(Distributed 08/26/10) With sweet potato consumption rising and a shift in the industry toward more processed products, the LSU AgCenter’s Sweet Potato Research Station showed growers how to optimize production at a field day held at the station Aug. 24. The latest research was presented to help growers learn how to produce a high-yielding, predictable, profitable crop.
ALEXANDRIA, La. – Herbicide-resistant weeds have been causing havoc in soybean fields across the South, and they appear to be “just an eyelash away” from being confirmed as a problem in Louisiana, said Daniel Stephenson, an LSU AgCenter weed scientist.
News Release Distributed 08/03/10The average American family will spend $606.40 on back-to-school clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics this year. Citing recent research, LSU AgCenter family economist Jeanette Tucker says that’s an increase of $56.72 over 2009. “The economy will continue to play a role in American families’ back-to-school preparations,” Tucker says. More Americans will buy store brand or generic products this year compared with last year, the economist says. Additionally, more parents will comparison shop online. The state of the economy also has affected a parent’s decision regarding whether a child should attend public or private school. Growing children mean growing budgets, Tucker says. The average family of school-aged children is expected to spend 37 percent of their budget – or $225.47 – on clothing. Electronic- or computer-related school needs will take $181.60 – or 30 percent – of the family’s back-to-school dollars. Families also will spend an average of $102.93 on shoes and $96.39 on school supplies. Tucker has tips for creating – and sticking to – a back-to-school budget to keep expenses under control. – Make a list It doesn't take much to turn the school's supply list into a shopping list, Tucker says. Add in school clothes, backpacks and back-to-school haircuts, and the cost grows exponentially. Before buying the first pack of crayons, Tucker recommends estimating the total that you can spend and what the costs are likely to be. “Don't leave anything out,” she says. “It's better to know ahead of time if things will be tight so that you can plan ways to cut before you get to the store.” – Get the children involved “Have the kids join in as you prepare for making those back-to-school purchases,” Tucker suggests. Hands-on participation will teach them great lessons about budgeting, finding a good deal and the difference between wants and needs. Younger children can use safety scissors to help cut coupons. Older children can compare costs and add up projected expenses. “You might even put them in charge of research – scouting out deals to help stay under budget,” Tucker says. – Try online Buying online? Play it smart, Tucker says, suggesting grouping orders with friends to get free shipping. Or buy bulk packs of supplies at office or warehouse stores to share. Challenge teens and tweens to conduct online research to compare prices and find money-saving perks like free shipping and coupons, she advises. “You might also find a ‘steal’ on internet auctions such as eBay or Craigslist,” Tucker says. – Be willing to compromise “Youngsters will want to have the same cool stuff their friends have,” she says. “If your budget has the room to consider some of these cool items, you can help your kids learn to prioritize.” Talk to students about how choosing a more expensive item means they'll have to cut costs on another item, and give them a chance to think their choices through, Tucker says. “If they have money of their own, you might ask them to help fund that special lunchbox or name-brand backpack,” she says. Another tip to consider is waiting to purchase backpacks until a week or so after school starts when items are more likely to be discounted. Tucker reminds consumers that many high-quality book bags are guaranteed, so be sure to file away receipts and related paperwork for the future. – Get creative There's a good chance school clothes and shoes are the biggest items in your back-to-school budget. Tucker says they don’t have to be. Now is a good time for older siblings to clean closets to locate hand-me-downs or trade clothes with other families. Tucker suggests shopping discount stores, thrift stores and garage sales. If school uniforms are required, check whether the school has a trading or discount program. – Learn from the experience Make your savvy back-to-school approach an annual tradition. Keep track of this year's expenses to help determine your budget next year, Tucker advises. “Keep notes about what you discover this year, like which thrift stores are best and when the store shelves start to empty,” she says. “They'll come in handy a year from now.” Tucker says families should practice these smart shopping skills each year. “By the time the kids graduate, you'll have saved a bundle, and your children will be much more prepared for the real world.
(Distributed 08/16/10) Louisiana citrus growers need to be on the lookout for sweet orange scab of citrus caused by the fungus Elsinoë australis. The disease recently was found on a satsuma tree in Orange, Texas, about 3.5 miles west of the Louisiana border, according to an expert with the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 08/24/10) Sweet orange scab, a citrus disease recently discovered in Texas, has made its way to Louisiana, according to officials.
(Distributed 08/20/10) Fall army worms are on the march in Louisiana, and heavy populations can cause significant damage to pastures, hay fields and lawns, according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Jack Baldwin.
