Schultz Bruce, Saichuk, John K., Gauthier, Stuart
News Release Distributed 05/27/11
LAKE ARTHUR, La. – An informational meeting on the increasing problem of saltwater spreading into marshes and irrigation canals will be held at 9 a.m.-noon, June 3 by the LSU AgCenter.
The session will be at the Lake Arthur Community Center, 701 8th St.
Representatives of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, the Teche-Vermilion Freshwater District and a crop insurance agent will be available to answer questions.
“A lack of rainfall in southwest Louisiana has allowed saltwater to infiltrate the freshwater marshes,” said LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk.
Several water control structures have been damaged by hurricanes that have allowed saltwater to flow inland, Saichuk said.
Many farmers are facing a dilemma of using salty water to flood their rice crops to maintain water levels, or waiting for a rain, said Stuart Gauthier, LSU AgCenter county agent in Vermilion Parish.
“Many of these farmers’ fields were flooded with sea water from the Gulf during hurricanes Ike and Rita,” Gauthier said.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture