2014 Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station Profile

Dearl Sanders  |  6/12/2012 6:51:02 PM

Please click on the image above for the PDF version of the 2014 Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station Profile.

Photo By: Langlois, Page

Information

The research station is located 3 miles south of Clinton on LA 67, then 2 miles east on Idlewild Rd. The site includes: 1,824 acres, including 300 acres of improved pasture, 150 acres in open grass, 70 acres in lakes and ponds, and 50 acres in deer impoundments.

4419 Idlewild Road, Clinton, LA 70722
Phone: 225.683.5848
Fax: 225.683.3281
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
E-mail
Website

Dearl E. Sanders,
Research Station Coordinator/Professor

Research focus:

  • Tree fruit for wildlife projects 
  • Weed control in forage crops, aquatics and noncrop areas
  • Wildlife research in deer, quail, turkey and habitat management
  • Feral swine management

Special features

Home to LSU AgCenter’s captive white-tailed and red deer research herds.

Research Highlights

Wildlife
The station is home to two captive deer herds, white-tailed and red deer, in addition to a native population of white-tailed deer, turkeys and other upland game birds and animals. Current research with the captive deer herds includes improving artificial insemination techniques, vaccine development for epizootic viral diseases and improved animal husbandry.

Research utilizing the native wildlife includes varietal development of crops for wildlife in conjunction with plant breeders focusing on wildlife habitat improvement. Also under way is a multi-year project to develop an effective and safe deer repellent. New to the station is a study to help control feral hog populations. Feral hogs have become the number one animal nuisance in the Felicianas.

Forestry
Of the 1,800+ acres of the station, nearly 1,300 acres are in some forest system. Loblolly pine predominates, but hardwood bottoms spread throughout the station. Currently cooperative forestry projects involve insect monitoring, stand improvement, weed control and forest products utilization. These projects are in cooperation with researchers from departments on campus, researchers from other branch stations, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and various agrichemical companies.

Weed Control
Research in the areas of noncrop, forestry, forage and aquatic weed control is conducted on the station. The station utilizes both static and flow-through systems for the evaluation of new aquatic herbicides and aquatic-herbicide application techniques. The station is also the focal point of an industrial-size biological control program targeting giant salvinia. Giant salvinia has become the number one invasive aquatic weed in the state, causing millions of dollars of lost revenue to the recreational industry and reduced property values for lakefront property owners throughout the state. Personnel from the station manage the production of the salvinia weevil, which is used as the primary biological control agent in the fight against giant salvinia. The station currently operates three salvinia weevil nurseries in south Louisiana and one in central Louisiana.

Significance of Programs:

  • Giant Salvinia (Salvinia Molesta) research is focused on chemical and biological control of this weed that infests freshwater lakes and waterways. Currently one of the largest biological control projects in the nation is headquartered at the station.
  • One of the few static and flow-through aquatic weed testing sites in the nation allows for rapid screening of new herbicides and herbicide application technology on most of the troublesome aquatic weeds found in the southeastern United States affecting recreational fishing and boating.
  • Research supports vegetation management programs conducted by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, parish and municipal governments, utility companies and private contractors.
  • Provides research on reproduction and disease to 300 state-licensed deer farms.
  • Wildlife research designed to improve wildlife habitat, food plots, reduce nuisance animals and increase desirable species produces a major economic impact for the state.
  • Field days - The station regularly hosts field days featuring wildlife, cattle and forestry.

2014 Wildlife Industry Facts

The station’s wildlife programs provide an economic boost to Louisiana. Whether for hunting, fishing or bird watching, the recreational use of land in this area is big business. Timber harvesting is the only use of the land in this area more valuable than recreation. Recreational leases on land around the Bob R. Jones Idlewild Research Station average from $30-$35 per acre per year.

The station serves several AgCenter campus departments, including Animal Sciences, Entomology, Plant Environmental and Soil Sciences (SPESS) and Renewable Natural Resources.

In addition, the Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station:

  • Maintains a deer herd used for research projects with LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, the AgCenter Department of Veterinary Science and the AgCenter Reproductive Biology Center.
  • Provides space for studies on forest, pasture and aquatic weed control.
  • Maintains a 50-acre lake for scientists to use in a variety of research projects.
    • 5,647 Hunting lease land owners
    • 8,062,870 acres for hunting leases
    • $98.7 million dollar economic impact from hunting leases in the state

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary website: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary

Future Plans

The creation of the Bob R. Jones Wildlife Research Institute will greatly expand the Station's ability to conduct research in a variety of areas dealing with diseases of white-tailed deer genetics.

The bio control program for the control of aquatic weeds is an important research component of the Station.  Salvinia weed nursery ponds have expanded and research is aimed at producing a cold tolerant strain of weevils to combat salvinia outbreaks in areas of the state with colder winter temperatures.

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