Agriculture

Louisiana rice planting on schedule thanks to recent dry weather

Recent stretches of dry weather have allowed Louisiana rice farmers to get in the field and plant their 2018 crop on schedule.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve made tremendous progress,” said Don Groth, resident coordinator of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley. “All in all, it’s starting out to be a good year.”
Dustin Harrell, AgCenter rice specialist, said south Louisiana farmers are more than 80 percent finished with planting. He estimated this year’s rice planted acreage will total approximately 415,000, compared to about 400,000 last year.

Project to fight citrus disease

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the LSU AgCenter are joining efforts on a project to fight citrus canker disease.
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the goal is to identify citrus canker tolerant satsuma cultivars.
Citrus canker is a bacterial disease of citrus trees. The first Louisiana detection was in June 2013 at City Park in New Orleans. Since the initial detection, citrus has been monitored by the agricultural department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and LSU AgCenter to mitigate spread of the disease.

Acadiana beef field day set for March 3

The Acadiana beef cattle producers field day will be held March 3 at the LSU AgCenter Iberia Research Station.
Registration starts at 8 a.m., and the program begins at 8:30 a.m.
The program includes:
— Effects of cover crops on soil health.
— The beef export market and its effects on beef pricing and policy.
— Parasite resistance to dewormers.
— Controlling ryegrass in bermudagrass hay meadows.
— Care of newborn calves.
— Evaluating low- and high-input cow-calf management systems.
— Improving the use of nitrogen fertilizer.

New rice herbicides available this year

With the start of rice planting roughly a month away, farmers will have new herbicides to fight weeds in the upcoming growing season.
LSU AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster, talking at rice meetings in Mansura on Feb. 1 and Rayville on Feb. 6, said the new herbicide Loyant is effective against grasses and aquatic weeds such as ducksalad, but it will cause injury to young rice on fields that have been recently laser-leveled.
The new Gambit herbicide is good on aquatic weeds, such as alligatorweed, he said.

La. Farm Bureau to hold grain bin safety workshops

Farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rice growers in Southwest Louisiana received a stark reminder of that fact this past September when 45-year-old Wayne Richard of Acadia Parish died after falling into a rice bin.
In the hopes of preventing another death, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation partnered with the Mississippi Farm Bureau to host a series of grain bin safety and rescue workshops Feb. 26-28.

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