The salt water that washed over coastal areas in Southwestern Louisiana during Hurricane Rita could greatly affect next year’s rice crop. LSU AgCenter agronomist Dr. Gary Breitenbeck says the high salinity levels in rice fields could lead to decreased yields. (Radio News 12/12/05)
The LSU AgCenter soon will begin comprehensive tests for salt contamination in areas of Vermilion Parish hit by Hurricane Rita’s storm surge, but officials this week said the problem may not be as bad as originally feared.
Hurricanes Rita and Katrina were not good for the already struggling Louisiana sugarcane industry, but the storms did not do as much damage as growers first anticipated. (TV News 12/12/05. Runtime: 1 minute 25 seconds)
Salt water flowed into sugarcane fields during Hurricane Rita, but the layout of a sugarcane field can be beneficial in ridding the field of salt. LSU AgCenter agronomist Dr. Gary Breitenbeck explains. (Radio News 12/12/05)
After Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2005, the AgCenter quickly began to assess the damage caused to the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries industries. Since those initial estimates, the AgCenter has refined its projections and now pegs the total economic impact due to losses in revenue and additional production costs at slightly over $1.0 billion.
Louisiana’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries have been and continue to be severely affected by Hurricane Katrina. Several USDA programs can help agricultural farmers and ranchers begin their recovery from hurricanes.
The dollar amounts, which are estimates of reduced revenue and increased costs, are broken down by storm and commodity. Total estimated costs are also provided.
South Louisiana rice fields contaminated with salt from Hurricane Rita’s storm surge have shown some improvements, although not as much as expected, and salinity levels actually have increased in some sugarcane fields.
Vermilion Parish rice farmer David Lacour emerged from a rice bin recently, covered in sweat and dust.
A breeze is blowing through storm-beaten pecan trees in Ben Littlepage’s 300-acre orchard near Colfax. The trees are almost leafless, and there’s about a handful of pecans left on one very large native tree.