THE POST-SIGNAL / Steve Bandy
Area rice and soybean producers listen as Dr. Dustin Harrell discusses rice fertility and production practices during Thursday morning’s Producers Meeting at the LSU AgCenter.
Area rice, soybean producers gather here
crowley - Rice and soybean producers from Acadia and the surrounding area gathered Thursday morning for the first in a series of meetings hosted by the LSU AgCenter to help farmers prepare for the 2018 crop.
During the approximately four-hour session, farmers were able to get advice for key decisions made early in the year, including variety selection and field preparation.
With County Agent Jeremy Hebert as master of ceremonies, the program began with the annual meeting of the Acadia Rice Growers Association.
President Alan Lawson read the nominations for board members from the various areas and presented the treasurer’s report.
Lawson also reminded farmers that ballots for the Louisiana Rice Council elections have been mailed out and urged everyone to complete and return their ballots as soon as possible.
Dr. Michael Deliberto, AgCenter economist, briefed attendees on the worldwide market projections for rice and soybeans, noting that, while rice acreage was down in 2017 as compared to 2016, soybean acreage is “way up,” with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated more than 90 million acres in production in the coming year.
Deliberto said the 2018 prices for rice will depend a lot on what farmers in Arkansas, the top rice producing state in the country, decides to do.
“And that will depend on the price of soybeans,” he added.
Addressing the Farm Bill, all Deliberto said was, “The only thing we can say with certainty about the next Farm Bill is that there will be a lot of uncertainty associated with it.”
Dr. Dustin Harrell, state rice extension specialist and H. Rouse Caffey Rice Experiment Station Research Coordinator, talked about rice fertility and production practices and noted that, while Arkansas may be top rice-producing state, Acadia Parish leads the state in rice production.
In 2017, Louisiana had 391,071 acres of rice in production. Of that, Acadia has 80,324 acres. Jeff Davis was next with 76,377 acres, followed by Vermilion (45,380), Evangeline (41,829) and Morehouse (20,624).
Other sessions during the morning included:
• Rice weed control update by Dr. Eric Webster, rice weed specialist and assistant regional director;
• Rice disease control update by Dr. Don Groth, rice pathologist and H. Rouse Caffey Rice Experiment Station Resident Coordinator;
• Rice insect control by Dr. Blake Wilson, rice entomologist;
• Soybean production practices by Dr. Todd Spivey, state soybean extension specialist; and
• Soybean insect update by Dr. Jeff Davis, entomologist.
Following lunch, private pesticide recertification was offered.