Howard Viator | 3/31/2010 8:32:56 PM
You can access a PDF version of the Iberia Research Station Profile below.
The Station is located approximately 8 miles south of LA Hwy 90. It is 4 miles due east off of Darnall Rd. on LA Hwy 87 and is situated approximately 8 miles east of New Iberia, LA on LA Hwy87.
Iberia Research Station
1137 acres, including 900 acres of pastures and hay meadows and 150 acres of row crop land
Contact: H.P. “Sonny” Viator, Research Station Coordinator/Professor
Recent interest in finishing beef only on forages has surfaced because of the perception that forage-fed beef has a lower environmental impact and contains higher health to non-healthy fat ratios. Scientists are investigating forage systems for producing 1000+ pound steers at 17-19 months of age.
Tropically Adapted Beef Breeds
The subtropical environment of Louisiana necessitates the incorporation of tropical adaptation in beef herds. Bonsmara cattle from South Africa are tropically adapted and are currently being evaluated for both carcass merit and maternal productivity.
All sugarcane varieties released to the growers in Louisiana since the 1980s were developed in cooperation with personnel at the Iberia Research Station. The station is located in a sugarcane production region with unique soils and environmental conditions, which dictates screening of experimental varieties within the Bayou Teche region.
Grazing Behavior of Beef Cattle
Research is being conducted to gain an understanding of the process by which cattle express choice when grazing. The focus is on how forage mixtures affect foraging behavior and animal performance.
Internal Parasitism in Beef Cattle
Stomach worms are a serious economic pest in beef cattle. Efforts are being made to address the problem through the development of genetic resistance.
Sweet Sorghum for Biomass Production
The federal mandate for energy security through the development of sustainable biofuels has revived interest in sweet sorghum as a renewable energy crop. Researchers at the Iberia Research Station have partnered with the biofuel industry to identify scenarios for furnishing sweet sorghum feedstock to the biorefinery.
Significance of Iberia Research Station Research
2009 Beef and Sugar Industry Facts
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary, Web site: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary
The development of forage-fed beef cattle enterprises will be the principal objective of projects in ruminant nutrition. The relationship of grazing behavior and animal performance will be featured to gain an understanding of the contribution of the forage diet. This a contemporary issue in animal agriculture which has been supported by and should continue to garner extramural funding.
Combining meat tenderness, tropical adaptation and acceptable maternal productivity traits is the goal of the crossbreeding research at the Iberia Research Station. Steers with these genetic improvements will help avoid the marketing bias that sometimes exists in the Southeast.
Personnel at the Iberia Research Station will continue to be involved in the evaluation and selection of sugarcane varieties. Improved sugarcane varieties represent the most important contribution research can make to the growers and millers.
Meeting the target of producing 21 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 will be a challenge. Our partnerships with the fledging sweet sorghum ethanol industries should result in identifying feedstock logistics to meet the federally mandated goal.