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?"
Establishing smooth cordgrass from seeds is a potentially economical and efficient means for coastal stabilization.
Coastal wetland loss has been widespread in Louisiana over the past half century. Restoring freshwater floating marsh offers a way to stem this loss.
At 1,500 acres, New Orleans City Park stretches two miles from Mid-City to Lake Pontchartrain. The LSU AgCenter is helping in its recovery from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.
Louisiana and its neighboring states have the potential to raise nonfood crops for biofuels because they have suitable available land and a long growing season, said Michael Blazier, a researcher at the LSU AgCenter's Hill Farm Research Station in Homer.
A growing awareness of the importance of coastal wetlands to Louisiana’s economy and environment has attracted students with a variety of interests and backgrounds into undergraduate and graduate programs that have traditionally focused on production
The development of native plant materials with greater usefulness and enhanced performance in coastal wetland environments is of crucial importance to Louisiana’s efforts to arrest coastal erosion and wetlands habitat loss.
Louisiana’s coastal salt marshes, which are dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), suffered a catastrophic dieback in 2000. LSU AgCenter scientists are studying possible causes.
Since the 1930s, about 1,900 square miles, or almost 1 million acres, of wetlands along Louisiana’s coast have been lost. This loss continues at the rate of about 30 square miles per year. The LSU AgCenter brings its expertise in agricultural research to address coastal restoration.
The following eight articles appeared in the spring 2007 issue of Louisiana Agriculture in "What's New?"
The LSU AgCenter took a bold step this year by inaugurating a Youth Wetlands Week – and it was a huge success. During the week of April 16-20, more than 20,000 students – grades 7 through 12– in more than 150 schools became aware of the Louisiana land loss crisis and what can be done about it. Some had the opportunity to plant soil-saving plants in nearby wetlands. In the process the students learned valuable science lessons.
Wetland soils are known for their high organic matter. Soil characteristics become one of the major determinants of the types and abundance of plant species that grow there. Reliable information on the status and extent of wetland resources in particular areas can be used to determine the nature of soil development and the types of plant and animal communities living in the soil and on its surface.
Sea oats (Uniola paniculata) is a native dune plant commonly pictured on tourism pamphlets for beach resorts. This grass species is frequently used for dune restoration and vegetative stabilization projects throughout its native range in the United States.
What once were pastures now are wetlands – with water where cattle used to graze beside a levee near Pointe Aux Chenes. Seventh grade students at Montegut Middle School planted smooth cordgrass near the water’s edge at the foot of the levee.
The brown widow spider is becoming more common in Louisiana and a cause for concern, according to Dennis Ring, LSU AgCenter entomologist.
A newly established cooperative of LSU AgCenter scientists is gaining national recognition in the rapidly expanding field of natural resource economics and policy.
Before hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Citrus Research Stationin Port Sulphur was devoted primarily to research on citrus – mainly Satsuma mandarin and navel oranges – with some limited work on commercial vegetables, other fruits and termites.
The application of proven plant breeding methods to enhance the usefulness of native plants for coastal reclamation has tremendous potential.
Since 1989, more than 600 high school 4-H students from across Louisiana have had the unforgettable experience of a week of walking in marsh mud, swatting mosquitoes and watching the sun rise over the wetlands.
More than half a billion dollars has been spent in Louisiana in the past two decades on coastal restoration projects ranging from small community-based efforts to large ecosystem-scale programs.
Loss of estuarine habitat in Louisiana, which contains 40 percent of the nation’s wetlands, has received national attention because of rapid erosion rates.
Some of the plants that helped buffer the southeastern Louisiana coast during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 were planted by youth groups participating in the LSU Coastal Roots program.
Among the tremendous losses resulting from Hurricane Katrina was an old lighthouse that stood for more than a century at the tip of Louisiana’s most remote barrier island chain.
Because of the success of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, LSU AgCenter professionals extended the training to even more farmers by offering it in a different format for the first time this spring.
A large-scale revegetation technique that can restore interior marshes affected by erosion is crucial to successfully reduce of coastal marsh loss in Louisiana.
Work by the LSU AgCenter was instrumental in a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that has compensated sugarcane producers with $40 million for losses caused by hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
Wetland deterioration is a significant environmental problem in coastal Louisiana. Although natural and human induced factors have both been cited as causing wetland loss, many of these effects are mediated through one common agent: sediment availability.
A group of 21 Oil City Elementary Magnet School fifth graders learned some new words as they toured a wetland project at the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station in Bossier City on April 26, 2007.