Listed below are topics in the news related to agriculture, natural resources, the environment, nutrition, food sciences and youth development and the contact information for people in the LSU AgCenter and the College of Agriculture who can serve as news sources. If you need more information or have difficulty reaching any of these people, please contact Linda Benedict (225-578-2937), Rick Bogren (225-578-5839), Johnny Morgan (225-578-8484), Craig Gautreaux (225-578-5673) or Tobie Blanchard (225-578-5649).
In this article:
|Conservation tillage and cover crops|
|Drones in agriculture|
|Emerald ash borer|
|Farm labor issues|
|Farm-to-table and farm-to-school|
|Floods and hurricanes|
|Forage and hay|
|Forestry insect pests|
|Fruits and vegetables|
|Insect pests (corn, cotton, grain sorghum)|
|Insect pests (household, lawn and garden)|
|Insect pests (rice)|
|Insect pests (soybean)|
|Insect pests (sugarcane)|
|Irrigation (field crops)|
|Master Farmer program|
|Master Gardener program|
|Mold remediation in housing|
|Nutrition (federal programs)|
|Plant disease (rice)|
|Plant disease (soybean, corn, grain sorghum, cotton)|
|Plant disease (sugarcane)|
|Plant disease (wheat)|
|Plant disease identification|
|Rice insect pests|
|Weeds (corn, grain sorghum, cotton, soybeans)|
|Weeds (lawns, gardens, nurseries)|
|Youth development and 4-H|
Agricultural economics – Kurt Guidry (225-578-3282, or cell 225-281-9377) can answer most any question about agricultural economics, but his specialty is cotton, soybeans, feed grains. He is the ag economist who compiles the estimates on losses to Louisiana agriculture following disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and drought. Michael Salassi (225-578-2713) and Michael Deliberto, (225-578-7267), both ag economists, can answer questions about rice and sugarcane. All are on the Baton Rouge campus. Deliberto also works in the areas of farm management and farm policy pertaining to cotton, rice and sugarcane.
Animal diseases – Christine Navarre (225-578-3241) is the extension veterinarian. Phil Elzer (225-578-1938, or cell 225-802-6811), School of Animal Sciences director and executive associate dean, can find experts on specific diseases and issues.
Aquaculture – Greg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist, can answer questions about crawfish, fish, oysters and shrimp. (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge)
Bee safety – Sebe Brown (318-498-1283), an entomologist, can answer questions about bee safety and agricultural use of insecticides in crop production (Winnsboro); Kristen Healy (225-578-2257), entomology researcher, can speak to this issue, too.
Beekeeping – Keith Hawkins (337-463-7006, or cell 318-264-2448), forestry agent in Beauregard Parish, works with beekeepers and helps organize educational meetings for people interested in beekeeping. He has access to entomologists who are bee experts.
Cattle – Regional specialists include: Guillermo Scaglia (337-276-5527) for southwest (Jeanerette); Vince Deshotel (337-948-0561, or cell 337-831-1635) for central (Opelousas); Jason Holmes (318-368-9935, or cell 318-243-4931) for northeast (Farmerville).
Conservation tillage and cover crops – Lisa Fultz (225-578-1344, or cell 225-366-8863), agronomist on the Baton Rouge campus.
Corn – Dan Fromme is the corn, cotton and grain sorghum extension specialist (cell 318-880-8079) (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).
Cotton – Dan Fromme is the corn, cotton and grain sorghum extension specialist (cell 318-880-8079) (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).
Drones in agriculture – Randy Price (318-427-4424, or cell 225-936-7593), agricultural engineer (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria) and Dennis Burns (318-766-3769, or cell 318-267-6709), county agent, St. Joseph, are both studying use of drones in agriculture, also known as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or UAS (unmanned aircraft system).
