Upcoming Events: Beef Referendum and SWLA Rice Tour

The Southwest LA Rice Tour is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, 2011. The tour will begin at the Fenton Co-op with coffee and introductions at 9:00 a.m. The first tour stops will be at the James Hoppe farm in Woodlawn, La. Presentations will include Rice Varieties; Weed Control; Disease Management and Fertilization. The second tour site will be a Rice Insect Management presentation at the Mark Pousson farm, north of Welsh. On the Pousson Farm we will also observe and hear a presentation on the new aromatic variety: Jazzman II. The tour will conclude at the Welsh Community Center with a Market Update and lunch. The lunch is courtesy of Rice-Tec. Researchers and extension agents of the LSU AgCenter will be present to answer producer questions and discuss the latest research and recommendations. All interested persons are invited to attend the Southwest LA Rice Tour.

Beef Check-Off Referendum A state wide referendum will be held on May 31, 2011, between the 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the office of each parish county agent. The purpose of the referendum is to allow Louisiana cattle producers to decide whether to approve a fifty ($ 0.50) cents per head assessment on all Louisiana cattle marketed within or outside Louisiana for the purpose of funding the Louisiana Beef Promotion and Research Program. The referendum is being conducted in accordance with the Beef Promotion and Research Program Law, (La. R. S. 3:555.1 – 555.13), particularly R. S. 3:555.12.

Only persons who have produced cattle in the year 2010 are eligible to vote. A producer of cattle is, by legal definition under La. R. S. 3:555.3, any natural person, partnership, corporation, company, association, society, trust, or other business unit or organization that owns or acquires ownership of cattle. However, a person shall not be considered to be a producer if the person’s only share in the proceeds of a sale of cattle or beef is a sales commission handling fee or other service fee. Each eligible voter is entitled to only one vote. Each eligible voter shall vote in the parish of the voter’s domicile, or in the case of an organization, in the parish where its principal office is located. Voting by proxy, agent or power of attorney is not allowed except that a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other organization may cast its vote through an officer, partner, manager, or other person authorized by the organization to cast the vote.

Each eligible voter must bring proof of ownership of cattle in 2010, proof of residency, and in the case of a person casting a vote for an organization a resolution or other form of authorization showing that such person is authorized to cast a vote on behalf of the organization. The Louisiana Beef Industry Council shall determine questions of voter eligibility.

Votes shall be cast at the office of the county agent in each parish under the supervision of the county agent and two producers, who shall register those producers who cast their ballots.

The funds from the Beef Check Off are used for promotion and research on beef production and marketing in Louisiana. Many of the youth projects sponsored by the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association are made possible by these funds.

More Tomato Problems In a previous article, I wrote about “blossom end rot”. This disorder was very common this year due to the drought in April and May. Another common cause of fruit rots is “buckeye rot.” If more frequent rains relieve one problem, they can contribute to another. Buckeye rot is caused by a soil borne fungus. This fungus is sometimes splashed onto the tomato fruit along with soil during times of hard rains or when over-head sprinklers are used to irrigate the tomato plants. This fungus will begin to grow on the fruit and cause a dark brown or black rotten area. Close inspection of the dark area will reveal a series of close concentric rings. Unlike blossom-end rot, the buckeye rot may appear on any part of the fruit that is exposed to the splashed soil. The rotten spots will often be soft to the touch as opposed to the blossom-end rot that is always firm to the touch. This rot usually occurs only on the first or lowest set clusters of fruit (soil doesn’t splash any higher). Applications of a labeled fungicide to the lowest set fruit can help prevent buck-eye rot or reduce its severity. A better preventative is to mulch around the base of the tomato plants. The mulch will reduce the impact of the rain drop and reduce the splashing of soil particles. As I said, the lowest set fruit are the most prone to soil splash. After these fruit are picked, the fruit on the upper stalk are much less likely to develop buckeye rot. Other fungi that normally cause foliar or leaf spots can also affect fruit. Anthracnose, late blight and early blight can cause spotting and decayed areas on tomato fruit. Your best preventative is a weekly application of a recommended, labeled fungicide beginning at fruit set. This will help protect the fruit as well as the foliage of the tomato plant. Be sure to read and follow all label restrictions and instructions when using any pesticide.

Cucumber Disease I also wrote about anthracnose disease in cucumbers in a previous article. As I expected, it has been very common this year. Based on the number of calls and office visits, it is rivaling tomato problems in frequency. The white to yellow spots develop on the lower leaves and the problem will progress up the vine on to the younger leaves. At its worst, this disease can defoliate the vine and reduce fruit production.

To prevent this fungal disease continue weekly applications of a labeled fungicide. The fungicide will not cure the sick leaves, but will help protect the younger, more productive leaves. Trellised vines seem to develop anthracnose less frequently. Air circulation prevents prolonged moisture on the leaves. The fungal infection develops most frequently in a high moisture environment.

5/13/2011 6:12:52 PM
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