(Distributed 08/26/10) MOREAUVILLE, La. – Besides saying cheese, visitors can taste it at WesMar Farms, a self-proclaimed agricultural respite owned by West and Marguerite Constantine.
(Distributed 08/20/10) MANSURA, La. – A dozen new members of the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame were recognized at a ceremony Aug. 11 at the Louisiana 4-H Museum here for their years of service to 4-H clubs across the state.
(Distributed 08/13/10) NEW ORLEANS – 4-H’ers from across the state showed off their culinary skills at the Louisiana 4-H Seafood Cook-off on August 9.
(Distributed 08/11/10) A hot and wetter-than-normal summer has lead to an increase in the major disease problem on crape myrtles in south Louisiana, says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings.
(Distributed 08/26/10) HAMMOND, La. – The LSU AgCenter’s landscape horticulture research program at its Hammond Research Station is receiving regional attention, according to Regina Bracy, resident coordinator at the station.
(Distributed 08/30/10) With substantially increased prices for wheat, Louisiana farmers are expected to plant a lot more of that commodity this fall.
(Distributed 08/04/10) Louisiana placed first among the 15 state teams that participated in the 31st annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from July 25-29.
(Distributed 08/26/10) Thomas E. “Gene” Reagan, LSU AgCenter professor of entomology, has been selected as the Entomological Society of America’s 2010 Subject Matter Expert. This new award is presented to a person who has gained national and international recognition as an authority on insect pest management. This person then serves as the society’s liaison to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs.
(Distributed 08/25/10) Louisiana’s team in the 31st annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational had only a short time to prepare for the event in which it placed first among 15 state teams.
(Distributed 08/06/10) The LSU AgCenter Pecan Research and Extension Station in Shreveport is again threatened by the proposed alignment of Interstate 69 in southern Caddo Parish.
(Distributed 08/04/10) When parents become involved in their children’s schoolwork, including helping with homework, studies show the children do better in school, says Diane Sasser, an LSU AgCenter family life educator.
(Distributed 08/27/10) One of the most popular herbaceous perennials in Louisiana is the purple coneflower. The scientific name is Echinacea purpurea. It is native from the Midwest into the Southeastern United States.
(Distributed 08/13/10) Sunflowers are among the easiest flowers to grow, and they thrive in the heat of Louisiana summers. It may be towards the end of summer, but you can still plant sunflowers and enjoy them during the fall.
(Distributed 08/03/10) Perfectly grilled seafood is moist and flavorful – and it’s also fast and easy, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames.
(Distributed 08/20/10) Many home gardeners and landscape professionals have been talking about the landscape performance of Knock Out roses this spring and summer. We went through a very significant non-blooming time this spring, which was unusual for Knock Out roses. They are the best-blooming landscape shrub rose on the market. So, what happened?
(Distributed 08/06/10) August means that many landscape plants around Louisiana are showing the adverse affects of the hot, humid growing conditions that we experience during the 120-150 days of summer.
(Radio News 08/09/10) Snacks are an important part of a child’s daily diet according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/02/10) LSU AgCenter sugarcane breeders released a new variety this year called L 03-371. LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Dr. Kenneth Gravois talks about this variety. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(TV News 08/30/10) Heavy rains fell across Louisiana recently -- halting the harvest of rice and the planting of sugarcane. LSU AgCenter correspondent Tobie Blanchard takes a look at how the weather is affecting those two crops. (Runtime: 1:19)
(Radio News 08/23/10) Backpacks aren’t the only things youngsters are carrying to school. Many students bring their own lunches. LSU AgCenter nutritionist and food safety expert Dr. Beth Reames says parents should be sure their children's food is packed safely. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/16/10) Louisiana’s seafood producers have a new tool to help market their products. LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and extension director, Dr. Paul Coreil says MarketMaker, an internet-driven clearinghouse for agricultural commodities, will link consumers to producers. This can help Louisiana’s struggling seafood industry. (Runtime: 1:30)
(TV News 08/09/10) Late planting of the state’s cotton crop puts it at risk, reports LSU AgCenter correspondent Tobie Blanchard. Dry weather delayed the planting and also affected some of Louisiana’s corn crop. (Runtime: 1:28)
(Radio News 08/23/10) Wayne Kramer’s phone hasn’t been ringing incessantly this year. The LSU AgCenter’s mosquito expert says that’s one unscientific indication that the state’s mosquito population is down. (Runtime: 1:10)
(Radio News 08/16/10) 4-H’ers from across the state participated in Marsh Maneuvers, a week-long camp focused on coastal Louisiana’s natural resources. LSU AgCenter coastal area agent Mark Shirley directs the camp. (Runtime: 1:15)
(Radio News 08/09/10) LSU AgCenter child and family life expert Dr. Linda Robinson says there are 10 things every child needs for the best start in life. The list starts with a loving relationship with an adult and also includes appropriate touch, verbal and nonverbal communication with others and interaction. (Runtime: 1:10)
