The focus of this issue is forage-fed beef production. Consumer demand for forage-finished beef as opposed to corn-fed beef, which are raised in feedlots, has been growing nationwide. Because of the year-round warm climate, Louisiana is uniquely positioned to grow cattle on pastures until ready for market. Scientists conducted studies to assess the feasibility of this economic development opportunity. Read the results. 28 pages
The U.S. agriculture population is poised to make a dramatic change because more than 50 percent of current farmers are likely to retire in the next five years. U.S. farmers over age 55 control more than half the farmland, while the number of farmers replacing them has fallen.
The summer issue of Louisiana Agriculture includes articles on sugarcane breeding using molecular technology, improved bedding sources for commercial broiler production and the greenhead horse fly as a bioindicator of marsh health after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Other topics covered include nutrition education, wetlands for storm damage mitigation and the crawfish industry. 32 pages.
The Louisiana Master Farmer Program started in response to the specter of federal regulations threatening to impose unworkable requirements on agricultural operations across the state.
This special issue of Louisiana Agriculture is one of the ways the LSU AgCenter is celebrating the 100th birthday of the Cooperative Extension Service in Louisiana. The articles call attention to some of the major programs and major players in our history. 44 pages.
The winter 2014 issue of Louisiana Agriculture features articles on drone use in agriculture, new energycane crops, debunking crawfish myths, Cercospora leaf blight, efficient cattle production and more. 32 pages
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
Honduran students get hands-on experience at Dean Lee Research Station. Japanese company looks to AgCenter for expertise
LSU AgCenter researchers investigated populations of the salt marsh greenhead horse fly (Tabanusnigro vittatus) as bioindicators of marsh health in the aftermath of the April 2010 Macondo oil spill in theGulf of Mexico.
The LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station is devoted to horticulture research and extension programs that aid the commercial nursery and landscape industry as well as home gardeners. Its mission is to conduct research on environmental and production factors that affect quality and sustainability of plants in the landscape.
Knowing how producers adopt new production practices is vital to research and program planning. Production practices in Louisiana rice have changed dramatically over the past decade.
More than 40 years ago very far-sighted Louisiana rice industry leaders understood the importance of research to improve rice production technology. Through legislative action, the rice research checkoff program was established. As a result of an October 2013 Louisiana Supreme Court ruling, this highly successful program was declared unconstitutional.
As the largest U.S. crawfish producer, Louisiana had 1,265 crawfish farms covering more than 182,000 acres in 2013, according to the Louisiana Summary of Agriculture and Natural Resources published by the LSU AgCenter.
Sugarcane is one of the most highly valued row crop in Louisiana, contributing $2.79 billion to the state’s economy when considering value-added components. In 2013, the crop was harvested from 439,256 acres with a yield of 34.3 tons of cane per acre, which translated to 1.46 million tons of raw sugar.
Biomass from agricultural crops is a major potential source of feedstock for renewable energy. It has several advantages, such as lowering carbon dioxide emissions and stabilizing energy dependence.
Harrell named new rice specialist. Three AgCenter projects get LIFT grants. 4-H Food & Fitness Board learns about careers. Marsh Maneuvers celebrates 25 years.
Pine shavings and rice hulls are the most widely used sources of bedding in commercial broiler production in Louisiana. But, the broiler industry always is looking for new sources of bedding that will not compromise production, efficiency of growth or animal well-being, as well as not increase ammonia emissions or phosphorus leaving the broiler houses.
Many people in Louisiana face nutrition-related health challenges, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity, all of which can positively impacted by choosing healthful food.
The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley is the 25 million-acre floodplain of the Mississippi River that extends from the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Old Forestry Building on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus is old for its 58 years. Its stairs, which lead to a dust-coated second floor, creak unsettlingly. Many ceiling tiles are either stained or missing.
Goss’s wilt is a bacterial corn disease new to Louisiana. During the 2013 growing season, it was observed in northeastern Louisiana and reported for the first time.
Each year, tropical storms and hurricanes threaten the lives and livelihoods of Louisiana residents. In the past decade, powerful hurricanes have caused billions of dollars in damages to coastal communities. Even less powerful tropical storms can cause widespread damage.
Kuttruff promoted to department head. College of Ag gets dual enrollment courses. Conerly named FFA secretary.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
The aerial drone is a unique remote sensing platform that allows real-time collection of remote sensing data. LSU AgCenter researchers are exploring uses of these unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture. One of the first projects involves flying a drone equipped with a sensor device to measure the vegetative index of a crop.
Nitrogen fertilization is a critical management practice required for producing maximum corn yield. Many factors, including soil type and crop management systems, determine optimum rates. Nitrogen is typically applied soon after the crop has emerged and an adequate stand has been established.
