(03/12/20) BATON ROUGE, La. — An anonymous donor has provided funding to the LSU AgCenter Sugar Research Station in St. Gabriel to upgrade the sucrose lab.
Jeff Hoy, resident coordinator at the station, said the donation is being matched by the American Sugar Cane League, providing a total of $200,000 to make improvements to what has been called the heart of sugarcane research.
“The funds will be used to improve the sucrose research lab at the station. The lab is used to estimate all the yield data from all the tests that are being conducted at the station,” Hoy said.
Those tests include all varieties being developed in the breeding program and all other associated research for things like pathology, fertility and entomology used in generating yield data, he said.
“This lab is critical to the mission of the research station,” Hoy said. “The technology that we have been using has about reached its useful life, and we’re in need of some new equipment.”
Hoy said sugarcane research starts in the fields of the research station. This includes the breeding program and all associated research activities.
“The information that is generated from the research tells us whether our treatments are working or how the varieties that we’re developing are performing relative to everything else,” he said. “This is valuable information since farmers are ultimately paid on the amount of sucrose produced at sugar per acre. So we have to have this information.”
The lab will be dedicated to longtime lab employee Gertrude Hawkins.
“We’re dedicating this lab to Gert because of the great job that she did for many years running the sucrose lab,” Hoy said. “We hope to begin the construction phase of the project sometime this year.”
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture