William Owens, Pitman, William D., Nipper, W. Allen, Blazier, Michael | 5/7/2010 12:21:47 AM
Hill Farm Research Focus is to enhance research in:
The Hill Farm Research Station has a long history of conducting research to support the Louisiana beef cattle industry. Past research has involved various aspects of beef cattle management and breeding to enhance productivity and profitability of cow-calf enterprises in pasture-based production systems. Parasite control programs and grazing strategies for stocker cattle programs and replacement heifer development have also been studied. Continuing research will include studies evaluating feed efficiency and diets in stocker cattle, impacts of feed efficiency on cow/calf production, and nutritional impacts on fertility. The goals of these studies are to identify evaluation of opportunities to reduce inputs and increase production efficiency to maintain profitability of beef cattle production.
Forage research at the Hill Farm Research Station has provided improved varieties, fertilizer recommendations and weed control approaches for highly productive Bermuda grass pasture and hay production. Recommendations for use of poultry litter as a pasture fertilizer, while maintaining quality of runoff water, are also important contributions of past forage research at the Hill Farm. Current forage research involves assessment of approaches for using various additional forage species, including legumes, to complement forage systems based on the warm-season perennial grasses Bermuda grass and Bahia grass.
The current forestry program at the Hill Farm Research Station involves both research and extension components, which are expanding on a base of long-term research supporting production of pulpwood, timber, and agroforestry grazing. Research on planting, harvesting, fertility improvement, and agroforestry practices for loblolly pine and upland hardwood plantations and agroforests is ongoing to enhance profitability and environmental benefits of forestlands of Louisiana.
Bovine mastitis research has been conducted at the Hill Farm Research Station for more than 50 years and continues to serve the dairy producers of Louisiana and the nation. Research on antimicrobial susceptibility of mastitis pathogens, therapeutic products and efficacy of teat dips are current topics of interest. The Louisiana Mycoplasma Mastitis Control Program is evaluating milk samples for the presence of this important and contagious mastitis pathogen.
A new area of research and extension activity at the Hill Farm supports the poultry industry. Two broiler demonstration houses evaluate new poultry production techniques. The initial evaluations compared tube heat with radiant brooders. Temperature sensors, ammonia sensors, humidity sensors and feed scales were used to evaluate the two heat methods. Comparisons were made between the two methods for bird production, bird health and cost of production. In addition, microbiological samples were collected from birds and litter. Organisms are being compared with similar strains from beef, humans and the environment for antimicrobial susceptibility.
A recent NRCS CIG grant is funding evaluations of poultry BMPs including windrowing, and stacking of poultry litter. In addition, fan dust is being evaluated for its impact on water quality. The grant will fund training of extension agents and poultry producers on BMPs and provide opportunities for producers to participate in the Louisiana Master Farmer Program.
Because agricultural practices have the potential to affect water and soil quality, scientists at the Hill Farm Research Station are studying these practices to ensure the continued safety of our water supplies and the food we eat. Guidelines called best management practices are used by dairy, poultry, forestry and beef producers to ensure that agriculture does not negatively affect the environment. Research is being conducted at the Hill Farm Research Station to determine which of these management practices work best. The impact of poultry fan dust is currently being evaluated by collecting water runoff samples near fans to determine the impact of fan dust on runoff water.
Significance of Research
Address: 11959 Hwy 9
Homer, LA 71040
Location: From I-20 : Take the Arcadia/Homer exit (#67), Turn north on Louisiana Highway 9, station office is approximately 16 miles on the right.