Emerald ash borer – This invasive pest was detected for the first time in Louisiana in 2015. Rodrigo Diaz (225-578-1835), entomologist, is part of a team conducting research on control. Tim Schowalter (225-578-1827, or cell 225-252-5226), entomologist with expertise in forest insects. Both are on the Baton Rouge campus.
Farm labor issues – Kim Pope (cell 225-436-3199), who is in charge of pesticide application training, can speak about new rules and regulations for the training of farm workers (Baton Rouge).
Farm-to-table and farm-to-school – Carl Motsenbocker (225-578-1036), horticulturist who works with these programs and with small-farm farmers (Baton Rouge).
Feral hogs – Glen Gentry (225-683-5848), animal scientist, conducts research on control of feral hogs (Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station, Clinton).
Figs – Jason Stagg (985-543-4125), horticulturist, is an expert on small fruit, including figs (Hammond Research Station, Hammond).
Fisheries industry – Fisheries agents include Rusty Gaudé (504-736-6519, or cell 504-908-9713), for Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Orleans parishes; Thomas Hymel (337-276-5527, or cell 337-296-6133), for Iberia, St. Martin, Lafayette, Vermilion, St. Landry and Avoyelles parishes; Kevin Savoie (337-905-1318, or cell 337-660-8519), for Cameron and Calcasieu parishes; and Mark Shirley (337-898-4335, or cell 337-296-6864), for Jefferson Davis, Vermilion, Acadia, St. Landry, Evangeline, Cameron, Calcasieu, Lafayette, Beauregard and Allen parishes. They all have joint appointments with Louisiana Sea Grant.
Floods and hurricanes – Claudette Reichel (225-578-4440 or 2378, cell 225-202-6593), director of the LaHouse Resource Center, is the expert on housing resiliency and mold mitigation. Shandy Heil, extension associate, can also do interviews on storm recovery and housing (225-578-4325 or cell 225-603-4090). Other topics: animal safety–horses, Neely Walker (225-578-5338); animal safety–cattle, Christine Navarre; food safety, Wenqing Xu (225-578-3997, or cell 302-229-8499); agricultural economic damage, Kurt Guidry (225-578-3282, or cell 225-281-9377); forage and hay damage and shortages, Ed Twidwell. An expert on hydrology and why and where flooding occurs is Richard Keim (225-252-4994). All are in Baton Rouge.
Food safety – Achyut Adhikari (225-578-2529) works with the food industry and small-farm farmers to help them understand new safety laws and regulations; Wenqing Xu (225-578-3997, or cell 302-229-8499) is the consumer food safety specialist. Both are in Baton Rouge.
Forestry – Michael Blazier (318-927-2578 ext 204, or cell 318-927-7671) conducts research on forest sustainability, forest products as biofuel, and carbon sequestration (Homer). Area forestry agents include Ricky Kilpatrick (318-965-2326, or cell 318-286-7343) for northwest (Benton); Keith Hawkins (337-463-7006, or cell 318-264-2448) for southwest (DeRidder); Robbie Hutchins (318-427-4424, or cell 318-308-2995) for central (Alexandria); and Brian Chandler (225-683-3101, or cell 225-505-0691) for southeast (Clinton). Luke Stamper (318-744-5442, or cell 318-805-8819) is the primary point of contact for forestry and natural resources in the Northeast Region (Harrisonburg).
Forestry insect pests – Tim Schowalter (225-578-1827, or cell 225-252-5226), entomologist with expertise in forest insects (Baton Rouge).
Fruits and vegetables – Kiki Fontenot (225-578-2417, or cell 225-235-9968) is the fruits and vegetables extension specialist and can answer questions about both commercial and home production (Baton Rouge).
Grain sorghum – Dan Fromme is the corn, cotton and grain sorghum extension specialist (cell 318-880-8079) (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).
Grass-fed beef – Guillermo Scaglia (337-276-5527), an animal scientist at the Iberia Research Station in Jeanerette, conducts research on growth and expansion of the grass-fed beef industry in Louisiana.
Horses – Neely Walker (225-578-5338), extension horse specialist (Baton Rouge).
