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Don Groth, left, and Dustin Harrell examine rice in a field at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. Groth is retiring as the station’s resident coordinator, and Harrell will assume that role. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Harrell named resident coordinator of LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station

Dustin Harrell will become the next resident coordinator of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station on Feb. 1, replacing Don Groth, who is retiring at the end of January.
Mike Salassi, AgCenter program leader for plant and animal sciences, made the announcement at the Louisiana Rice Research Board meeting on Nov. 5.

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Luna moth caterpillar found on a pecan tree. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

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Monarch butterfly caterpillar on host plant milkweed. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

It’s time for caterpillars, butterflies, moths

If you’ve spent any time outside or in the garden here lately, you are sure to have noticed a frenzy of insect activity. Insects, including bees, butterflies, caterpillars and moths, are in full force this fall.
Fall is especially busy for caterpillars. According to LSU AgCenter entomologist Nathan Lord, insects, especially lepidopterans such as butterflies and moths, have two main periods of activity in Louisiana. Early spring in March and April and again in fall during October through December.

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Nick Villaume, president of Boombox Frozen Pops and Ice Cream, moves popsicles to a storage bin at the creamery in the Dairy Science building on the LSU campus on Sept. 18, 2020. Villaume is temporarily working in the creamery after Hurricane Laura damaged his production facility in Lake Charles. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter

Displaced after Hurricane Laura, Lake Charles business finds temporary home at LSU AgCenter

Soon after Nick Villaume opened a store selling popsicles in Lake Charles a few years ago, he decided he wanted to add ice cream to his offerings — but he didn’t know how to make it.
He reached out to Chuck Boeneke, an LSU AgCenter dairy science professor and manager of the Dairy Store, who agreed to give Villaume lessons. With the expanded menu, Villaume’s Boombox Popsicles and Ice Cream proved a hit with local customers.

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Beekeepers experience minor losses from Hurricane Laura

Although Hurricane Laura damage estimates continue to mount, some beekeepers in southwest Louisiana are feeling lucky.
Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter agent in Beauregard Parish, provides a mixed report of how the storm affected the hives in his area.
“Many of us in Louisiana will remember August 27, 2020, as a day of infamy because Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane,” he said. “We experienced the power outage at approximately 1 a.m., and then the eye of Laura at about 5 a.m.”


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