International scientists get training as Borlaug Fellows; Richardson helps Honduran ag school make U.S. connections
The LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station has as one of its goals to continuously develop and release new varieties that will benefit the Louisiana rice industry. The program works with many different types of rice, including conventional and Clearfield long-grain, medium-grain and specialty types.
Researchers from the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center conducted a study to show the effect of whey protein and resistant starch in combination in the form of shakes and smoothies on weight loss.
The seafood industry has faced significant economic challenges over the past two decades, causing seafood businesses to search for cost reduction strategies, including those associated with labor. It has become difficult for seafood processors to recruit local workers. Most workers have found better-paying jobs in the construction and oil industries.
College mounts major recruitment effort; Burnett named new college administrator; Students take fashion designs to the runway
Citrus canker is a devastating disease that causes defoliation, premature fruit drop, blemished fruit and tree decline. Citrus canker has been positively identified in Plaquemines Parish, where the majority of commercial citrus industry is located, along with Jefferson, Orleans and St. Charles parishes.
Families learn to eat healthy, exercise at weekend nutrition camp; Youngster with Down syndrome finds pride showing livestock; Sugar mills improve efficiency with AgCenter technology; Two AgCenter rice scientists honored at national meeting
Cercospora leaf blight is the predominant foliar soybean disease in Louisiana. Scientists have found resistance to certain fungicides used to treat it.
Louisiana shrimpers have received more than $18 million in the past three years from the federal Trade Assistance Adjustment for Farmers program (TAA). To receive these funds, shrimpers were required to complete several hours of training conducted by the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant.
Figures from "Investigating the Potential for Drone Use in Agriculture" by Charles Malveaux.
Varroa destructor, a mite that parasitizes honey bees, was accidentally introduced into the United States about 25 years ago. As it spread across the country, it killed honey bees, destroyed their colonies and created management challenges for beekeepers.
Crawfish have been consumed in the southern United States for centuries, first by Native Americans, who later introduced the European settlers to this bountiful food resource.
Researchers with the LSUAgCenter, Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agricultureare working together to bring the high biomass version of sugarcane, known as energy cane, and sweet sorghum way north of Interstate 10, which runs east and west across south Louisiana.
Forage-fed and grain-fed beef differ in a number of qualities, including their fat content. Meat from forage-fed cattle is lower in total fat, and if the meat is very lean, it can have one third the fat as beef from grain-fed animals.
Much of the beef produced and sold in the U.S. before World War II was from grass- or limited-grain-fed cattle. Development of the modern large-scale cattle feeding industry in the 1950s and 1960s increased supplies of grain-fed beef.
News from the Office of International Programs
A “market maker” is usually an individual or a firm ready to buy and sell stock on a regular basis at a publicly quoted price. This person helps buyers and sellers connect so as to “make” the market.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, Escherichia coli (E. coli) are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Most of them are harmless and naturally found in the human intestinal tract, but others can be deadly.
The study of meat allows for the identification of animals, production systems or processing techniques that result in desired properties. Among the desired attributes of meat, tenderness is the most important palatability trait to consumers.
This special issue of Louisiana Agriculture focuses on forage-fed beef management and production. AgCenter scientists, extension specialists and professors work on many aspects of the cattle industry to bring our clientele the most up-to-date knowledge and operating procedures to support their needs.
Prior to what has become standard practice of feeding grain to beef cattle for finishing, grass finishing was the conventional method for producing cattle for beef.
Consumer interest in the benefits of forage-finished beef has led to an increased demand for this product.
A market for forage-fed beef exists in the United States. Research has shown that one-third to one half of consumers prefer the taste of forage-fed beef to grain-fed beef.
News from the LSU AgCenter
Grass-fed beef production has recently emerged in the United States as an alternative to conventional feedlot beef, although it still represents a very small percentage of U.S. beef produced.
News from the LSU College of Agriculture
A wide range of pasture systems can be used to produce forage-fed beef. Each system results in different levels of productivity, profitability and sustainability out comes.
Demand for forage-finished over grain-finished beef is rapidly growing because of its benefits for human health and the environment.
In a forage-fed beef operation, cattle are fed grass and forage for their lifetime, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. Animals are not fed grain or grain by products and have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
Louisiana Agriculture Magazine
Seaman Knapp’s legacy goes far beyond the building named after him on LSU’s campus. Through demonstration farms he set up in southwestern Louisiana, Knapp pioneered a system for teaching farmers about modern, research-based techniques, laying the groundwork for Cooperative Extension as it is known today.
Back in the day, maybe even just a few years ago, it was common for most farms to have at least a few head of cattle. Paul Coreil, retired LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, recalled that on farms similar to the one where he grew up in Evangeline Parish, rice farmers routinely kept cattle to rotate pasture with rice fields.
