This four-page publication features the milestones from 125 years of research at the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station.
This is a special issue of Louisiana Agriculture devoted to milestones in research over the past 125 years. In 1887, Congress passed the Hatch Act, which provided federal funds to states with agricultural research stations. Lousiana was able to access this money and begin conducting research that made the agricultural industry sustainable and profitable. The magazine has 32 pages. You can download a PDF version at right.
Louisiana’s abundant fresh, brackish and marine water resources, heavy soils,flat lands, temperate water and semitropical climate ensured that the state would be a leader in aquaculture.
In the mid-1940s, several events occurred highlighting the need for an experiment station in the Florida Parishes of southeastern Louisiana. Farm boys were coming home from World War II, virgin long-leaf pine forests were gone, and cotton and other row crops in the area were on the decline.
Louisiana agriculture research began with the establishment of the Sugar Experiment Station in 1885, two years before the passage of the Hatch Act.
Louisiana has long been known as a Sportsman’sParadise. Its many bayous, swamps and coastal marshes provide excellent fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. Upland and bottom land forests afford hunters of all ages the chance to harvest small-game animals and allow big-game hunters the prospect of taking a trophy deer.
Many advancements have been made in agricultural research at the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station during the 125 years since the passage of the Hatch Act in 1887.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
Rice farming on a widespread commercial basis in Louisiana began in the late 19th century, and rice research soon followed.
The soybean has not only been responsible for improving Louisiana farmers’ profit margin as a crop but has also been instrumental in improving soils for the production of other crops.
The sweet potato, which has grown to be Louisiana’s most popular vegetable, had its beginnings as a commercial crop in the early 1900s, when commercial sweet potato districts in the United States were developed along geographic lines to serve local needs.
Many notable scientists contributed to research milestones during 125 years of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Here are five.
The Department of Botany, Bacteriology and Plant Pathology was created in 1924 by combining faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. C.W. Edgerton was named the first head, and the department grew from three to 13 faculty members by 1930.
The prototype of the off-campus research station started in Louisiana even before federal legislation made money available for such facilities. In1885, sugar planters set up a research facility in New Orleans, which was two years before passage of the Hatch Act in 1887.
Commercial horticulture is big business in Louisiana. One big reason is the research conducted by horticultural scientists at the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Because of this research, Louisianians can grow beautiful landscapes, maintain vegetable gardens and snack on home-produced fruits and nuts.
Louisiana’s dairy industry has experienced a decrease in both number of farms and number of cows in recent years. In 2010, there were145 dairy operations and approximately 16,050 dairy cows in Louisiana. Only 10 years before, there had been 434 dairy farms and 54,640 cows in Louisiana. In 1981, there were 995 dairies and 107,000 cows.
In the spring 2001 issue of Louisiana Agriculture, R. Larry Rogers, then LSU AgCenter vice chancellor, noted that “agriculture is more urban than you think.” Today, urban dwellers represent the majority of people living in our state. As a professor in the Department of Entomology and with expertise on insects that enjoy living in our homes as much as we do, my mission is to educate by providing results of original research and through teaching and outreach programs.
Cattle research in Louisiana has a long and storied past, and it’s only fitting since some of the first Brahman cattle brought to the United States ended up in Louisiana.
In addition to celebrating 125 years of agricultural research since the Hatch Act of 1887, the LSU AgCenter is celebrating 50 years of the Department of Food Science, the only such department of its kind in higher education in Louisiana. In 1962, under the administration of LSU President Troy Middleton and College of Agriculture Dean Norman Efferson, the Department of Food Science and Technology was established.
Few crops have the storied history of cotton. Grown in Louisiana for hundreds of years, this crop has been a vital part of the state’s economy. In the early 1700s, cotton cultivated in the state was used mainly for home spinning and weaving. It wasn’t until the invention of the cotton gin later that century that cotton became a cash crop in Louisiana.
Agriculture in Louisiana is an intricate tapestry whose richness is rivaled by few other states. Our broad array of agricultural enterprises ranges from the traditional to the regionally unique – from soybeans and corn to rice and sugarcane, from beef and dairy to alligators and turtles, and from catfish to crawfish and oysters.
In 1795, Etienne de Boré and Antoine Morin were able to granulate sugar from sugarcane on de Boré’s plantation in New Orleans – and the Louisiana sugar boom began.
In 1886, Rep. William H. Hatch of Missouri introduced a bill into Congress that would send federal money to each state for agricultural research at an experiment station. This bill became law in 1887 and is known as the Hatch Act.
The landscape of north central Louisiana where the Hill Farm Research Station is located is nicknamed “pine hills country.” However, when the station was established in 1947, the region looked considerably different.
Because invasive, non-native plants and animals can cause havoc, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station scientists conduct research programs to bring these problems under control. Two that present particular challenges – especially in urban areas – are red imported fire ants and Formosan subterranean termites.
The Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, established in 1887, has been directly involved in research to support development of herbicides and weed management technologies since 1926.
In addition to celebrating 125 years of agricultural research since the Hatch Act of 1887, the LSU AgCenter is celebrating 50 years of the Department of Food Science, the only such department of its kind in higher education in Louisiana.
Louisiana has not always had the plantations of southern pines. This isespecially true for the hills of north central Louisiana.