Iberia Research Station Profile

Howard Viator  |  3/31/2010 8:32:56 PM

Please click on the image above for the PDF version of the Iberia Research Station Profile.

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

The Station is located approximately 8 miles south of LA Hwy 90. It is 4 miles due east off of Darnall Rd. on LA Hwy 87 and is situated approximately 8 miles east of New Iberia, LA on LA Hwy87.
Iberia Research Station

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 466
Physical Address: 603 LSU Bridge Rd., Jeanerette, LA
Phone: 337-276-5527
Fax: 337-276-9088
Office Hours: 7:30a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
Email

LSUAgCenter.com/IberiaStation

1137 acres, including 900 acres of pastures and hay meadows and 150 acres of row crop land

Contact: H.P. “Sonny” Viator, Research Station Coordinator/Professor


Research focus:

Beef Cattle

  • Crossbreeding to evaluate the value of tropically adapted beef breeds
  • Evaluation of forage-fed beef systems
  • Determine host resistance to internal parasites
  • Efficient use of nutrients by affecting grazing behavior

Sugar Crops

  • Sugarcane variety development
  • Site specific N management of sugarcane
  • Long-term effects of sugarcane residue management
  • Sweet sorghum feedstock logistics for biofuel production


Rotation crops

  • Evaluation of soybeans, sweet sorghum and wheat for rotation with sugarcane


Research Highlights

Forage-fed Beef
Recent interest in finishing beef only on forages has surfaced because of the perception that forage-fed beef has a lower environmental impact and contains higher health to non-healthy fat ratios. Scientists are investigating forage systems for producing 1000+ pound steers at 17-19 months of age.


Tropically Adapted Beef Breeds
The subtropical environment of Louisiana necessitates the incorporation of tropical adaptation in beef herds. Bonsmara cattle from South Africa are tropically adapted and are currently being evaluated for both carcass merit and maternal productivity.


Sugarcane Varieties
All sugarcane varieties released to the growers in Louisiana since the 1980s were developed in cooperation with personnel at the Iberia Research Station. The station is located in a sugarcane production region with unique soils and environmental conditions, which dictates screening of experimental varieties within the Bayou Teche region.


Grazing Behavior of Beef Cattle
Research is being conducted to gain an understanding of the process by which cattle express choice when grazing. The focus is on how forage mixtures affect foraging behavior and animal performance.


Internal Parasitism in Beef Cattle
Stomach worms are a serious economic pest in beef cattle. Efforts are being made to address the problem through the development of genetic resistance.


Sweet Sorghum for Biomass Production
The federal mandate for energy security through the development of sustainable biofuels has revived interest in sweet sorghum as a renewable energy crop. Researchers at the Iberia Research Station have partnered with the biofuel industry to identify scenarios for furnishing sweet sorghum feedstock to the biorefinery.


Significance of Iberia Research Station Research

  • Research conducted on sugarcane varieties and management practices helps to make sugarcane the number one row crop in value in the state.
  • Crossbreeding efforts to identify good carcass merit beef types adapted to our environmental conditions could contribute significantly to the industry.
  • Grazing beef cattle to slaughter weight using only forages fits well with Louisiana’s ability to grow forages year round.
  • Efforts to evaluate sweet sorghum as a primary feedstock for biofuel production could lead to its use to meet the U.S. target of producing 21 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022.

2009 Beef and Sugar Industry Facts

Beef

  • 11,500 farms/ranches raised 602,000 head of cattle and calves
  • Total value of beef production was $365 million

Sugar

  • 525 farms produced sugarcane on 421,000 acres.
  • Cane yield averaged 36.0 tons per acre with each ton containing an average of 208 pounds of sugar.
  • 1,449,574 tons of sugar were extracted by the 11 raw sugar mills.
  • Total value of sugarcane was $752 million

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


Future Plans
The development of forage-fed beef cattle enterprises will be the principal objective of projects in ruminant nutrition. The relationship of grazing behavior and animal performance will be featured to gain an understanding of the contribution of the forage diet. This a contemporary issue in animal agriculture which has been supported by and should continue to garner extramural funding.

Combining meat tenderness, tropical adaptation and acceptable maternal productivity traits is the goal of the crossbreeding research at the Iberia Research Station. Steers with these genetic improvements will help avoid the marketing bias that sometimes exists in the Southeast.

Personnel at the Iberia Research Station will continue to be involved in the evaluation and selection of sugarcane varieties. Improved sugarcane varieties represent the most important contribution research can make to the growers and millers.

Meeting the target of producing 21 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 will be a challenge. Our partnerships with the fledging sweet sorghum ethanol industries should result in identifying feedstock logistics to meet the federally mandated goal.

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