Vol. 46, No. 2
Changing economic variables and business conditions increase the need to manage farm income and risk. Financial performance is measured in terms of profitability, risk and the ability of the business to pay bills on time (liquidity). Farmers can increase their profits by using selected pre-harvest marketing strategies instead of selling in the cash market at harvest.
The industry leader is high-priced, perfumed and soft. It comes to America’s shores from Thailand with a name that hints of its marketing advantage.Khao Dawk Mali rice is the premium Thai Jasmine variety in the United States. So far, no American variety has matched its delicate taste, appearance or cooking characteristics, but an LSU AgCenter researcher is trying to produce such a variety.
Finding a better way to use bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane production in Louisiana, is a key research interest of the LSU AgCenter. Disposal of this byproduct is so far inefficient. About 85 percent is used in-house as fuel in mill processes and for other low-value applications such as mulch and inexpensive ceiling tiles. The remaining 15 percent is waste that is allowed to decay or is landfilled.
Poultry is the leading animal agricultural industry in Louisiana. The industry is concentrated in the hilly, northern Coastal Plain area where land is used mostly for pasture and timber production.
In the United States, all types of rice other than typical American long-, medium- and short-grain fall into the specialty category. Among these are aromatic rices, such as Jasmine and Basmati. Since these rices fit the specific needs of niche markets, they usually fetch a premium price. The demand for special purpose aromatic rice has increased dramatically in this country over the past two decades.
The LSU AgCenter has licensed technology to a start-up biotechnology company to produce a precursor for the drug insulin in chicken eggs. This technology was developed by Richard Cooper, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Science.
Byrel Book, a Beauregard Parish police juror, started out as a skeptic at a West Nile virus/mosquito control workshop in Crowley, one of eight sessions held around the state sponsored by the LSU AgCenter this past April and May. When the session ended, though, Book said he was convinced of the need to seek funds to help fight the threat of the mosquito-borne virus.
Conservation tillage systems, including no-till and stale seedbed, require successful control of native winter vegetation or planted cover crops before planting. Some winter vegetation is easy to control, such as annual bluegrass and common chickweed, while others are difficult, including curly dock and ryegrass.
Red morningglory is one of the more common and problematic weed pests found in Louisiana sugarcane fields. The traditional way to control it is to apply the herbicide atrazine in April or May when sugarcane is cultivated for the last time. The intent of this application is to eliminate weed competition until the crop is harvested beginning in September.
View six photos that accompany this article.
The LSU AgCenter’s Embryo Biotechnology Laboratory, located at the St. Gabriel Research Station, is set for a facelift and some more space in 2003. The renovated facility should be ready for a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the first of 2004.
Soon the portrait of another farm animal first will hang on the wall of the narrow hallway at the LSU AgCenter’s Embryo Biotechnology Laboratory, located near St. Gabriel, La.
As we headed into mosquito season in June 2002, the LSU AgCenter sponsored a one-day conference on mosquito-borne diseases. This was the first such conference ever hosted by the AgCenter and perhaps the first of its type in the country. Then, no one foresaw the severity of the West Nile virus to come.
Though Dolly the famous Scottish sheep is no longer with us, the promise of cloning as another tool in the quest to produce perfect livestock animals remains strong. The LSU AgCenter just had a successful experience in cloning a genetically valuable cow. And the owner, Louisiana rancher David Pattridge, is pleased.
Root-knot nematode can cause significant losses in cucumber yield if not treated with nematicides. Considerable effort has been made to breed for nematode resistance in vegetable crops and was successful in tomatoes but not in cucumbers. Tomato cultivars resistant to root-knot nematodes have been developed and are an effective means of reducing tomato losses from this pest. Additional benefits include a residual effect that remains in the soil and protects following crops from nematode damage.
The sugarcane industry has been playing a risky game in recent years because of its over reliance on the 10-year-old cane variety, LCP 85-384, which accounted for roughly 85 percent of Louisiana’s total sugarcane acreage last year.
The tropical and subtropical climate in Louisiana creates conditions that support mosquitoes year-round. Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance but, more important, can transmit several diseases to people and domestic animals when biting for a blood meal. Louisiana is historically host to several viral mosquito-borne diseases such as St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis and LaCrosse-California encephalitis.
Mosquitoes don’t need blood to live. Their main energy source is nectar from plants.