Horticulture – The regional coordinators are: Kerry Heafner (318-323-2251, or cell 864-431-2384) for northeast (West Monroe); Jennifer Williams (318-698-0010) for northwest (Shreveport); Sara Rogers Shields (225-638-5533) for central (Pointe Coupee); Stuart Gauthier (337-332-2181) for southwest (Breaux Bridge). Heather Kirk-Ballard is the consumer horticulture specialist headquartered in Baton Rouge at 225-578-2110
Housing – The LaHouse Resource Center on the Baton Rouge campus is a demonstration home featuring sustainability and storm-resistant features. The director is Claudette Reichel (225-578-4440), housing specialist.
Hydrology – Richard Keim (cell 225-252-4994) is an expert on the hydrology of forested wetlands and watersheds across Louisiana. He is an associate professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources in Baton Rouge.
Insect pests (corn, cotton, grain sorghum) – Sebe Brown (318-498-1283), entomologist for the northeast region is at the Macon Ridge Research Station, Winnsboro.
Insect pests (rice) – Michael Stout (cell 225-892-2972), entomologist (Baton Rouge).
Insect pests (soybean) – Jeff Davis (cell 225-747-0351), entomologist (Baton Rouge).
International trade – Michael Deliberto (225-578-7267), ag economist, can talk about international trade as it relates to rice and sugarcane.
Irrigation (field crops) – The water quality team at the Red River Research Station, Bossier City, conduct research and extension programs on irrigation and runoff: Stacia Davis, irrigation engineer; Naveen Adusumilli, ag economist; Changyoon Jeong, water quality specialist; Syam Dodla, agronomist. All can be reached at the office, 318-741-7430. Dodla can also be reached at 225-505-7064 (cell).
Irrigation (horticulture) – Horticulturists Jeff Beasley (225-578-1029) and Ed Bush (225-578-2158) are on the Baton Rouge campus. Stacia Davis (318-741-7430) is at the Red River Research Station, Bossier City.
Master Farmer program – Ernest Girouard (337-788-7547, or cell 337-852-3986), the state coordinator, is at the Southwest Region office, Rayne. The two extension agents who work with the programs are Donna Morgan (318-613-9278, or cell 318-613-9278) in Alexandria at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria, and James Hendrix (318-766-3769, or cell 318-235-7198) in St. Joseph at the Tensas Parish extension office.
Master Gardener program – Sara Rogers Shields (225-638-5533), horticulturist in Pointe Coupee, is the statewide coordinator. Master Gardener programs are coordinated locally through LSU AgCenter parish extension offices.
Meat – Shannon Cruzen (225-578-5426 or cell 979-820-3081) and Ken McMillin (225-578-3438) are both experts on retail meat. The extension poultry specialist is Theresia Lavergne (225-578-2473, or cell 225-281-9450).
Mold remediation in housing – Claudette Reichel is an expert on housing resiliency and mold mitigation and can be reached at LaHouse at 225-578-4440.
Mosquitoes – Kristen Healy (225-578-2257, or cell 732-766-0407), medical entomologist. Healy is an expert on mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and Zika virus.
Nematodes – Charles Overstreet (225-578-2186, or cell 225-405-6286), plant pathologist (Baton Rouge).
Nutrition (federal programs) – Carla Verbois (225-578-048) for SNAP-Ed, the food stamp program, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education. Sharman Charles (225-578-1704) for EFNEP, which stands for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
Ornamental plants – Horticulturist Heather Kirk-Ballard (225-578-2110)
Oysters – John Supan (diseases), director of the Oyster Research Lab; Greg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge) can speak to most any seafood topic.
Plant disease (rice) – Don Groth (337-296-6853), plant pathologist at the Rice Research Station in Crowley.
Plant disease (soybean, corn, grain sorghum, cotton) – Trey Price (318-435-2157 ext 213, or cell 318-235-9805), is a field crops pathologist at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro.
