Agriculture

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Duane Smith, left, discusses his rice and crawfish operation with growers as Terreca Bates-Wells, the director of special projects at Capitol City Produce, right, looks on during the Meet the Buyer Day hosted by the LSU and Southern University ag centers in St. Landry Parish on Aug. 6. Smith is considering adding strawberries to his rice and crawfish operation. (Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter)

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Kevin Cazeaux, the local produce buyer for Rouses Markets, right, discusses with a small farmer the type produce he’s in search of during the LSU and Southern University ag centers’ Meet the Buyer Day in St. Landry Parish on Aug. 6. (Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter)

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A group of next-generation St. Landry Parish farmers discuss crops they need to grow to meet the demand of produce buyers. The growers were participating in the LSU and Southern University ag centers’ Meet the Buyer meeting in Opelousas on Aug. 6. (Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter)

Ag centers bring buyers to small farmers

Small-scale vegetable growers in St. Landry Parish recently met face-to-face with major produce buyers in the area to discuss ways to market their produce.
Many times small farmers are left out of the equation when produce buyers go looking for products to buy, said LSU AgCenter extension associate Alessandro Holzapfel.
Holzapfel, along with Antonio Harris, director of sustainable agriculture and rural development with the Southern University Ag Center, coordinated the Meet the Buyer Day in Opelousas.
Harris said the goal of the meeting was two-fold.

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Deadline approaching for LSU AgCenter Leadership Program

The LSU AgCenter Agricultural Leadership Development Program aims to provide potential leaders involved with agriculture and agribusiness the tools they need to become effective advocates for agriculture.
For those interested in applying for the next class that starts in January 2020, the deadline is Aug. 30.
“It is a great opportunity to learn about the critical issues facing agriculture,” said program director Bobby Soileau.
Since its inception in 1988, more than 400 people have graduated from the program.

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LSU AgCenter rice breeder Adam Famoso, far right, talks about the process of developing a new rice variety. He spoke at a recent crops tour held by the LSU AgCenter for state and federal agricultural agencies. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Tour highlights agricultural diversity in central Louisiana

State and federal agency representatives attended a crops tour held by the LSU AgCenter on July 25 to give them idea of the agricultural diversity in central Louisiana.
The tour started near Bunkie at the James Deshotel sweet potato farm followed by a stop at the Todd Steele tree nursery. The tour then traveled to the Charlie Fontenot farm near Lebeau to hear about rice farming, stopped at the Lowrey cattle operation and ended near Melville at the Cannatella farm to get an overview of sugarcane farming.

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LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth holds a tray of blast-infested rice during the annual LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station field day on June 26. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Don Groth named to rice research chair

The Louisiana Rice Research Board provided an additional $500,000 earmarked for research during the annual LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station field day on June 26.
Those funds bring the total to $1.5 million set aside from Colombian Free Trade Agreement money that must be designated for rice research in Louisiana. Interest generated by the account will be used to fund an endowed chair to enhance efforts at the rice station.

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A cluster of rabbiteye blueberries. LSU AgCenter file photo by Allen Owings

It’s blueberry time

Grab a bucket. The blueberries are ready to pick.
Louisianians are fortunate to live in a state that supports blueberry growth. Blueberries are easy to grow and one of the most nutritionally dense foods on Earth. They are a significant source of vitamins and secondary metabolites that are widely studied for health benefits.

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