The LSU AgCenter is dedicated to providing innovative research, information and education to improve people’s lives. Working in a unique statewide network of parish extension offices, research stations and academic departments, the LSU AgCenter helps Louisiana citizens make the best use of natural resources, protect the environment, enhance agricultural enterprises and develop human and community resources
A constructed wetland and a tailwater recycling system have demonstrated a 20-50% reduction in N, P, and total suspended solids in effluent from production fields. Irrigation research has provided information on the use of skip-row irrigation on different soil textures and the beneficial effects of cover crops to improve soil moisture. Demonstrations have also shown the benefits of surge values and soil moisture sensors to improve irrigation efficiency.
Fertility research demonstrated the ability of N-stabilizer compounds, which are currently used with urea and UAN, to improve nitrogen availability from poultry litter to plants; identified the optimum combination of poultry litter and inorganic N-fertilizers for corn; and N-management strategies for conservation tillage. The soybean breeding program has identified soybeans with increased tolerance to Cercospora leaf blight disease, tolerance to flooding and drought, and high protein content. These traits are being incorporated into improved soybean lines.
On selected sites, particularly some bottomlands, tall fescue varieties with the non-toxin-producing endophytes can provide cool-season forage, an improved dallisgrass variety can increase plant diversity and ecosystem benefits, and the native legume, herbaceous mimosa, is a grazing tolerant native species with potential value to contribute increased forage quality and biological nitrogen fixation, particularly for low-input pasture systems.
Research continues to evaluate varieties for yield and quality performance. Cherry and heirloom tomatoes have been included in the evaluation in recent years. Research has shown there is a reduction in the tomato yield with recycled planting media due to salt accumulation. The response was different among tomato varieties and some varieties may be salt tolerant.
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary website: LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary
The identification of best management practices to improve water and nutrient use efficiency and to reduce the impact of production practices on nonpoint source pollution. Crop irrigation research will focus on improving the irrigation/water use efficiency through determining the irrigation needs based on the crop, soil health and texture, production practices, and weather. Research will also explore the estimation of reference evapotranspiration and crop coefficient needs for irrigation scheduling.
Research focuses on rate, source and time of fertilizer application of plant nutrients; integration of animal wastes and inorganic fertilizers to improve soil fertility and health with minimal environmental impact; integration of winter cover crops to improve soil health and main-crop yields; and impact of various nutrient management practices on nutrient leaching, volatilization and greenhouse gas emissions. The soybean breeding program will continue to develop high yielding germplasm with emphasis on the incorporation Cercospora leaf blight resistance, and flood and drought tolerance. Variety trials for cotton, feed grain and soybean will be conducted.
Continuing research with forage legumes to address environmental benefits of diverse mixtures of plant species in pastures. Responses of forage varieties, including bermudagrass varieties, on different sites of production will be assessed to determine effects of soil type on adaptation of useful species to identify superior forage genotype and environment combinations for enhanced production responses.
Variety evaluation will continue to a focus of the program.Future evaluations will include additional cherry and heirloom tomatoes.Research will investigate the impact of recycled planting media on fertility and crop production.