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.
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.
The shift of sugarcane harvesting practices over the past 20 years from burning leaves to leaving leaves on the soil surface is raising several economic and environmental concerns.