(Radio News 08/23/10) Parents of school-aged children could be eligible for the Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Tax Deduction. LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker says families should save receipts for school-related expenses. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/02/10) The main focus of the LSU AgCenter Sugar Research Station is breeding and variety development says the station’s director Dr. Pat Bollich. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/16/10) Dr. Brooks Blanche’s work helps farmers pick varieties. The LSU AgCenter researcher says that’s an important decision for farmers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/30/10) Heavy rains fell on rice fields across the state which caused the crop to fall over and will complicate the harvest. LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk explains. (Runtime: 1:05)
(Radio News 08/30/10) Sugarcane farmers are out this time of the year, getting a portion of next year’s crop planted. LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Dr. Kenneth Gravois says recent rains have slowed planting. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(08/02/10) Louisiana’s cold winter delayed early growth on the state’s sugarcane crop, but it also helped eliminate diseases such as rust that caused problems in last year’s crop. Since then, the warm spring and summer have allowed plant growth to catch up. (Runtime: 1:24)
(Radio News 08/30/10) Mosquitoes are a nuisance in Louisiana, but mosquito researchers are working on new methods to kill them. LSU AgCenter mosquito expert Dr. Wayne Kramer is testing new compounds to control mosquito larvae. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/02/10) Louisiana’s cold winter delayed early growth on the state’s sugarcane crop, but the warm spring and summer has allowed plant growth to catch up according to LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Dr. Kenneth Gravois. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/02/10) Louisiana’s cold winter delayed early growth on the state’s sugarcane crop, but the warm spring and summer have allowed plant growth to catch up, according to LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Dr. Kenneth Gravois. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/23/10) The average college student graduates with five credit cards and $5,000 in credit card debt. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 has provisions that will protect the next crop of college students, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker. (Runtime: 1:20)
(Radio News 08/23/10) Moving away to college can be a financial eye-opener, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker. Students should determine their fixed and flexible costs and prepare a livable budget before they make the big move. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 08/16/10) 4-H’ers attending Marsh Maneuvers camp spent an afternoon at the Vermilion Parish Oil Spill Response Command Center. It is here that officials with BP, the Coast Guard and Vermilion Parish plan strategies to keep oil out of Vermilion Bay. (Runtime: 1:20)
(TV News 08/16/10) The summer 4-H camp, Marsh Maneuvers, typically takes high school students into Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. This year, participants also learned first-hand about oil spill response. LSU AgCenter correspondent Tobie Blanchard has the story. (Runtime: 2:01)
(Radio News 08/30/10) Louisiana rice farmers are harvesting their crop. Last year farmers harvested near-record yields. LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk reports yields are down this year, however. (Runtime: 1:05)
(Radio News 08/02/10) Aphids are becoming more of a problem in sugarcane fields according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Gene Reagan. The aphids suck juice from the plants and reduce yields. The insects also can transmit diseases and toxins to the sugarcane plant. (Runtime: 1:15)
(Radio News 08/30/10) Farmers growing corn and cotton have traditional markets for their commodities, but producers of honey, goat milk or other specialty crops may have a harder time finding ways to sell their products. LSU AgCenter ag economist Dr. John Westra says the website MarketMaker can help. (Runtime: 1:15)
(Radio News 08/16/10) Farmers in several southern states have been battling weeds that are resistant to the popular herbicide glyphosate, and LSU AgCenter weed scientist Dr. Daniel Stephenson suspects that the problem has reached Louisiana. (Runtime: 1:20)
(Radio News 08/02/10) While the crop looks good, with later-planted cotton comes risk. The probability of storms becomes greater later into the harvest season. Diseases and insects also are more of a threat the longer the crop stays in the field. Runtime: 1:15)
(Radio News 08/02/10) Cotton acreage had dropped considerably over the past few years, but LSU AgCenter cotton specialist Dr. John Kruse says the acreage is finally stabilizing. Some of the state's cotton was planted later than recommended and could face more disease and insect problems. (Runtime: 1:10)
(Radio News 08/09/10) Louisiana’s corn crop is nearing harvest. LSU AgCenter corn specialist Dr. John Kruse says the condition of the crop depends on whether or not it was irrigated. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 8/09/10) Rain has been scarce in areas of northeast Louisiana. Dr. Donnie Miller, research director of the LSU AgCenter Northeast Research Station, says the area went weeks without a significant rainfall and the dry weather affected some of the station's research projects. (Runtime: 1:10)
