(Distributed 03/30/09) Mulching should be part of garden maintenance at least twice a year, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings. Pine straw is an excellent choice among mulch products currently available on the market, the horticulturist says.
(Distributed 03/30/09) Keeping up with the latest vegetable varieties is about like keeping up with the latest pop hit, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. University research takes time and money, so variety testing is not always on top of the products that the seed companies are promoting.
(Distributed 3/30/09) Cannas have enjoyed a rebirth of popularity because of the introduction of new varieties, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings.
(Distributed 03/16/09) Azaleas are Louisiana’s most popular shrub. Fall is the best time to plant the flowering shrub, followed by winter, spring and summer. The vast majority of azaleas, however, are planted in spring.
(Distributed 03/30/09) Many home gardeners are aware that a soil test is a good practice to determine the soil’s nutrient status, pH and other characteristics. Most of us, however, do not know the proper procedures for taking soil samples, which can make the test results inconclusive.
(Distributed 03/02/09) Ground covers are low-growing plants other than turfgrasses. Typically, they are perennial, evergreen plants with sprawling or spreading habits. They generally are 1 foot or shorter, but taller plants are used occasionally. Ground covers are considered attractive, low-maintenance landscape options.
(Distributed 03/20/09) The major grass produced on Louisiana sod farms and most widely planted in residential lawns is centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides). It thrives with less care and usually requires less mowing than many other grasses.
(Distributed 03/30/09) Athens Select is a plant evaluation program that measures a variety’s heat and humidity tolerance. Founded in 1999 at the University of Georgia, the program includes trials at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge and the Hammond Research Station in Hammond.
(Distributed 03/06/09) Even though most people agree that healthy eating is important, doing so may seem almost impossible when money is tight and time is short, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed 03/30/09) As lawns begin turning green in spring, the temptation is to add fertilizer to enhance the re-growth. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske warns against giving in to this temptation.
(Distributed 03/30/09) A dot-sized insect called the pecan phylloxera may infest pecan trees beginning in mid-March. Severe infestations of phylloxeras can cause loss of the pecan crop for the current year and also for the following year, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. John Pyzner.
(Distributed 03/30/09) Planting a spring lawn should start no sooner than it would be safe to set out your tomato transplants, that is, when soil temperatures reach the mid-60s and higher.
(TV News 03/16/09) Our society is always plugged in, and a price for being plugged in is wasted energy. LSU AgCenter correspondent Tobie Blanchard looks at some ways we can cut energy consumption and reduce the size of our carbon footprints. (Runtime: 1 minute, 48 seconds)
(Radio News 03/30/09) Louisiana rice acreage likely will see a slight shift in varieties being grown this season. Australia is a major producer of medium-grain rice, but several years of drought has reduced the amount of rice that country is growing. California also has reduced its medium-grain acreage, according to LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk, who says those circumstances present opportunities for Louisiana farmers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/16/09) The economic stimulus package brings changes to the 2008 farm bill’s disaster assistance program. Under the supplemental revenue assistance or SURE program, agricultural producers would have a revenue guaranty for their commodities based on level of crop insurance. LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry explains. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/09/09) The LSU AgCenter piloted a 12-hour leadership training course in Tensas Parish. Lead Louisiana attracted elected officials, community volunteers and emerging community leaders. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(TV News 03/30/09) Louisiana’s poultry industry suffered a blow when Pilgrim’s Pride announced plans to close it’s northeast Louisiana processing facility. The state is working on a deal to ensure the facility continues operating. LSU AgCenter correspondent Tobie Blanchard talked with a grower who is raising his last flock of birds for Pilgrim’s Pride. (Runtime: 1 minute, 16 seconds)
(Radio News 03/30/09) The water that surged into Vermilion Parish during Hurricane Ike has long since retreated, but that water left the soil it flowed over contaminated with salt. LSU AgCenter county agent Stuart Gauthier has been sampling sites around the parish. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/02/09) Need help preparing your tax return? Many resources are available to taxpayers. LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker says the IRS is a good place to start. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/23/09) New varieties can revolutionize a crop’s industry. Beauregard is the leading variety of sweet potatoes in Louisiana. After the variety became available in the late 1980s, the state’s sweet potato industry grew, says LSU AgCenter sweet potato researcher Chris Clark. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/02/09) In the last minute rush to get tax returns completed, taxpayers often make mistakes. LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker warns about mistakes to avoid. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/30/09) Tod Hibbard figures he has grown nearly 10 million chickens in the 16 years he has been a poultry producer. Hibbard has eight chicken houses on rolling land in Jackson Parish. He said business was good initially but has had ups and downs over the years. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/30/09) The poultry industry is vital to north Louisiana’s economy, but nearly 200 poultry producers in the area may find themselves with empty chicken houses for a while. Pilgrim’s Pride plans to stop operating its poultry processing facility in Farmerville in May, and the plant could see some down time as it transitions to new owners. