Red River Research Station Profile

Patrick Colyer  |  7/9/2010 5:55:33 PM

Please click on the image above for the PDF version of the Red River Research Station Profile.

You can access a PDF version of the Red River Research Station Profile below.

The station is located in southern Bossier City on Highway 71S approximately 3 miles south of the Jimmie Davis Bridge.

226 Research Station Dr., Bossier City, LA 71112
Phone: 318-741-7430
Fax: 318-741-7433
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Patrick D. Colyer, Research Station Coordinator/Professor

573 acres, including 260 in cropland and 190 acres in pasture. There are five greenhouses for tomato research totaling 14,400 sq. ft. and two greenhouses for pest management research totaling 2700 sq. ft.

Research focus:

  • Cotton, soybeans, feed grains
  • Soil fertility
  • Variety evaluation
  • Pest Management
  • Soybean breeding
  • Greenhouse Tomatoes
  • Cultivar evaluation
  • Growth media effects
  • Production efficiency
  • Southernpea
  • Breeding

Research Highlights

Agronomy/Soil Fertility
The station is the site of one of the longest continuous studies in the United States. Since 1959, different winter cover crops have been rotated with cotton to determine long-term benefits on chemical and physical characteristics of the soil and on cotton production. Variety evaluation trials for cotton, feed grain, and soybean are conducted annually.

The program focuses on the integrated pest management of cotton insect pests and includes the evaluation of insecticides, both commercial and experimental, and transgenic cotton varieties for control of the major and secondary insect pests of cotton. In the early 1990s, the station was one of the first agricultural stations in the country to evaluate Bt cotton and helped bring about the first commercial
release of Bt cotton in 1996.

Horticulture research focuses on the production of greenhouse tomatoes for high yield and premium quality through cultivar evaluation and proper fertilization. Greenhouse tomato yields have doubled over the last 10 years and costs have been reduced by practices such as recycling planting media and redirecting heat to the root zone.

Plant Breeding

Soybean breeding is aimed at developing high-yielding, disease-resistant soybean varieties adapted Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. The LSU AgCenter’s southernpea breeding program is the only program in the United States developing varieties adapted to mechanical harvest for fresh-market. ‘Quickpick Pinkeye’, a pinkeye purple hull variety released by the AgCenter, is grown throughout the
southern United States.

Water Quality
Since 1998, the Red River Research Station has been conducting research to identify practices that minimize the impact of agricultural production on the quality of runoff water. The constructed wetland has demonstrated the ability to improve water quality runoff from nearly 400 acres of farm land prior to flowing into a nearby river.

Significance of Research

  • Greenhouse tomato research has provided techniques for reducing the costs of greenhouse production systems.
  • Variety trials provide important information on varieties that are best adapted to Northwest Louisiana.
  • Resistance monitoring has been critical in the development of resistance management plans for several insect pests of cotton.
  • Disease resistant soybeans adapted to the Louisiana will improve yields and reduce disease management costs.
  • Research to improve quality of water runoff from agricultural land will reduce the environmental impact of farming practices.

2009 Industry Facts

  • 34 million bushels of soybeans were produced on 1 million acres.
  • 82 million bushels of feed grains (corn, sorghum, and oats) were produced on 700 thousand acres
  • 162 million pounds of cotton were produced on 225, 000 acres.
  • 630 thousand pounds of greenhouse tomatoes were produced on 141 thousand square feet.
  • 212 thousand bushels of southern peas were produced on 2000 acres.

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary, Web site:

Future Plans

Agronomy/Soil Fertility
The application of alternative N fertilizers, including poultry litter, and N additives to improve nitrogen efficiency for agronomic crops will be researched. Research on sweet sorghum and other plant species as a potential source for biofuel will be initiated.

Research will continue on the efficacy of commercial and experimental insecticides, and on the evaluation of transgenic cotton varieties. Work with other entomologists across the Cotton Belt will focus on thrips and spider mite management. Soybean research will expand to include insecticidal efficacy and management trials for soybean pests.

Research will be conducted on the profitability of grafting to improve yields and to extend the cropping season through the summer months. Additional research will be conducted on identifying cost effective root media.

Plant Breeding
The soybean breeding program will continue to develop high yielding, germplasm with emphasis on identifying and incorporating resistance to Cercospora leaf blight disease. In addition to breeding new varieties for fresh market, the southern pea breeding program is developing new varieties for wildlife forage.

Weed Science
Recognizing the significant contribution of cattle production to Northwest Louisiana’s economy, scientists at the Red River Research Station will initiate a pasture weed control program to identify herbicides that are effective in controlling weeds common to local pastures.

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