Researchers studying benefits of sugarcane, soybeans in rotation

Schultz Bruce, Blanchard, Tobie M., Gould, Frances I.

LSU AgCenter researchers are studying cultural practices and fertility management for soybeans.

AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell is conducting his research in southwest Louisiana, while Al Orgeron is working in the southeastern part of the state.

Harrell said a date-of-planting study for different maturity groups has been underway for six years at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Rayne and the Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria.

“This is probably the final year of that project,” Harrell said.

Results indicate the best time for planting in southeast Louisiana is mid-April to early May.

Harrell said a fertility study of potassium and phosphorus examining application timing and rates is being conducted at a new location in Calcasieu Parish on the Johnny Hensgens farm.

“We should have some new data there,” he said.

Al Orgeron, AgCenter southeast region pest management specialist, is studying soybeans in rotation with sugarcane at the Sugar Research Station at St. Gabriel and at the Iberia Research Station near Jeanerette.

Cane farmers are interested in identifying soybean varieties with good yield potential. They are focused on soybeans that are ready for harvest in August, so late-Group III and early to mid-Group IV soybeans are preferred, he said.

“Getting beans off fallow cane beds in a timely fashion is critical to a successful operation because cane yield is compromised when planted after August,” Orgeron said.

Orgeron is also working with Todd Spivey, AgCenter soybean specialist, and Josh Copes, AgCenter weed scientist, to assess the impact of seeding rates on soybean yields.

He has an ongoing study that is looking at seed treatments aimed at protecting soybeans from disease and insects in a sugar cane soybean rotation system. His research in 2016 and 2017 showed no yield benefit from the addition of fungicide, insecticide or the combination of these products on seed prior to planting.

“So far, we have not observed any statistical yield bump from adding these products,” Orgeron said.

The growing conditions after planting in 2018 have been different from the previous two years, said Orgeron.

“It was extremely cold and wet after planting on March 23,” he said.

In April, Orgeron observed a slight reduction in the number of cucumber beetles found on plants from insecticide-treated seed, he said.

Bruce Schultz

9/12/2018 4:02:36 PM
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