The theme for the fall 2013 issue is Building Healthy Communities. Projects featured include Smart Bodies, Healthy Communities, We Can! Louisiana and Let's Move the 100 Way. Science notes include dietary resistant starch, omega-3 and pregnant women, and improving the nutritional profile of rice. 36 pages.
The summer issue features an article on the first research project conducted at the new alligator research facility. Other topics covered include sweet potato production efficiency, the economics of rice crop lodging and the search for an alternative cricket for the U.S. industry. 28 pages.
The theme for this magazine is Protecting Our Soil, and it features the research conducted by AgCenter scientists to protect the fertility and sustainability of Louisiana's 8 million acres of farmland. 40 pages.
This issue includes a special feature on whooping crane and efforts to bring it back to Louisiana. Other topics: educational change in Louisiana schools, Bt corn, catfish production, Super Plants, heating poultry houses, and costs of producing energy cane. 32 pages
Pesticide runoff from lawns and other turfgrass areas is an increasing environmental concern because of its impact on surface waters used for aesthetics, fisheries, habitats, recreation, industry and consumption.
One hundred elementary schools across Louisiana are taking steps to help their students eat better and move more during this school year. These schools are participating in Smart Bodies, a program of the LSU AgCenter and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.
A virus that has crippled the cricket industry in Europe keeps West Baton Rouge Parish breeder and grower David Fluker alert, but optimistic.
During his first few days of becoming the new president of the LSU System and the chancellor of LSU A&M, F. King Alexander took the time to attend the Rice Research Station’s annual field day on June 26.
In the past three decades, Louisiana’s total milk production has been declining annually, while total U.S. milk production has been increasing. This observation suggests that the economics of milk production have not been as favorable for milk production in Louisiana as they have been in other parts of the United States.
In the first half of 2013, two LSU AgCenter extension administrators retired – Paul Coreil,the director and vice chancellor, and Dwight Landreneau, the associate director and associate vice chancellor. Both had given meritorious service to the AgCenter, Louisiana agriculture and the Cooperative Extension System for decades.
Five news articles in the summer 2013 issue of Louisiana Agriculture
Two faculty members in the Department of Food Science have been named Fellows of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Crop lodging is a condition under which plant stems at the base of a crop plant weaken to the point of no longer being able to support the weight of the upper portion of the plant, causing it fall in the field.
The humble beginnings of the cricket industry in the United States can be traced back to the 1950s when their use as fish bait became widespread.
Mavis Finger has joined the new LSU AgCenter as the new sweet potato specialist. She replaced Tara Smith, who now serves as director for the Northeast Region.
Growth in the processing sector and nutrition-conscious consumers are fueling sweet potato popularity in the United States. Domestic per capita consumption increased by 36 percent from 2000 to 2011.
Gardeners who have shied away from growing roses because of the fungicides and care needed to grow them can take heart in a recently completed research project conducted by the LSU AgCenter and the American Rose Society at the Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport.
Alligator farming contributed more than $56 million to Louisiana’s economy in 2012, and the value of the alligator farming industry is expected to increase.
Louisiana has been the largest seafood-producing state in the contiguous United States and the largest producer of oyster, shrimp, crab, crawfish and alligator in the United States.
Two LSU AgCenter scientists passed away in the summer of 2013, Charles Milton “Chuck” Rush and Hanna Y. Hanna.
Use of the Web and social media to promote farm products, such as blueberries, and locate buyers for these products is a relatively new approach that offers access to many more potential customers.
In most agricultural soils, the distribution of water and plant nutrients is not homogeneous across space and time. Most plants respond to the nonuniformity of these soil based resources by modifying the root system architecture. Root system architecture refers to lateral root initiation and development.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
Until the early 1900s, whooping cranes were a fairly common sight in southwestern Louisiana.“At one time, Louisiana had more whooping cranes than anywhere in North America,” said Sammy King, of the U.S. Geological Survey Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the LSU AgCenter.
These shrubs are part of the Louisiana Super Plants program.