Plant disease (sugarcane) – Jeff Hoy (225-578-1392, or cell 225-485-4227) on the Baton Rouge campus.
Plant disease (wheat) – Boyd Padgett (318-427-4424, or cell 318-614-4354) wheat specialist (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).
Poultry – Jason Holmes (318-368-9935, or cell 318-243-4931), livestock specialist in the Northwest Region in Union Parish, works with poultry producers. Shannon Cruzen (225-578-5426, or cell 979-820-3081), researcher and teacher on the Baton Rouge campus, can talk about poultry products.
Rice – Dustin Harrell (337-788-7531, or cell 337-250-3553), rice extension specialist, is an expert on all areas of rice production; Adam Famosa (337-788-7531), is a rice breeder and can also answer all questions about rice. Both are at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley.
Rice disease – Don Groth (337-296-6853), plant pathologist (H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley).
Rice insect pests – Michael Stout (cell 225-892-2972), entomologist (Baton Rouge).
Rice weeds – Eric Webster (cell 225-281-9449), weed scientist (Baton Rouge).
Shrimp – Greg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist, can answer questions about crawfish, fish, oysters and shrimp (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge).
Soybeans –David Moseley (318-473-6520), in Alexandria.
Strawberries – Kiki Fontenot (225-578-2417, or cell 225-235-9968), fruits and vegetables extension specialist, can answer questions about both commercial and home production, including about strawberries (Baton Rouge campus). Whitney Wallace (985-748-9381, or cell 985-517-1684) is the extension agent in Tangipahoa Parish, where most of the state’s strawberry growers are.
Sugarcane – Kenneth Gravois (225-642-0224, or cell 225-281-9472), extension sugarcane specialist at the Sugar Research Station, St. Gabriel.
Sugarcane economics – Michael Deliberto (225-578-3282) on the Baton Rouge campus.
Sweet potatoes – Myrl Sistrunk (318-435-2155, or cell 318-267-6712) for production (Sweet Potato Research Station, Chase); Don La Bonte (225-578-1203) for new varieties (Baton Rouge campus); Chris Clark (225-578-1381) for diseases (Baton Rouge campus); Tara Smith (318-435-2903, or cell 318-557-9501), director for the Northeast Region, is a sweet potato expert and can talk about the industry.
Turfgrass – Ron Strahan (225-578-4070, or cell 225-229-4070), weed scientist, works with lawns, gardens and athletic fields to control weeds. Jeff Beasley (225-578-1029) conducts research on turfgrass including levee protection. Both are on the Baton Rouge campus.
Urban trees – Hallie Dozier (225-578-7219) and Ricky Kilpatrick (318-965-2326, or cell 318-286-7343) are extension forestry specialists. Dozier is on the Baton Rouge campus, and Kilpatrick is in the northwest region in Benton.
Waterfowl – Kevin Ringelman (225-578-4212), a waterfowl biologist, can talk about ducks and geese, wildlife management and ecology (Baton Rouge)
Weeds (corn, grain sorghum, cotton, soybeans) – Daniel Stephenson (cell 318-308-7225), weed scientist (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria); Josh Copes (cell 318-334-0401) and Donnie Miller (cell 318-614-4044), weed scientists (Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph).
Weeds (lawns, gardens, nurseries) – Ron Strahan (225-578-4070, or cell 225-229-4070), weed scientist, works with lawns, gardens, nurseries and athletic fields to improve turfgrass and eradicate weeds.
Weeds (rice) – Eric Webster (cell 225-281-9449), weed scientist (Baton Rouge).
Weeds (sugarcane) – Al Orgeron (cell 504-616-4750), extension agent (Lutcher).
Wheat – Boyd Padgett (318-427-4424, or cell 318-614-4354) wheat specialist (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria). Steve Harrison (225-578-1308, or cell 225-281-9446) conducts research on wheat (Baton Rouge campus).