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/16/09) The economic stimulus package includes several provisions for farmers and rural America. LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry explains. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/16/09) Congress recently passed an economic stimulus package that includes a $50 million aquaculture block grant. The money is to assist aquaculture producers with the high cost of feed in 2008. LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry says while Louisiana has an important aquaculture industry, it is unclear whether crawfish will receive much money from this grant. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/23/09) Have you considered where your food comes from? Not just from farmers and farms -- but where those farms are located and how the food got to you? Emily Neustrom works with the LSU AgCenter’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and talks about the importance of buying local. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/09/09 LSU AgCenter's Delta Rural Development Center in Oak Grove, La., is working to change conditions in northeast Louisiana. Louisiana Delta Initiative joins the development center with other organizations hoping to improve the economic conditions of the Delta region. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/16/09) Agriculture revenue has grown in the past five years, according to an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation. Dr. Robert Young says in 2002, the agriculture industry recorded $250 billion in sales. Last year industry sales totaled more than $360 billion. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/23/09) Americans leave a large carbon footprint on the Earth. Making small changes can reduce the size of that footprint and help conserve natural resources. LSU AgCenter area housing agent Stephen Picou says a good place to start is by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, which use 60 percent less energy. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/02/09) If you’ve taken a tour of a pumpkin patch or visited a working dairy farm, you have participated in agritourism. LSU AgCenter community rural development agent Dora Ann Hatch explains. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/16/09) Agricultural producers will have to make decisions based on new federal legislation. The 2008 farm bill offers an alternative to traditional farm subsidy programs. The Average Crop Revenue Election program, or ACRE, will require farmers that enroll in the program to give up 20 percent of their direct payments but will grant them a 30 percent lower loan rate. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/02/09) Showing livestock helps youngsters develop valuable skills, but at the heart of it is the enjoyment participants get out of the experience. Cobey Hendry says working with his Brahman bull is hard work, but he also says he's having fun. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/30/09) Hurricane Ike took some rice fields out of production in southwest Louisiana, but acreage is likely to go up in other parts of the state thanks to renewed interest in the crop brought by decreasing production costs. Experts say the state's overall rice acreage probably will hold steady at around 400,000 acres in production. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/09/09) The Delta Rural Development Center is offering classes on how to do business over the Internet. These classes promote expanded entrepreneurship in the 12-parish Delta region. LSU AgCenter agent Dora Ann Hatch teaches part of the class. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/23/09) It is not unusual to see Natalie Hummel in a skirt and heels carrying a bicycle helmet. On many days Hummel bikes to work. Hummel, an LSU AgCenter entomologist, says riding her bike allows her to conveniently fit in 40 minutes of exercise a day. She moved to Baton Rouge from Texas where she was driving close to 100 miles a day. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 03/23/09) Sweet potato breeders recently released a new variety that could rival the long-dominant variety Beauregard. The variety Evangeline was grown commercially last year, and experts say that while it doesn't rival Beauregard's resistance to plant diseases it does excel in taste. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) If you need to prune sumer-flowering shrubs, do it in March or early April. Have a plan before pruning, and do not prune if the tree or shrub doesn't need it. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/30/09) Spring-flowering shrubs beautify Louisiana landscapes in February and April. When these shrubs finish blooming, prune them if they need it. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 03/16/09) When planting shrubs into the landscape, Louisiana gardeners often are looking for shrubs that are tough, reliable, insect and disease resistant and relatively low maintenance. The Indian hawthorn certainly has all of those attributes. (Runtime: 1 minute, 48 seconds)
(Audio 03/23/09) The gladiola produces beautiful flowers in late spring or early summer. You can plant the bulbs from February through March. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/02/09) As the weather gets milder, we can begin planting warm-season vegetables. Freezes are still possible in the month of March, but early planting has some advantages. You can get better quality production and fewer insect problems. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/02/09) Now is an excellent time to purchase rose bushes from your local nursery and to plant them. By planting early in March, the rose plants will be in better shape in April, May and June. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/02/09) Ground covers are wonderful plants that we use in very large areas of our landscape. They usually are low-growing evergreens. Even evergreen ground covers can have old, unattractive growth. March is a good time to prune your ground covers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/23/09) By March most of our roses should be growing vigorously, and this is a great time to fertilize them. You can use an all-purpose or a slow-release fertilizer. Also, now is a good time to spray for black spot. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/30/09) In spring, many gardening organizations, businesses and others have events such as garden shows, plant sales and educational oppportunities. Take advantage of these events to find the latest local gardening information. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/09/09) Gardeners can plant a variety of vegetables in March. A few vegetables such as eggplant, okra and sweet potatoes are are sensitive to chilly temperatures, and gardeners should wait to until April to plant these crops. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 03/09/09) When you head out to the nurseries this spring, looking for azaleas for your landscape, you must keep in mind there are many different kinds of azaleas, and they mature at different sizes. (Runtime: 1 minute, 34 seconds)
