The following news articles appeared in the fall 2007 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.
In many ways plants and insects are intimately related. Possibly the most widely appreciated is the 150 million-year-old mutual dependence of flowering plants and honey bees. Without honey bees, many of our crops would not be pollinated.
Following are some facts about insects in the urban environment.
Mosquitoes in Louisiana may interfere with enjoyment of the outdoors almost any time of year. Yet, if you understand how mosquitoes live and multiply, you have a better chance of controlling their larval development sites and reducing their numbers.
The first step in successfully dealing with insect-related problems, whether in urban or agricultural settings, is identifying the organisms.
On Aug. 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, floodwaters from storm surge and breached levees inundated New Orleans and surrounding areas with salt water. The red imported fire ant, a flood-adapted species originally from the Paraguay River flood plain in South America, was suppressed and in some cases eradicated. Many native ant species also were eradicated or their populations suppressed.
Collecting and studying Formosan subterranean termites from their native China may help entomologists find new ways of combating these invasive pests in the United States.
The Argentine ant is an exotic species brought to New Orleans from South America in the late 1800s. Historically, populations have been high in many areas of Louisiana, and for unknown reasons the populations have been expanding in the past 10 years.
In western Louisiana from Lake Charles all the way north of Lucky in Bienville Parish, a common site near roads and open areas are “towns” of small crater-shaped soil piles with large red ants busily moving particles of soil.
The Formosan subterranean termite has global economic impact as an urban pest. The nesting and feeding habits of this invasive pest leave many factors of its biology literally hidden in the dark.
Since 2000, nearly 450 pest control operators and technicians have completed two days of either basic or master training programs on treating for termites and other wood-destroying insects at the Lois Caffey Termite Training Center at the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge.
The invasive Formosan subterranean termite is destructive to Louisiana trees. The insect eats the centers of living trees and builds carton nests inside them.
A federally funded Formosan subterranean termite pilot test in New Orleans’ French Quarter, known as the French Quarter Program, began in 1998. Featuring various treatments to combat the termites, the program is a partnership among the LSU AgCenter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board, the Audubon Nature Institute and area pest control applicators.
Although his title is entomologist his mission is a harmonious environment. Dale Pollet may well be one of the most popular people in Louisiana. That’s because he knows every bug in the state and what to do about them. And Louisiana has a lot of bugs.
Entomology is one of the LSU AgCenter’s most significant areas of research and outreach. Insect pests can cause devastation to crops and livestock. And insects can wreak havoc at home, too, in the house and in the garden.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine Fall 2007.pdf
A collection of the news articles in the 2007 summer issue of Louisiana Agriculture.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine, Summer 2007
View and download the complete Spring 2007 edition of Louisiana Agriculture Magazine.
The following seven articles appeared in the spring 2007 issue of Louisiana Agriculture in "What's New?"
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine Winter 2007
The following nine articles appeared in the fall 2006 issue of Louisiana Agriculture in "What's New?"
The 21st century has provided producers with a number of technological advances that affect all aspects of cotton production. Both Liberty Link and Roundup Ready Flex offer the potential to be used as highly effective alternate weed control systems in a weed-resistance management program.
After more than 80 years of service to the fruit and vegetable growers in Southeast Louisiana, the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station has a new initiative.
The dynamic of raising soybeans has changed forever with the discovery of Asian soybean rust in the United States in 2004. LSU AgCenter scientists aggressively monitor for any sign of the disease and pursue a rigorous research program to look for solutions to this problem.
Jim Griffin, Lee Mason LSU Alumni Association Professor inthe School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences, received the Weed Science Society of America Outstanding Research Award at the Society’s annual meeting held in San Antonio, Texas, in February 2007.
The traditional farming practice for cotton in the South for 200 years was to produce one summer crop per year following winter fallow. Now, year-round systems with summer crops of cotton, corn, soybeans or grain sorghum and winter crops of wheat, rye or vetch are considered best management practices (BMPs) and protect surface water quality from soil and nutrient losses.
Farmers Dan Bedgood and Erick Cherene of Madison Parish have a quick answer when asked to describe the upcoming 2007 growing season in North Louisiana. “A lot of corn,” they say in unison.
When he first went to work at the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph, 15-year-old Roger Leonard expected it to be just a summer job during high school. What it turnedout to be, however, was the first step in a career that found him being named in 2006 the Jack Hamilton Chair in Cotton Production in the LSU AgCenter.
