1Extension Irrigation Specialist, LSU AgCenter, Red River Research Station, 262 Research Station Drive, Bossier City, LA 71112
Over the last few decades, automatic in-ground irrigation of Louisiana landscapes has become popular despite annual rainfall averaging 45-65 inches per year. With state level regulatory requirements in place since 2005, Louisiana is one of four states that mandates annual licensure for irrigation contractors, which is dependent on receiving six full hours of in-person continuing education every third year. Louisiana Irrigation Association partnered with LSU AgCenter to meet these educational requirements. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed continuing education toward an online platform for the first time. Thus, this project’s immediate goal was to develop and utilize versatile educational material appropriate for cross-platform delivery (in-person or virtual) that is educational, interesting, applicable to their businesses, and relatively new to Louisiana contractors while meeting the regulatory requirements of recertification. The primary metric was measured through direct feedback about the quality and delivery of the educational material as well as the overall experience with the cross-platform structure. A majority of the 115 participants, which represent a third of the licensed landscape irrigation contractors in the state, thought the educational content was interesting and informative (89%), teleconferencing software was suitable (90%), they could see/hear content appropriately (89%), class was at the same level or an improvement to previous classes (69%) and preference for future virtual class options (80%). As a secondary metric, basic technical questions were asked after each covered topic to assess attendance and attention. The educational content was designed to introduce the newest technologies, connect nationally conducted research to Louisiana’s climate and culture, and relate familiar basic concepts from irrigation scheduling and system auditing to the functionality and automation of smart technologies and two-wire systems. Out of five classes, the correct answer for each technical question was selected by most contractors (60%-93% correct response rate). Ideally, knowledge implied through quiz results would directly translate to water, energy, and labor savings for both the contractor and irrigator.
Price, T.1, Padgett, B.1, Purvis, M.2, Ezell, D.2, Harrell, D.1, Leonards, J.2, Collins, F.2, Lee, L.2, Hebert, J.3, and Meaux, J3.
1Extension Specialists, LSU AgCenter, Alexandria, Crowley, and Winnsboro, Louisiana.
2Research Associates, LSU AgCenter, Alexandria, Crowley, and Winnsboro, Louisiana.
3Extension Agents, LSU AgCenter, Acadia and Calcasieu Parishes, Louisiana.
Aerial blight is a major fungal soybean disease in rice production areas in Louisiana, and the same pathogen causes sheath blight in rice. Rice and soybean are very often grown in rotation, and the pathogen (Rhizoctonia solani) survives for years in the soil which makes disease management difficult. To confound management, strobilurin (QoI) fungicides are no longer effective on aerial blight in many areas of southern Louisiana. Since strobilurin resistance has not yet occurred on any research stations in Louisiana, our team looked to Louisiana farmers’ fields for answers. Multiple, small plot replicated fungicide efficacy trials evaluating experimental and commercial products were conducted at multiple locations in southwest Louisiana (Acadia and Calcasieu Parishes) over the course of six growing seasons. Treatments were either applied with a CO2 powered hand boom or a self-propelled plot sprayer. Plots were rated multiple times during a given growing season for aerial blight severity and harvested by hand or with a plot combine. A minimum of two successful location-years were considered to confirm efficacious products. Strobilurin fungicides were not effective on aerial blight in any trial over the six-year period. Six commercially available fungicides containing SDHI materials were identified that significantly reduced aerial blight severity and preserved yields. For example, in Morse, Louisiana, during 2019, application of Priaxor (8 fl oz/A), Trivapro (13.7 fl oz/A), and Excalia (2 and 3 fl oz/A) resulted in significantly less aerial blight ranging from 3 to 4.4 on a 0-10 scale compared to the non-treated and Quadris (9 fl oz/A) which ranged from 8 to 9.7. Applications of Priaxor, Trivapro, or Excalia in that particular trial resulted in yield preservation ranging from approximately 15 to 22%. Fungicides containing SDHI materials consistently resulted in less aerial blight severity and preserved yields over the six-year period when compared to strobilurin products. Fungicides containing SDHI active ingredients should be considered for aerial blight management, particularly in areas where strobilurin materials are no longer effective.
1Assistant Professor – Soybean Specialist, Louisiana State University, Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302
Soybean (Glycine max) is an important row crop in Louisiana. Soybean seed is high in protein and oil content with an average of approximately 40% and 20%, respectively. It would be an advantage to Louisiana soybean farmers to effectively market soybean seed to meal and oil industries. The objectives of this research were to: 1. Evaluate the effect of maturity group, planting date, and latitude on protein and oil content in mature soybean seed, and 2. Compare the protein and oil content in varieties entered into the 2021 soybean core-block with a variety released by the University of Missouri to investigate the stability of protein and oil content in soybean grown in Louisiana compared to the Southern United States. These objectives will investigate if Louisiana soybean farmers can have a marketing advantage with higher protein or oil content. Twenty-five soybean varieties were divided into three maturity group sections (3.8-4.4; 4.5-4.9; and 5.0-5.6) and planted on producer’s farms and research stations across seven parishes in 2021. The experimental design was a single strip plot per location. At harvest, yield and a 200-gram seed sample were collected for each variety and location combination. The seed were analyzed for protein and oil content using a Foss Infratec 1241 on a 13% moisture basis. There was an indication of a linear relationship between oil and yield. As the yield increased, the percent of oil in the mature seed decreased. The data from the on-farm core-block trials indicate Louisiana soybean farmers can increase mature seed oil content by variety selection including varieties with high oil content and earlier maturing varieties. However, there is a negative correlation between yield and oil content. More data is required to fully understand the effect of genetics x environment x management practices on soybean protein, oil, and yield in Louisiana.