(Video 03/30/09) As the weather warms up we spend more time outside in our outdoor living areas like porches, decks and patios. We use plants in beautiful containers to embellish these spaces. (Runtime: 1 minute, 45 seconds)
(Audio 03/30/09) Sap suckers are a group of birds that peck holes in trees. These birds feed on the sap and insects that collect near these holes. The damage they cause tends to look worse than it really is. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/30/09) Spider mites are difficult to see with the naked eye. Gardeners must look over their plants carefully if they suspect a problem. These insects damage the foliage of plants -- but they can be controlled. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/09/09) The hydrangea is a popular summer-flowering shrub for shady areas. It is important to remember that these flowers set their buds a year ahead. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/09/09) Mild weather moves in during the month of March, and we can expect lavish displays of color from our cool-season plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/09/09) We love perennials because they come back year after year. When you fertilize your perennials, you can use a variety of different fertilizers such as granular or slow-release fertilizers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 03/23/09) Beautiful spring colors and fragrances are in the air. While you might think the flowery show this time of year comes only from plants planted during the spring, that’s not the case. In this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill introduces you to some pretty spring flowers that actually were planted in the fall. (Runtime: 1 minute, 40 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) Many landscapes include small decorative ponds or aquatic features. This is a great time to clean ponds, because the foliage and fish in them are not very active. Choose a mild day to get this done. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/30/09) Gardeners can plant a wide variety of vegetables in April. Tomatoes, the most popular home vegetable, can be planted in April, and many others can be seeded or transplanted this month. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/02/09) The buck moth caterpillar feeds on leaves of oak trees and delivers a painful sting. These caterpillars can be abundant in the spring. Spraying can help eliminate an infestation. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 03/02/09) If you’re looking for a great plant for a shady area where you maybe need a small patch of ground cover, ajuga is a delightful choice. Ajuga is a lovely plant. It’s spreading, low-growing and well-behaved in the landscape. (Runtime: 1 minute, 38 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) Interest in growing herbs has been rising in recent years. Louisiana gardeners can plant herbs in herb gardens or containers or in beds among existing plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/09/09) Orchids are wonderful flowering plants that are different from many other houseplants.(Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/23/09) The redbud is an outstanding, small, spring-flowering tree. Its tiny red flowers can really brighten up a landscape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/23/09) Check your local nurseries for flowering perennial plants. You can find these plants in gallon-size containers, which are good for planting this time of year. These plants will live for many years, and that gives them an advantage over annuals. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/02/09) Spring-flowering bulbs begin putting on a vivid display in March. So this is a good time to keep records. Walk through your garden and take notes on the color and size of plants, when they bloom and how well they work in your landscape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) As the weather warms up, weeds, insects and diseases become far more common in our landscapes. It is important to remember that pesticides are just one option for control. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) In March, we begin to see green colors returning to our lawns. If you see weeds in your lawn during this time, it is best to just mow them back rather than apply a pesticide while your grasses are reawakening and starting to grow. (Runtime: 60 secondS)
(Audio 03/23/09) Having issues with lawn mushrooms? Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to prevent them. But if you have pets or small children, it is best to gather and dispose of the bothersome mushrooms. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 03/19/09) ALEXANDRIA, La. – About 100 minority farmers and other small-farm operators heard about marketing, estate planning, financial planning and other legal issues at an informational meeting on March 12 at the LSU AgCenter’s Charles Dewitt Center here.
(Distributed 03/18/09) Creating sustainable gardens and more community and school gardens are some of the trends in the LSU AgCenter’s 15-year-old Master Gardener program, but educational activities and volunteer service still serve as the group’s focus.
(Distributed 03/13/09) The 2009 New Orleans Spring Garden Show and an accompanying Green Fair will be held at the City Park Botanical Garden on April 4-5 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
(Distributed 03/26/09) The LSU AgCenter invites you to learn more about roses, and it’s offering an event in April that’s designed to help. "An Afternoon of Roses" will be held from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. April 19 at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge.
(Distributed 03/19/09) WINNSBORO, La. – The LSU AgCenter’s wheat and oat field day will be held at the Macon Ridge Research Station April 15.
(Distributed 03/16/09) An orientation program for volunteers at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center will be offered on Sat., March 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Burden Center is located off of Essen Lane near the intersection of Interstate 10.