Darion Dewhirst had never tasted a tomato before Beth Gambel brought her mobile iPad lab and bags of fresh vegetables to his school.
Plant viruses are biological entities made of RNA or DNA. They are disseminated by way of vectors, usually insects, although in many cases they are transmitted through seed, cuttings from infected plants or mechanical contact.
Louisiana agricultural producers are highly dependent on the world market to sell their commodities, and a new export facility at the Port of Baton Rouge could increase the amount of ag products shipped abroad.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) changed the way schools and state and district education offices organized and carried out their tasks. This paper describes some of these changes, paying special attention to addressing funding changes.
Field corn expressing single or multiple Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) traits has been planted in the Midsouth to manage a complex of corn caterpillar pests – including armyworms, earworms and stalk borers – since 1999.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law Act 54 or House Bill 1033, which will implement value-added teacher assessment (VATA) in Louisiana during the 2012/2013 school year. Value-added teacher assessment is a relatively new approach to assessing teacher effectiveness.
These are the warm-season bedding plants that are part of the Louisiana Super Plants program.
These articles were published in the winter 2013 issue of Louisiana Agriculture Magazine.
New Orleans is famous for its food. Fried seafood, rich gumbos and spicy etouffees are some of the city’s staples. But healthier fare is making its mark on the city’s landscape in the form of urban farms.
These are the trees that are part of the Louisiana Super Plants program.
The poultry houses at the Hill Farm Research Station are designed to provide the poultry growers of Louisiana evaluations of the latest innovations in equipment and management techniques for raising broilers under commercial conditions.
Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic animals and plants for local and international commerce. Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the most important food fish for U.S. aquaculture – especially in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana – where its consumption is part of the local cuisine.
Renewable energy research and development are expanding in size and scope across the United States as the focus has shifted from the relatively simple process of producing ethanol from grain to producing a variety of biofuels through advanced cellulosic processes.
For decades, Louisiana has ranked below the national average on several measures of education outcomes. Still, Louisianans have become more educated over the past three decades.
For an individual, educational attainment refers to the highest level of education attained. For cities, parishes and states, aggregate educational attainment of the adult population (or labor force) can place them at a comparative advantage or disadvantage in attracting industries.
These are the cool-season bedding plants that are part of the Louisiana Super Plants program.
The Louisiana 4-H Foundation has announced that it has met its financial goals to begin construction on the first phase of its multipurpose building at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center near Pollock, La.
Louisiana’s rice, cotton, corn, soybeans, sugarcane and grain sorghum crops all set yield records in 2012. It was also a good year for animal enterprises with poultry’s value going up15 percent and the cattle industry’s value increasing by 25 percent over 2011.
Table 1. Comparison of tube heat and brooder heat at the Hill Farm poultry demonstration houses.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
The Louisiana Super Plants program, which was started in 2009 to identify and promote exceptional plants that perform well in Louisiana, has proved to be a effective marketing tool.
The LSU AgCenter lost two members of its faculty in 2012 with the untimely deaths of Ron Sheffield and Don Ferrin.
Scientists from the LSU AgCenter and Mississippi State University shared findings from research on forage and feed at a Southeast Research Station field day on April 5.
Since the debut of a landscape horticulture research and extension program at the Hammond Research Station in 2006, gardens supporting this new mission continue to expand.
Teacher quality is important to student learning and as such has been made a cornerstone of the 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative. Part of the legislation mandated that all teachers in core areas meet the individual state requirements to be classified as highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 (later revised to the 2007-2008) school year.
Barbe Elementary School in Lake Charles received a gold award of distinction from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service’s Healthier US Schools Challenge in 2013. Two nutrition agents helped the school achieve its goal.
Pregnancy – a normal, naturally occurring state for women – is sometimes described by scientists, physicians and health care providers as “inflammatory,” a term usually associated with disease.
The first step in creating change is helping families understand the need for change. But with more than half of children in Louisiana living in poverty, many families are simply trying to survive. Federal programs exist to provide assistance in moving families beyond survival mode and onto a path of health, safety and empowerment.
