic habitats including rivers, streams, lakes and ponds but are most abundant in swamps and marshes.
This issue of Louisiana Agriculture contains articles by members of the wildlife and fisheries faculty of the recently renamed School of Renewable Natural Resources. These articles reflect the growing breadth of the school’s mission.
The Northern bobwhite, a member of the quail family, has a long history in the southeastern United States and for decades has been a premiere game species of sports enthusiasts.
Knowledge of wetlands is becoming increasingly important to study and research about wildlife.
Louisiana has been in the international spotlight because of a reported sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird thought to have been extinct. The bird was never seen during the official 30-day search in January and February. However, search team members said they heard the unique tapping sounds made by the bird.
An abundance of opportunities for fishing, bird watching, boating and hunting lends credence to Louisiana’s claim as a “sportsman’s paradise.” If you are one of those enthusiasts who anticipates the 3 a.m. alarm, long drives, boat rides on dark and cool mornings knee-deep in mud and water, then you know that Louisiana is paradise for wildfowlers.
The brown pelican, once extinct in Louisiana, has successfully been restored to the state. These birds are seen frequently all along the Louisiana coast and have been reported as far inland as Baton Rouge in recent years.
The three little bears squealed like baby pigs as they were pulled from the bosom of their unconscious mother, curled up in a steel cage in the back of a pickup truck.
Females have one to three cubs, usually two, and often only one the first time around. They have their first cubs at age 3.
The U.S. Geological Survey Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit, also known as the Coop Unit, has been part of the wildlife and fisheries research program even longer than the LSU AgCenter has been its own separate campus of the LSU system.
Legislation designed to protect specific species dates back to early history in the United States. However, the Endangered Species Act of 1966 was the first piece of legislation specifically addressing species with a threatened or endangered status. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was modified to include plants as well as animals.
Many fishery species rely on estuaries as critical habitat during early life stages, including redfish, menhaden, shrimp, blue crab, croaker and flounder. Because of the economic importance of many of these fishery species, the success of many coastal restoration projects is partially determined by the habitat provided for them.
Legend has it that the term “Teddy” bear resulted from a famously unsuccessful hunt of a Louisiana black bear by then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.
In the early 1900s, bald eagles were common throughout southern Louisiana, but the deleterious effects of DDT on the birds and their eggshells had placed the species on the endangered list by the 1970s. In 1972, only six or seven nesting territories remained in South Louisiana.
Producers and managers of deer work toward improved animal performance just as those who produce livestock. For deer, this can involve relocating animals from one part of the country to another in an effort to improve animal genetics and deer characteristics, such as size, antler development and reduced disease problems.
The Louisiana black bear was once distributed throughout eastern Texas, southern Arkansas, Louisiana and southern Mississippi. By the early 1900s, however, Louisiana black bear populations in this region were decimated from excessive harvest and habitat loss and degradation.
During the last century, the Atchafalaya Basin has evolved into a highly altered and regulated floodway of the lower Mississippi River. The basin still supports a complex mosaic of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, but this unique ecosystem continues to be threatened.
The LSU AgCenter is helping landowners find alternative ways to profit from their land through a program that capitalizes on natural resources and helps revitalize the state’s rural economy. The new program is called the “Natural Resource-Based Enterprise Initiative.”
Louisiana is blessed with a variety of game animals that provide recreational benefits for sports enthusiasts. Often overlooked is the benefit many landowners derive from allowing others to lease their land for hunting.