Vol. 44, No. 2 Urban Agriculture
Research at the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station affects many areas of urban life including the plants that add to the aesthetic as well as the tangible benefits of community life.
The spread of fire ants in neighborhoods can be controlled with a unified, systematic approach. The LSU AgCenter has developed an effective plan.
The importance of entomology to legal investigations has been known for several hundred years, but it has been recognized as a separate specialty only for the last 20 years or so. Forensic entomology applies to any aspect of insect study that may aid in resolving a situation that goes through the legal system. This may range from insect parts found in food products to determining the time of death of a crime victim who goes undiscovered for several days.
When individual homeowners try to get rid of the red imported fire ant, all they really do is move the mounds around their own yard or send them to the neighbor’s. That’s why Dale Pollet, LSU AgCenter entomologist, is promoting a plan in which city dwellers band together by neighborhood to control the spread of this troublesome pest.
Most people are familiar with the use of forensic entomology in the investigation of crimes involving humans. However, another area in which this type of science is valuable is in the investigation of suspicious deaths of animals and suspected cases of animal poaching. The illegal take of wildlife is a serious offense. About 16,000 poaching cases occur annually in Louisiana. Only half of these cases are prosecuted because of limited or no evidence available.
Mississippi’s gain is Louisiana’s loss with the March 1 retirement of R. Larry Rogers as director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. Rogers is in the process of moving back to his family farm across the border near Prentiss.
Lawn and garden care practices have the potential to significantly and adversely affect the water quality of urban waterways. The major pollutants found in runoff from urban areas include sediment eroded from bare-soil areas, nutrients from over-fertilization and oxygen-demanding substances such as leaf and grass clippings.
To study the foraging behavior of soil-dwelling termites, LSU AgCenter scientists were involved in the building of a termitarium in New Orleans on the site of one of the facilities of the Mosquito and Termite Control Board.
A major water quality concern in Louisiana is the concentration of fecal coliform bacteria in our streams and bayous. Research shows that woodlands and dairy farm pastures both contribute to contamination. Better systems for measuring fecal coliform numbers are needed in Louisiana’s warm, subtropical climate.
Rural land value contours were estimated to show the combined effects of location and economic development. In general, the metropolitan areas of Baton Rouge and New Orleans have a dramatic effect on rural land values.
Mosquitoes have historically caused misery and suffering to Louisiana citizens. Since 1965, LSU AgCenter research has contributed to mosquito abatement in Louisiana.
Two claims to fame for C. Lamar Meek, professor in the Department of Entomology, who died June 27, 2000, were his mosquito research and forensic entomology research. In 1979, Meek became LSU’s chief mosquito scientist, replacing C. Dayton Steelman, who moved to an administrative position. Meek became a driving force in the Louisiana Mosquito Control Association, twice serving as its president.
Long a campus fixture, the LSU AgCenter’s Dairy Store and its accompanying creamery have offered teaching and research opportunities for the Department of Dairy Science as well as ice cream treats.
Wes Gladhart of Metairie, retired pharmacist and devout gardener, spends many a Tuesday afternoon in the LSU AgCenter’s Orleans Parish Extension Office answering gardening questions – free. He is a Louisiana Master Gardener.
Diversity is a word used frequently in discussions related to social, environmental and economic issues. The word diversity implies variety, inclusiveness and comprehensiveness, qualities that have the capacity to lend strength to an individual, an organization, a system or an entity. Therefore, diversity is considered a highly desirable quality.
Although some Louisiana homeowners use professional lawn care services, many homeowners maintain their own lawns. While many professional applicators use liquid fertilizers and pesticides, granular products are easier for homeowners to apply. A bewildering array of lawn spreaders is available for this purpose, and many homeowners do not know how to select or effectively use a spreader.
Formosan subterranean termites have proved to be one of the most formidable pests ever to invade Louisiana. They are here to stay. But the LSU AgCenter is taking a three-pronged approach to stem their spread.