(Distributed 03/11/09) LAKE CHARLES, La. – The 10th Annual Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival will be held in Lake Charles March 28-29 at Burton Coliseum, 7001 Gulf Highway. The event will include guest speakers on a variety of garden topics and a plant health clinic where LSU AgCenter experts and Master Gardeners will answer gardening questions.
(Distributed 03/12/09) Louisiana’s wetlands face a crisis, and the youth of the state need to understand this so they can do something about it. That’s the philosophy behind the third annual Youth Wetlands Week, April 20-24, sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, with funding help from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
(Distributed 03/27/09) NEW IBERIA, La. – Farmers will get the chance to see an LSU AgCenter demonstration plot of wheat varieties at an April 6 field day.
(Distributed 03/19/09) Obesity is a growing problem for the state of Louisiana, and coordinated efforts in the fight against it are important to potential success in stemming the obesity epidemic. That was the message echoed by experts at a gathering this week hosted by the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 03/25/09) JEANERETTE, La. – A crowd of approximately 100 beef and forage producers turned out for the March 21 Acadiana Cattle Producers 2009 Spring Field Day held at the LSU AgCenter’s Iberia Research Station here.
(Distributed 03/24/09) JoAnn Smith, an LSU AgCenter nutrition educator in Richland Parish, has been awarded a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service for her contributions to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
(Distributed 03/23/09) Chesapeake Energy is sponsoring 60 4-H camp scholarships in six northwest Louisiana parishes.
(Distributed 03/18/09) Fire ants can be an aggravation around the house, but they can be a costly pest on the farm, too. Dale Pollet, LSU AgCenter entomologist, met with homeowners and farmers in Evangeline Parish March 17 to tell them how to control fire ants. He said the best months to start a control program are April and October.
(Distributed 03/19/09) The LSU AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station in Franklinton will host a meeting for Louisiana and Mississippi dairy producers March 31.
(Distributed 03/26/09) JEANERETTE, La. – The Acadiana Legislative Delegation, concerned about the effects of potential state budget cuts, unanimously passed a resolution supporting the restoration of sufficient funds to the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry at a meeting with farmers here March 25.
(Distributed 03/17/09) March is National Nutrition Month, and childhood obesity is a statewide problem in Louisiana. To address this problem, 4-H Club members, volunteers and LSU AgCenter 4-H agents throughout the state are using a variety of programs to get children to think about making healthy food choices.
(Distributed 03/25/09) Athens Select is a plant evaluation program that measures a variety’s heat and humidity tolerance. Founded in 1999 at the University of Georgia, the program includes trials at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge and the Hammond Research Station in Hammond.
(Distributed 03/19/09) BATON ROUGE – Changing demographics and the economic recession are changing the ways Americans buy and prepare foods, a food industry consultant told the Louisiana Food Processors Conference here Wednesday (March 18).
(Distributed 03/27/09) The Louisiana Delta Initiative is inviting community and governmental leaders to “One Voice: Communities Moving from Poverty to Prosperity” from 1 to 3:30 p.m. April 2 at the Rayville Civic Center in Rayville.
(Distributed 03/20/09) LAFAYETTE, La. – State Rep. Jack Montoucet of Duson, speaking at a Louisiana Farm Bureau dinner March 18, defended the LSU AgCenter as it faces a possible $13.3 million budget cut for the upcoming fiscal year. “They provide such an important service to the farming community. It scares me to hear the cuts,” Montoucet said.
(Distributed 03/24/09) People facing unemployment should not relax because finding a job can often take a lot of work.
(Distributed 03/18/09) LAKE CHARLES, La. – LSU AgCenter 4-H leaders thanked state school superintendents for supporting 4-H Clubs. The appreciation breakfast was part of the recent Louisiana School Board Association convention here. The get-together was organized and sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Extension 4-H Agents. “We are trying to develop the total child,” said Mark Tassin, 4-H director. “You can do that within the school system, but I bet you need our help.”
(Distributed 03/16/09) Rising costs to retailers and heavy worldwide demand pushed up the cost of milk for U.S. consumers, but recent events have put dairy farmers in a bind, according to an agricultural economist with the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 03/18/09) SHREVEPORT, La. – The 25th annual Ark-La-Tex Forestry Forum held here March 12 offered suggestions for forest owners to make progress in hard economic times and included a safety lesson for when they are in the woods.
(Distributed 03/27/09) BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter is hosting a two-day comprehensive workshop on how to make your own biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil on April 28-29 at the Callegari Environmental Center. “This is an advanced workshop and different from the workshops we offered last summer,” said Dr. Bill Carney, LSU AgCenter environmental educator and director of the Callegari Center. The AgCenter offered several workshops in 2008 on how to make biodiesel.
(Distributed 03/16/09) After relatively low rainfall amounts in recent weeks, Louisiana farmers are benefitting from the results of the past weekend rains, according to LSU AgCenter experts.