Grain protein content is an important component that determines a nutritional value of rice. Improving protein content in rice will help enhance its nutritional profile. Recent trends indicate that developing healthy lifestyles is an increasingly important goal for many.
Debbie Melvin likes to say that it takes 30 days to make something a habit. She spends eight Monday evenings with a group of women helping them form healthy habits they can have for the rest of their lives.
The popular Dairy Store on LSU’s campus features ice cream in flavors such as Tiger Bite and Rum Raisin, but on the other side of the Dairy Science building, LSU AgCenter researchers are working on ways to make dairy products healthier. One of those researchers, Kayanush Aryana, is adding healthy ingredients to yogurt such as immune boosters, omega-3fatty acids and fiber.
The 'We Can! Louisiana' nutrition education program is designed with input from representatives of the target population, including time and location of classes.
Quality of life in later years is associated with protection against age-related changes to health status.While change with time is inescapable, lifestyle, such as diet, is known to delay the onset and extent of some changes. Age-related macular degeneration affects the eyesight of more than 14 percent of individuals 70-79 years of age, and it is the leading causeof blindness in the elderly.
It is difficult for nutrition researchers to accurately determine what people eat and how often they eat. But smartphone technology is changing that.
Obesity among adults and youth is a growing healthcare problem at the national and local level and carries with it significant costs, both in terms of dollars and lives. In the United States, one-third of children and two thirdsof adults are classified as overweight or obese, and this increasing obesity trend seems likely to continue.
Consumer attitudes and behavior regarding healthy and nutritious foods in the United States have undergone significant changes the past several decades.These changes have contributed to a growth in the demand for minimally processed foods.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
Dean Ken Koonce retires after 46 years at LSU. The LSU chapter of the MANNRS organization has been re-esstablished. Professor Jim Griffin has started a quest to find more graduate students for the College of Agriculture.
The overwhelming majority of studies show 100 percent fruit juice consumption was not associated with higher weight in children.
The ultimate goal of LSU AgCenter nutrition education and nutrition research programs is to build healthier communities across Louisiana. Helping people learn to eat better, exercise more and lose weight can go a long way toward disease prevention and intervention. This will help hold down the costs of health care, improve the productivity of the workforce and enhance the quality of life for everyone.
The AgCenter and LSU have joined forces to promote Burden Museum & Gardens. The Botanic Gardens wins a national design award. Three new specialists join the AgCenter. Denise Holston-West has won the 2013 Southern Region Excellence Award.
Research has shown that including fruits and vegetables in thediet is important for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease. Fruits and vegetables have many nutrients such as vitamins C and A and fiber. They also contain antioxidants called phytochemicals, which help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Americans do not consume enough fiber in their diets. Fiber is a diverse substance that comes from or can be synthesized from foods. One of the major differences among fibers is the property of fermentability. For a food substance to be a fiber, it must not be digestible, which means the substance reaches the large intestine.
Louisiana youth are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers in other states. Some children consume a majority of their calories at school (breakfast, lunch and snack) and depend on school physical education programs for adequate fitness lessons.
An AgCenter team went to Kosovo as part of a project to improve livestock health. The AgCenter is conducting a project with China concerning the coastal ecosystem.
Probiotics are live microorganisms, which, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Probiotics were first commercialized via yogurts, namely “Yakult,” which was introduced in Japan in 1935.
Cars were lined up for a mile trying to get into the Family Fall Fest at the Thomas Jason Lingo Center in Oak Grove on a sunny Saturday morning on Oct. 12.
Magdi Selim, the A. George & Mildred G.Caldwell Professor of Soil Sciences in the School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences, has been named recipient of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) Liebig Award.
Soybeans emerged as a major Louisiana crop in the 1970s and now occupy the largest proportion of cultivated land in the state. Poor soil fertility was one of the yield-limiting problems encountered during the rapid expansion in the 1970s and 1980s.
