First Caddo Parish cotton bale auctioned

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Levasseur, John B.

News Release Distributed 11/02/10

SHREVEPORT, La. – The first bale of cotton ginned this year in Caddo Parish was sold to a group of bidders for $4,100 on Oct. 28 at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum during a producers luncheon at the State Fair of Louisiana.

The cotton was produced by Dan and Steve Logan.

Steve Logan is a third-generation farmer in Gilliam. The Logans grew 1,200 acres of cotton this year, and Steve Logan said December cotton has reached its highest price point since the Civil War on the New York Cotton Exchange.

“December cotton right now is $1.22 a pound, which is unusually high,” Logan said.

The cotton was planted April 21 and harvested Sept. 7, said Johnny LeVasseur, LSU AgCenter county agent. The bale weighed 503 pounds.

Jon Lowe, former LSU AgCenter agent in Caddo Parish, said the auction started in the late 1930s, disbanded during World War II and restarted later.

Jack Dillard, an agricultural writer who has been involved with the sale since 1959, said the auction used to alternate between two bank sites. It also has been held at the Caddo Parish Courthouse and LSU AgCenter extension office.

It is now under the auspices of the Ark-La-Tex Ag Council, with the LSU AgCenter county agent securing buyers, Lowe said.

Chris Giordano, general manager of the State Fair of Louisiana, said the luncheon was arranged to thank farmers and ranchers for all they do.

“The LSU AgCenter has produced an interactive exhibit to teach where food and fiber come from,” Giordano said of the AgMagic exhibit at the fair. “We need to keep ag awareness, and this is one of the ways we do it.”

Dr. Mike Strain, Louisiana commissioner of agriculture, said the LSU AgCenter is important to the state. “We need the AgCenter. I need you to speak to your elected officials,” he said.

Strain said his department and the LSU AgCenter have faced major budget reductions.

Randy Ewing, former president of the Louisiana Senate, agreed. “The LSU AgCenter is such a big part of our agriculture family. They cannot charge tuition or raise fees on students,” he said.

“They have moved away from putting pears in jars and sewing a button hole to the economy and young people and their ethics,” Ewing said. “They are really under the gun, so we have to be proactive.”

Auction contributors included the Ark-La-Tex Ag Council, Louisiana Land Bank, State Fair of Louisiana, Goldman Tractor, Scott Tractor, Bancorp South, Linc Coleman, Louisiana Ag Credit, Caddo Ag Supply, Helena Chemical, Shreveport Tractor, Crop Production Services, Farm Bureau, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, Gilliam Gin, Cairo Plantation and Jack Dillard.

Mary Ann Van Osdell

1/4/2011 1:10:50 AM
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