In her 1960 book “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson shook agriculture to its core with a stinging indictment of heavy pesticide use and its effects on the environment.
Panama official seeks stronger ties with business and agriculture. Zamorano scholars gain experience.
LSU has recruited students and athletes who have eventually become famous, but few know about Mary Mims – a pioneering woman recruited by LSU Agricultural Extension in 1925 – who would become one of the world’s foremost community organizers.
Volunteers are vital to Cooperative Extension and to 4-H. They have been integral to the development, delivery and success of programs since beginning. Extension professionals engage volunteers by involving them in a variety of roles that provides leadership and support to programs and events.
Leodrey Williams, chancellor of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, has worked in extension for nearly 50 years
In a state home to diverse flavors as well as a history of poverty, many Louisianans struggle to make healthy, affordable eating choices. Because agriculture’s foremost goal is to feed people, nutrition has always been a central part of the LSU AgCenter’s extension efforts.
In the early part of the 20th century, the majority of Americans lived on the farm, and many made their living from what their farms produced. In those early days, the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service was known as an organization that worked with farmers and farm families.
In the mid-1980s, Pete deGravelles of the American Sugar Cane League approached Rouse Caffey, then chancellor of the LSU AgCenter, with the idea of an agricultural leadership program.
Forestry management has a long heritage in the United States, and the earliest focus of extension in Louisiana was on regenerating forestlands.
The early fisheries agents hired by the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant recall that when they started working back in the 1970s, they had an unenviable challenge of proving themselves as government employees who wanted to help local fishing communities.
Scientist turns home recipes into food products. Researcher tries to make sugarcane resistant to brown rust disease. Louisiana wheat crop does well despite cold. Girl Scouts learn about wetlands.
Schuster to lead fundraising for agriculture. Poultry Judging Team sweeps competition. Students learn food FUNdamentals.
Surrounded by 4-H’ers and show cattle, LSU AgCenter county agent Mike Hebert directed youngsters and their animals moving in and out of the LSU AgCenter’s Livestock Show ring.
Every year, the LSU AgCenter publishes “Louisiana Summary of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” which tabulates the value of agricultural commodities produced in Louisiana. A unique resource, the summary has captured the history of Louisiana agriculture for the past 35 years and provides researchers, extension agents and farmers the information they need to make decisions.
Since its beginning in 1914, Louisiana Cooperative Extension has had 11 directors. The current director, Bill Richardson, is also the LSU vice president for agriculture. Following are brief biographies of these leaders.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth organization, had a humble beginning in the corn fields of central Louisiana and was apart of the vision of agricultural pioneer, Seaman A. Knapp,credited with helping to engineer the beginnings of both 4-Hand the Cooperative Extension Service.
Located in Mansura just up the road from the birthplace of 4-H in Louisiana in Moreauville, the Louisiana 4-H Museum offers visitors a unique perspective of the role 4-H has played in people’s lives for more than 100 years.
Imagine life without cell phones, the Internet or even electricity. You are responsible for sewing most of the family’s clothes, raising and preserving their food and even making the mattresses the family sleeps on.
In September 2005, Hurricane Rita’s storm surge inundated coastal southwest Louisiana. In the storm’s aftermath, Vermilion Parish county agent Andrew Granger was organizing efforts to save cattle affected by the storm.
During World War II, Louisiana Cooperative Extension played a major role in improving the homeland, while providing valuable support for the military.
Good nutrition is key to living a happy, healthy life. For the 903,000 low-income Louisiana residents who get help paying for food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), knowing how to make good eating choices on a limited budget can be difficult.
For more than 100 years agricultural agents have brought research results to Louisiana farmers through demonstration programs.
Louisiana Extension used trains to teach rural residents the latest information about agriculture and nutrition through the 1940s.
During a 15-year period, from 1994 to 2009, the LSU AgCenter conducted 29 classes in the Community Leadership and Economic Development program with more than 1,000 graduates.
The effect of ill temperament on heifer growth and development would be important to assess as early in the animal’s life as possible for making decisions regarding female herd replacements.
Steers with higher levels of Brahman breeding are often negatively perceived in terms of meat tenderness. Bonsmara is a South African breed created through crossbreeding of Afrikaner, Hereford and Shorthorn cattle.
Because Brahman cattle have been associated with poor temperament and meat quality, researchers have been looking at crosses involving the tropically adapted Brahman breed and comparing them to crosses involving another tropically adapted breed, Africaner.
Most beef operations in Louisiana are based on a cow-calf production system. Efficient use of available pasture is critical to the sustainability and economic viability of these operations.Stocking rate and method are managerial factors affecting frequency and height of defoliation of pasture forages.
Cattle approach their feed in the same way humans do. They don’t like single ingredients; they would rather have a mixed or complex diet.