Testing for soil phosphorus is an important tool to effectively manage phosphorus fertilizer in crop production. It provides an estimate of plant-available phosphorus – both in solution and a readily soluble form in the soil – and fertilizer requirements.
Nitrogen is considered the nutrient that most often limits crop production, yet its optimum management remains a somewhat elusive goal. Sugarcane, a high biomass crop that has high nitrogen requirements, is particularly difficult to manage for efficient nitrogen utilization.
More research effort and time have been devoted to understanding nitrogen dynamics than any plant essential nutrients in the soil. Plants require large amounts of nitrogen to produce amino acids, enzymes, proteins and most important chlorophyll, which harvests sunlight energy for plant use.
Soil is a vital natural resource, making possible the production of food, fiber and fuel. Soil is usually perceived as a reservoir of water and plant-essential nutrients, but soil functions also as a filtering and buffering system for pollutants, keeping the environment safe and healthy for humans and other living organisms.
In drill-seeded, delayed flood rice production, the most important nitrogen fertilizer application is the application applied just before permanent flood establishment. It is important because the largest amount of nitrogen is applied at this time, and it has the largest potential for loss.
Wetlands play a major role in the global carbon cycle because they are an important carbon sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Despite their small proportion of land area, wetlands constitute as much as 25 percent of global terrestrial carbon.
These five news articles appeared in the spring 2013 issue of Louisiana Agriculture. Topics covered included the citrus canker disease, lower than usual sweet potato acreage and the first rice farmers to be certified in a new sustainability in agriculture program.
Seventeen essential nutrients are required for proper plant growth and development. Some nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are needed in large amounts and are referred to as macronutrients.
In northeast Louisiana much of the crop production area has been historically dominated by cotton. Because of low cotton prices and increasing grain prices, however, cotton acreage has steadily decreased.
Although the term soil quality is modern, the concept is not. Ancient farmers measured the productivity of as oil and knew fundamental relationships between soil properties, such as enrichment with organic matter and crop production.
Louisiana farmers have finished planting sweet potatoes, and acreage continues to decline. Tara Smith, coordinator of the LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station, said
The USA Rice Foundation study on sustainability found that soil methane production in rice production has been reduced by 29 percent for every 100 pounds of rice grown over the last 20 years. The reduced methane production over the 20-year period equates to a 42 percent decrease in the net climate impact from rice production.
Wheat-soybean double-crop rotation is important in Louisiana, with more than 85 percent of the total wheat acreage planted in a double-crop soybean system.
The soils of Louisiana are as diverse as its people with more than 300 different kinds. Louisiana even has a state soil, the Ruston soil series.
Understanding trace element interactions in the soil water environment is essential in assessing their bioavailability and potential toxicity. Trace elements include several heavy metals such as zinc, copper, arsenic and cadmium.
The citrus canker disease has been detected in New Orleans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine division, according to LSU AgCenter plant scientist Raj Singh.
The increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been projected to cause an average global temperature rise of 3.6-10.8 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of 21st century.
Louisiana has stepped out ahead of other states in helping farmers and ranchers learn to voluntarily comply with stricter environmental standards to protect soil,water and air quality.
At the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station Field Day, held June 26, representatives of the Kellogg Co. recognized the first top level participants in the Kellogg’s Certified Rice Producers program.
Fifteen people from the LSU AgCenter have won awards in the annual competition of the Association for Communication Excellence, an international professional organization.
Nitrogen fertilization is a critical management practice required for producing maximum corn yield. Many factors, including soil type and crop management systems, determine optimum nitrogen rates.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
Soil testing is critical to resource management. It provides guidelines for the efficient use of lime and fertilizer materials in crop production.
Development of a nitrogen soil test has been a goal of soil scientists for as long as there has been a soil fertility discipline. Many soil test extraction procedures have been evaluated over the years, and attempts have been made to correlate soil test values to a crop’s yield response to applied nitrogen fertilizer.
Research to restore and enhance deteriorating salt marshes in Louisiana has been ongoing for many years, with the primary goal of improving the long-term growth and sustainability of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.