(Radio 08/09/10) An LSU AgCenter weed scientist says herbicide drift is a problem on some farms. Dr. Donnie Miller, who also is the Northeast Research Station director, says drift has become more of a problem with soybeans planted adjacent to rice fields. (Runtime: 1:10)
(TV News 08/23/10) Herbicide-resistant weeds have been a problem for farmers in other states for several years. Now it appears the problem may be in Louisiana. LSU AgCenter correspondent Tobie Blanchard has the story. (Runtime: 1:44)
(Audio 08/23/10) Roses have two growing seasons in Louisiana, one that starts in the spring and another in the fall. Gardeners should prune their roses now to prepare them for fall blooming. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/09/10) Louisiana gardeners often exclusively focus on growing tomatoes in the spring and early summer. By the time we get into late summer, most tomatoes have been removed from the garden. Gardeners can plant tomato transplants during August to experience tomatoes in the fall. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/16/10) Gingers are a popular tropical plant used in Louisiana landscapes. When pruning gingers, we primarily focus more on cutting back cold-damaged growth. We also can do some pruning on gingers during the summer. Here are some tips for pruning gingers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/30/10) Understanding how the roots of a tree work can help protect the tree from damage. If construction will take place around trees, make sure the roots are protected. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/23/10) August may not be the best time to put new plants into your landscape, but you can add them to your aquatic garden. Look for container plants at your local nursery that you can just place into the water. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/23/10) When you buy transplants at a nursery, you need to remember those plants may not be ready for your garden. Toughen up the transplants using the process gardeners call "hardening off" before you plant them. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/09/10) Louisiana gardeners often plant milkweed in their landscapes. The monarch butterfly, which migrates through Louisiana, can only lay its eggs on plants that are very closely related to milkweed. If you are interested in attracting monarch butterflies to your milkweed, do not apply any pesticides. Listen for more information on milkweed and monarch butterflies. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/02/10)The summer heat may discourage you from getting out in your garden, but there are many things you could be planting during the month of August. Hear about transplants and vegetables you can plant now that will be ready in the fall. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/09/10) Sometimes container plants outgrow their containers which stunts their growth and makes them less healthy. If a pot becomes too small for a plant, repot it into a bigger container. Here’s some advice for repotting container plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/30/10) It's not too late to establish a new lawn or repair a damaged area of a lawn. The best way to do this is with sod. Hear tips for laying sod. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/16/10) The intense heat of late summer makes this a poor time to plant many types of plants in our landscapes. If you have been considering adding some tropicals to your landscape, you can plant them now. Palms, cannas and gingers are a few plants that will grow beautifully in your landscape despite the summer heat. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 08/20/10) Nothing epitomizes the summer season in Louisiana more that the crape myrtle. This small tree packs a powerful punch of color over an amazingly long season. But other summer-blooming large shrubs and small trees can do a lot to contribute to the summer display.
(Audio 08/09/10) Container plants that are kept outdoors during the summer should be watered frequently. Check your container plants often to ensure they have sufficient water. Hear more about caring for your outdoor container plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/16/10) Although houseplants are grown indoors, they are not necessarily protected from insects. The most common pests seen on houseplants are mealy bugs, scale and mites. Learn about the damage that these pests can cause and what treatment to use if symptoms arise. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/30/10) Fungal diseases can cause serious problems in lawns, but not all fungi are detrimental to grass. Slime mold and mushrooms may appear in yards, but don't harm the lawn. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/09/10) Louisiana iris is a popular herbaceous perennial that is native to Louisiana. These iris grow profusely during the spring, but become unattractive during late summer. This indicates their dormancy. Hear more about Louisiana iris. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/02/10) Spider mites and white flies are two destructive pests that cause a lot of problems this time of the year. Both of these pests can be dealt with by using a light oil spray or by applying an insecticide. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 08/27/10) Plants under heat stress are weakened, and we generally see an increase in disease and insect problems at the end of the summer. Keep your eye out for pests such as mealy bugs, aphids, leaf hoppers, scales, spider mites and whiteflies. Monitor population levels and damage carefully.