The following eight articles appeared in the spring 2007 issue of Louisiana Agriculture in "What's New?"
When hurricanes Katrina and Rita came ashore in Louisiana in 2005, they were accompanied by storm surges that inundated vast areas in the southern parishes with salt water.
Bee colonies in more than 20 states are collapsing. And honey bees are disappearing because of a mysterious ailment. So far, Louisiana colonies don’t seem to be affected by what is being called “colony collapse disease,” according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Dale Pollet.
Rural Louisiana continues to face significant challenges to improve local economies. For example, one out of every four people in rural Louisiana lives in poverty, and roughly three quarters of all rural parishes have been defined as persistent poverty areas.
Longtime faculty member Allen Rutherford has been named the new director of the School of Renewable Natural Resources. He took over July 1 , 2007, from William Kelso, who had served as interim director after the retirement of Bob Blackmon in 2005.
Sales of greenhouse tomatoes from the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station’s spring crop topped 65,000 pounds in 2007 – making this the best year ever.
The Louisiana Board of Regents recently approved $28 million for university research to spur hurricane recovery and economic development, including a $915,000 grant to the LSU AgCenter for wetland restoration.
Louisiana cotton farmers are facing increasing threats from high populations of nematodes – microscopic, parasitic worms that feed on plant roots. Of the two types most common, reniform nematodes are relatively new to the Louisiana delta cotton fields.
The first reported damage by the sugarcane beetle, Euetheola humilis, to crops in the United States was in Louisiana sugarcane plantations during 1880. Since that time, this beetle has been documented as an occasional pest of field corn, rice and more recently sweet potato.
More than half of 1 35 Louisiana crawfish ponds tested for White Spot Syndrome Virus so far have shown positive, according to an LSU AgCenter aquaculture expert.
Cathy Williams was recently designated the Gerald A. Simmons Professor of Dairy Science in the School of Animal Sciences.
Yellow nutsedge is one of the most troublesome and widespread perennial weeds in landscapes and gardens across the coastal plains. This fast-growing weed can be found in nearly all soil types but thrives in irrigated landscape plantings.
Northern Louisiana Rural Development Roundtable Results
The following news articles appeared in the summer 2007 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.
While Louisiana faces a short-term healthcare crisis brought about by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, an often-understated, long-term healthcare crisis exists in rural Louisiana.
In 2006, the fungus Cercospora janseana, which causes narrow brown leaf spot, did significant damage to the rice crop in south Louisiana. This disease involves linear, reddish-brown spots that usually appear near heading. These spots are slow to develop, taking up to 30 days from infection. Both young and old leaves are susceptible. Seedheads can become infected, causing premature ripening and unfilled grain.
Beef cattle feed goes through a microbial fermentation process in the rumen before being digested by the animal.Since the majority of the cow’s diet is forage, efficient fermentation of this fiber is critical. Diet supplements provide additional nutrients to improve utilization of the fiber.
America boasts one of the safest and most plentiful food supplies in the world. Unfortunately, food by nature or by accident is vulnerable to contamination by harmful microbes at any point from the farm to the table.
After an exhilarating airboat ride through the marsh, Keith Espadron of Port Sulphur ambled up to the beach, shell fragments crunching under his feet, and gazed at the muddy shoreline that once was grass-covered marsh. The outing was one of several for 4-H’ers participating in the LSU AgCenter’s Marsh Maneuvers camp at the state’s Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
Don’t bother telling Bethany Edler of Iberia Parish that mules are ornery, stubborn and kick hard. She’s heard it all before – and she can prove you wrong.
The year was 1957. The New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series. Actress Grace Kelly married Monaco’s Prince Rainier. And a wildly popular singer named Elvis Presley was causing a sensation with his gyrating hips. Not quite as exciting but certainly significant for Louisiana agriculture that same year was the establishment of a quarterly magazine from the LSU Agricultural Experiment Station.
Pesticides are used in agriculture to control many different insects, weeds and pathogens that cannot be controlled by other practices, such as planting resistant cultivars, cultural management and biological control.
Most people don’t give honey bees much thought, but the honey they produce is an economically important agricultural crop, generating $2.5-$5 million annual sales in Louisiana and $150-$250 million annual sales in the United States.
