Phosphorus is a critical nutrient for plant growth in aquatic environments. Small increases in phosphorus entering a catfish pond can produce algal blooms that degrade water quality and increase off-flavor in fish. The primary source of phosphorus in catfish ponds is feed. This could be reduced by lowering feeding rates, decreasing the amount of phosphorus in the feed or increasing the absorption of dietary phosphorus by the fish.
Vol. 44, No. 3
Dietary protein is a key nutrient for high milk production in dairy cows. But determining how much protein a cow consumes and how well it is used is difficult, particularly at the farm level. A new tool being explored is the measurement of trace amounts of nitrogen in the milk. This analysis is known as milk urea nitrogen (MUN).
In Louisiana and other catfish-producing states, most growers focus on the production of market-ready fish and purchase fingerling catfish to restock their production ponds from a smaller number of farmers who specialize in fingerling production. In Louisiana, fewer than 20 fingerling producers satisfy the annual seed stock requirements for the state’s catfish industry.
Soil electrical conductivity was measured in a production field at the Dean Lee Research Station and found to correlate with soil texture, organic matter, soil nutrients and crop yield. Research is under way to calibrate nitrogen needs in corn and cotton based on soil electrical conductivity, paving the way for site-specific fertilizer application.
Construction of the free-stall barn at the LSU AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station is expected to be completed by Sept. 1, 2001. The barn is Phase III of changes at the station that make it a state-of-the-art dairy research facility as well as dairy farm.
The best time to plant corn in Louisiana is from mid to late March. During that time lower soil temperatures can inhibit germination of weed seeds and delay growth of emerged seedlings, which helps with weed management. The critical time to remove weeds from corn for maximum yield ranges from four to six weeks after planting.
Growing winter wheat has multiple benefits that can lead to an increase in farm productivity. A wheat cover crop stabilizes the soil during high rainfall months and increases soil productivity by increasing organic matter and biological activity. Wheat is especially beneficial when the residue is left on the soil surface and the following summer crop is planted using no-till practices.
The production and marketing environments of row crop agriculture have changed dramatically since passage of the 1996 Farm Bill. Under previous Farm Bills, price support systems let producers establish continuous or monocrop cropping systems with less concern for market signals.
Two scientists have been named to the next Experiment Station Committee on Policy (ESCOP) and Academic Programs Committee on Policy (ACOP) leadership development course, and two have just graduated from their year’s involvement.
Louisiana’s dairy industry continues to hold its own despite a threat from the West’s rapidly growing dairies and fast-changing technology that may eventually erode any advantages over other regions.
Glyphosate is a postemergence, nonselective herbicide that controls many annual and perennial weeds. Trade names include Roundup Ultra, Roundup Ultra Max, Roundup Original, Glyfos, Glyphomax Plus, Gly-Flo, Glyphosate Original and Touchdown. Soybeans with the glyphosate-resistance gene (Roundup Ready soybeans) were introduced in 1996 in the United States. In 2001, more than 75 percent of the soybean acreage in Louisiana was planted to Roundup Ready varieties, and acreage is expected to increase.
These three images are of the upper middle field shown on page 25. The photo at top, which is of the bare field, displays the unique pattern of soil variability. It was taken in 1994.
Last summer, far to the north from their historic home in the Andes on a ranch near Bozeman, Mont., two llama mamas gave birth to alpacas. These were the first cross species births between alpaca and llama brought about through embryo transfer technology. The LSU AgCenter helped bring about this scientific achievement.
What to do with zoo doo-doo was the dilemma facing officials at the Panama City, Fla., Zoo World until they found out about the LSU AgCenter’s Compost Facility Operator Training School.
Smooth cordgrass is widely used for erosion control. However, its use is limited by its high cost to plant manually. The LSU AgCenter is working with other agencies to figure out a way to seed it efficiently via airplane.