Dean Lee Research Station Profile

Danny F. Coombs  |  7/8/2010 7:50:00 PM

Dean Lee Research Station Profile.

You can access a PDF version of the Dean Lee Research Station Profile below.

From cotton and corn to soybeans and cattle, just about every major agricultural commodity in Louisiana grows in central Louisiana. The LSU AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research and Extension Station in Alexandria serves this region, the heart of Louisiana agriculture. The station is six miles south of Alexandria on Highway 71 adjacent the LSU-Alexandria campus.

8105 Tom Bowman Drive, Alexandria, LA 71302
Phone: 318-473-6520
Fax: 318-473-6535
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4 :30 p.m., Monday-Friday

The station includes 3,155 acres – 900 acres of pasture, 650 acres row crops and 1,200 acres of hardwood timber.

Contact: Danny Coombs, Research Station Coordinator/Professor


Research focus:

  • Production Agronomy
  • Beef Cattle Production
  • Performance Bull Testing
  • Weed Science
  • Corn Improvement


Research Highlights

Agronomy Research and Variety Testing
The goal of the Agronomy Project is to increase yield and profit potential for Louisiana cotton, corn, soybean, and grain sorghum producers. Research evaluating row widths and planting methods are important to validate and improve upon the practices currently used by producers. Official variety trials for cotton, corn, and soybean are conducted to evaluate the yield potential and adaptation of new varieties before producers risk planting them on large acreages.

Breeding Corn for Resistance to Aflatoxin
Efforts are underway to introduce aflatoxin-resistance genes from tropical corn lines into inbred lines that are adapted to Louisiana growing conditions. Genetic resistance to aflatoxin accumulation would be extremely valuable to Louisiana producers because there are no chemical control methods to reduce aflatoxin to acceptable levels in contaminated grain.

Performance Bull Testing
The purpose of the performance bull testing program is to compare the gain potential of bulls under uniform environmental conditions. The program conducted at the Dean Lee Research & Extension Center began in 1958 and is one of the oldest programs in the United States.

Weed Science Research
Research responsibilities include the evaluation of weed control and crop response to new and currently registered herbicides, development of weed management systems, herbicide resistance, and programs utilizing genetically modified crops for corn, cotton, grain sorghum, soybean, and wheat in the Lower Red River Valley of Louisiana. Identification and documentation of herbicide resistant weeds and the development designed to evade or mitigate weeds that could or have developed resistance to herbicides.

Beef Cattle
Studies are being conducted investigating specific genetic factors affecting disease resistance and susceptibility in growing beef cattle. Other studies are also being conducted exploring genetic influences for improved heat tolerance in Louisiana’s sub-topical environment.


Significance of Research

  • Research on agronomic practices can make Louisiana producers more competitive in a global market.
  • More than 200 varieties were tested in the 2010 soybean variety trials. These tests provide important information to farmers for variety selection.
  • More than 8,000 bulls owned by Louisiana beef cattle producers have been tested in two 112-day feedlot tests, which have been conducted since the bull Performance Testing program began.
  • Research findings will result in healthier, more heat-tolerant cattle being produced and ultimately increased productivity for both cow-calf and stocker production systems.

2009 Industry Facts

  • 34 million bushels of soybeans were produced on 1 million acres in Louisiana by 2,300 producers with a value of $369 million dollars.
  • 602,000 beef cattle are located on 11,500 farms/ranches in Louisiana with a total value of $365 million dollars.
  • 388,000 bales of cotton were produced by 510 producers with a total value of $130 million dollars.
  • 1,700 producers grew 82 million bushels of corn, grain sorghum and wheat on 705,000 acres with a total value of $363 million dollars.

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary, Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary


Future Plans

Agronomy Research
Research efforts will continue to address the changing landscape of crop production methods and techniques. The commodity markets will continue to influence Louisiana crop production and new crops and rotations, including bio fuel crops, will be researched as needed. Up-to-date research on newly released varieties will be a focus area of the program in the future. As higher-yielding varieties are continually introduced, research on their management and adaptation will be needed to optimize production and profitability for Louisiana farmers. In cotton, corn, and soybean, complex combinations of genetic technologies are now included in the seed. Management of these genetic technologies, and information such as when and where they are needed, will be an important part of variety testing in the future.

Weed Science
Research efforts will continue to address crop and weed response to herbicides and to develop economical and environmentally feasible weed management strategies for the betterment of crop producers in the Louisiana Lower Red River Valley.

Beef Cattle
Research will continue on studying various genetic considerations as well as management.

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