At the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station’s annual field day, June 28, 2007, rice breeder Xueyan Sha discussed and displayed ademonstration plot of LA2028, a promising semi-dwarf medium grain experimental line that may be released as foundation seed in 2008.
One new sugarcane variety released earlier this year and two sugarcane varieties released in 2006 were featured along with three new releases of energy cane at the annual field day July 18 at the LSU AgCenter’s Sugar Research Station.
Jupiter is a high-yielding, early-maturing, short-stature, medium-grain ricevariety developed at the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station at Crowley and released for commercial production in 2004. Results from field evaluations conducted in Louisiana from 2002-2006 indicate that Jupiter has good field resistance to bacterial panicle blight, rottenneck blast and sheath blight. Jupiter also appears to be resistant to the physiological disorder straighthead.
The LSU AgCenter’s dairy farm in Baton Rouge recently reached a milestone in Louisiana agriculture when it recorded the highest rolling herd average milk production ever in the state.
The rice stink bug is the most important late-season insect pest of rice in Louisiana. This insect feeds on rice grains as they develop. Feeding by this insect reduces both grain yield and quality. The rice stink bug is probably present in nearly all rice fields in Louisiana.
It’s not unusual for homeowners to have problems with honey bees, said LSU AgCenter entomologist Dale Pollet. Hives often split, and new swarms go looking for new homes. Sometimes those homes can be in people's walls.
Louisiana rice producers have approved five-year renewals of checkoff fees on their crops to fund research and promotion.
An independent lab has determined that rice seed for sale this year by the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station is free of Liberty Link, according to Steve Linscombe, the station director.
Any way to add value to rice can be of great benefit to Louisiana’s rice industry. One of the targets for research by the LSU AgCenter is broken rice kernels. From this otherwise value-less product, a valuable food additive can be made – resistant starch.
For more than two decades there was uncertainty about the cause of a common disease among pecan trees referred to as leaf scorch. LSU AgCenter researchers were able to distinguish the cause of the disease, which has improved pecan production.
In recent years, reports of high yield potential and the advantages of an early harvest have created interest in early planting of soybeans in Louisiana. Little research information is available on the responses of Maturity Group (MG) V soybeans to early planting dates.
The following eight articles appeared in the winter 2007 issue of Louisiana Agriculture in "What's New?"
More than 135 private landowners, loggers and forest industry leaders participated in the LSU AgCenter’s Central Louisiana Forestry Forum on Jan. 30, 2007,to learn about the challenges still facing the industry more than a year after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The LSU AgCenter is carrying out a unique program to help ameliorate and prevent obesity in Louisiana's children. The program is called Smart Bodies and is occurring in schools across the state.
With the 2007 farm bill on the horizon, speakers at the 2007 AgOutlook conference in Baton Rouge on Jan. 23, 2007, talked about issues the new bill may involve as it makes its way through Congress this year.
Corn is the cheapest feedstock for ethanol production in the United States. Sugarcane has potential. The article provides information on ethanol production costs and discusses what needs to be done for sugarcane to become a viable option.
In the 70-some years since rural Louisianians first gathered turtle eggs, generally along railroad rights-of-way through swamps, and sold the hatchlings as pets, the turtle industry in Louisiana has experienced a roller coaster ride that may be at its lowest point. But legislation has been introduced that may boost the turtle industry in Louisiana from a $5 million business to a $300 million business.
Individual livestock producers have been using animal identification for decades. But not until recently has the need for a more comprehensive, coordinated national animal identification and tracking system been recognized.
A bill pending in Congress will permit the domestic sale of baby turtles in the United States, which would be a big economic boost for Louisiana.
Annual vinca, also referred to as periwinkle by many home gardeners and industry professionals, is one of the best-selling bedding plants in the Southeastern United States. LSU AgCenter researchers are working to prevent on the diseases that plagues this plant, leaf spot.
A sugarcane-based biorefinery has been discussed for many years at the Audubon Sugar Institute. In the past few years funding has become available and work has started in earnest.
Six individuals and three teams won top honors during the LSU AgCenter’s Annual Conference Dec. 18-19, 2006.
Alligator processors in Louisiana annually generate about 175,000 pounds of wild alligator bones and connective tissues and more than 1 million pounds of farm-raised alligator bones and associated materials. Although these materials are discarded, they could be the source of a valuable product – collagen.