(Audio 08/02/10) Louisiana experiences a very long summer growing season that extends beyond August. You may notice that some of your warm season bedding plants are becoming overgrown. Now is a great time to cut these plants back and apply some fertilizer. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 08/06/10) The period from late June to mid-September is the most stressful time of the year for gardeners and their plants. Indeed, our hot summer season essentially defines what trees, shrubs, ground covers and perennials we can grow successfully in our landscapes.
(Video 08/09/10) During summer, many Louisiana gardeners grow the beautiful, flowering shrub oleander. On this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains how the dwarf oleander makes a great container plant for colorfully accenting your landscape. (Runtime: 1:42)
(Audio 08/02/10) Chinch bugs are one of the leading lawn pests in Louisiana. These insects suck the sap out of the grass causing the lawn to appear wilted and discolored in some areas. Learn how to treat your lawn if you notice symptoms of chinch bug infestation. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 08/13/10) August is a month when gardeners should think about two important aspects of landscape maintenance – fertilizing and pruning. This month is the latest we fertilize lawns, hardy shrubs and ground covers in the landscape.
(Audio 08/16/10) Pear trees are one of the easier and more reliable fruit trees to grow in Louisiana. Hear about what to be aware of when preparing to harvest your pears. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/23/10) Coleus are grown for their colorful foliage rather than the flowers they produce. Many are adapted to full sun, but one must be grown in the shade. Hear more about coleus. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 08/16/10) Plants certainly make a garden special, but non-living items can help with overall effect. On this segment of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains how you can use fountains to create illusions of coolness, even during the intense summer heat. (Runtime: 1:48)
(Audio 08/02/10) Because of Louisiana’s long summer growing season, insects have a long time to develop their populations over the summer. Be sure to identify which pest or disease is affecting your plants so you can choose proper treatment. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/30/10) Louisiana gardeners tend to use the phrase shallots for either green onions or true shallots, but they really are two different plants. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains the difference and how to grow them. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 08/23/10) August is the last month of the year we apply fertilizer to our lawns in Louisiana. If your yard appears green and healthy, you can skip the fertilizer application. And be sure not to use a weed-and-feed product this time of the year. Hear what to use and how to use it in this segment. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 08/23/10) Hurricane Katrina brought horrible destruction to the New Orleans area. But the storm also helped create something unique in that same place. On this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill introduces you to a hybrid plant called Katrina Iris. (Runtime: 1:38)
(Video 08/02/10) Louisiana’s summer heat can force many gardeners to minimize their outdoor gardening efforts. On this segment of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains how you can stay cool and comfortable growing ivy indoors. (Runtime: 1:41)
(Audio 08/16/10) Ferns are one of the most valuable plants for shady areas. Because the weather is so hot this time of the year, working with ferns will keep gardeners in the shade. Here are some tips for caring for your ferns during August. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 08/30/10) The weather is still hot, but now is a good time to plant fall tomatoes. On this segment of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill recommends some good tomato varieties and explains how to plant them. (Runtime: 1:42)
(Audio 08/30/10) September is great month to plant vegetables. Gardeners can still plant warm-season vegetables while putting in their first cool-season vegetables. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 08/23/10) Occasional food recalls because of contamination may create concerns about food safety, but these worries are often overstated, say two LSU AgCenter researchers who focus on food safety.
(Distributed 08/10/10) The LSU AgCenter will unveil the first of a series of Louisiana Super Plants in October, according to Regina Bracy, resident coordinator at the AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station.
(Distributed 08/03/10) LSU AgCenter agents will present a Living Well Expo Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bossier Civic Center.
(Distributed 08/23/10) The recent salmonella outbreak associated with the two Iowa egg farms has raised concern about the safety of consuming eggs. However, consumers can be confident that U.S. eggs are safe, according to LSU AgCenter experts.
(Distributed 08/09/10) HOMER, La. – The LSU AgCenter has started receiving birds in two commercial-sized broiler demonstration houses at the Hill Farm Research Station.
(Distributed 08/05/10) Lee Southern, the Doyle Chambers Distinguished Professor in Animal Sciences at the LSU AgCenter, recently was presented the poultry nutrition research award by the American Society of Animal Science.
(Distributed 08/25/10) The Student Clubs in the LSU AgCenter’s School of Renewable Natural Resources have established a donation account to help defray the medical expenses of the LSU doctoral student who survived an alligator attack while conducting her research.
(Distributed 08/18/10) MONTEREY, La. – Soybeans are dying in some areas of Louisiana because the amount of salts in the irrigation water is too high.