A collection of the news articles in the 2007 summer issue of Louisiana Agriculture.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine, Summer 2007
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.