130 Sweet Potato Road
P.O. Box 120
Chase, LA 71324
Phone: 318-435-2155 | Fax: 318-435-2110 | Office Hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday
Foundation Seed Production
National Clean Plant Network
308 acres including 150 acres devoted to sweet
potato research and agronomic crops production.
Report to Stakeholders May 2022
The LSU AgCenter is dedicated to providing innovative research, information and education to improve people’s lives. Working in a 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.
The LSU AgCenter’ s Sweet Potato Research Station is the only research station in the United States solely devoted to sweet potato research and development. The mission of the station is to produce high-quality planting material to serve the commercial sweet potato industry and to conduct research in various disciplines to enhance production of sweet potatoes, including breeding, cultural practices and pest management.
The main goal of the foundation seed program is to maintain the integrity and quality of commercial sweet potato varieties. The Sweet Potato Research Station serves all parishes involved in sweet potato production in Louisiana. In addition to satisfying in state needs, the station also supplies seed and plant material to other states and countries.
The LSU AgCenter’ s Sweet Potato Breeding Program is one of only three active breeding programs for sweet potato in the United States. Varieties developed at the station, including the Beauregard variety, are grown throughout the United States and around the world. Several varieties have been released from the LSU AgCenter breeding program during the last ten years, including Evangeline, Orleans, Bayou Belle, Bellevue, Bonita and Murasaki-29.
Research focuses on using an integrative approach to sweet potato production research that focuses on storage root formation as key to the testing and development of management practices and grower decision support tools for increased production efficiency, food safety, and reduced input costs. Central to this integrative approach is the consideration of root system architecture as an integrator of internal, environmental, and management determinants of storage root yield, quality, and shape attributes. The long-term goal is to develop tools for manipulating root system architecture for increased nutrient efficiency and resilient sweet potato yields for fresh and processing markets under diverse and changing environments.
The National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) for sweet potato is an association of clean plant centers, scientists, educators, state and federal regulators, certified seed growers, and commercial growers from the fresh market and processing industries concerned with the health of planting stock (seed roots and vine cuttings).Sweet potato formally joined the NCPN specialty crops network in 2015.The LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station is one of 6 sweet potato clean plant centers in the United States.The network operates under the umbrella of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Louisiana’s unique combination of crops — ranging from corn, cotton, rice and sugarcane to extensive forestry, poultry, cattle and fisheries industries — presents challenges for providing research-based information to ensure sustainable agricultural production systems.
To address the needs of these industries, the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station operates 14 departments shared by the LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture, as well as 15 research locations across the state. To fund the basic and applied research, scientists compete for federal and state grants and checkoff dollars provided by some farmers’ groups, along with state and federal dollars. Many of the facilities also sustain their research operations through the sale of agricultural commodities produced on the stations.
The LSU AgCenter has the most successful record of commercialization of intellectual property in the LSU System. Since 2000, 18 new companies have been started based on licensed technology from LSU AgCenter. The income is distributed among the LSU System, the inventors and more research.