Lake Providence farmer Robbie Howard, center, was presented the Outstanding Master Farmer Award on Jan. 10, 2019. He is pictured with, from left, LSU Vice President for Agriculture Bill Richardson; John Pitre, of the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Eric Bergeron, of Gowan; Stephen Austin, of the Louisiana Land Bank; Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain; and David Daigle, president of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts. (Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter)

Louisiana Master Farmer Program recently graduates 13, honors outstanding participant

Thirteen farmers who completed an LSU AgCenter environmental stewardship training program were recognized at a ceremony Jan. 10.
Members of the 2018 class of Louisiana Master Farmers received certificates during the annual Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts meeting at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Baton Rouge.
To qualify, they had to attend educational sessions about research-based conservation strategies and write plans for implementing such practices on their farms.

LSU AgCenter/Bruce Schultz
A harvester cuts the last row of sugar cane in a field near St. Martinville on Friday, the final day of a long, difficult harvest.

Long, difficult sugar cane season finally grinds to halt

ST. MARTINVILLE — The 2018 Louisiana sugar cane harvest resulted in record yield in terms of tonnage but a reduced sugar recovery from last year.
“When it’s all said and done, we should make the same amount of sugar, which was a record last year,” said LSU AgCenter sugar cane specialist Kenneth Gravois.
The grinding season usually ends in early January, but mills went as much as two weeks later. The last two mills to finish were LASUCA in St. Martinville and the St. Mary Sugar Coop in Jeanerette. Both expected to complete grinding Jan. 19.

Emily Vidalier of F.I.-E.B. Elementary 4-H showed the Champion and Champion Vermilion Bred Breeding Ewe at the 45th Annual Vermilion 4-H Livestock Show, held January 11-12th in Abbeville. Emily also placed first in her showmanship division and was awarded a belt buckle for her work. Pictured with Emily and her awards is her Mom, Shannon Vidalier.

Vermilion Parish 4-H Junior Livestock Show & Sale totals more than $173,000

The 45th Annual Vermilion Parish 4-H Livestock Show and Sale was a great success.
It involved 157 young people who exhibited over 240 head of livestock (beef, sheep, goats, dairy, and swine) and 110 poultry entries. This event is organized by the LSU AgCenter Extension Service and was held January 11-12, at the Cecil McCrory Exhibit Building in Abbeville. A large crowd was on hand to witness the skills of these 4-H’ers and to view the extensive exhibition of the highest quality stock in Vermilion Parish.

The Louisiana Rice Research Board presents a $1 million check to fund an academic chair for rice research in the LSU AgCenter. The presentation was made at the joint meeting of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association held recently in Jennings. Shown left to right are Dane Hebert, LRRB vice chairman; Brian Wild, former LRRB member; Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and LRRB ex officio member; Donald Berken, former LRRB member; Damian Bollich, LRRB member; Ronald Sonnier, former LRRB member; Mike Fruge, former LRRB member; Alan Lawson, LRRB member; Jeffrey Sylvester, LRRB member; Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture; Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter associate vice president; Fred Zaunbrecher, former LRRB member; Jackie Loewer, former LRRB chairman; Clarence Berken, former LRRB vice chairman; John Denison, former LRRB chairman; Richard Fontenot, LRRB chairman; John Denison Jr., LRRB secretary-treasurer; Steve Linscombe, former director of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. (Photo courtesy Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

La. rice industry gives $1million to fund LSU AgCenter research chair

The Louisiana Rice Research Board has given $1 million to fund an academic chair dedicated for rice research in the LSU AgCenter.
The presentation was made at the annual joint meeting of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association in Jennings.
The board has pledged to provide an additional $500,000 later this year for the Louisiana Rice Research Board Chair for Excellence in Rice Research with the hope of more allocations in the next few years to growing the chair over time.

Attendees at the LSU AgCenter rice clinic in Crowley visit between presentations on Jan. 3. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

Farmers listen to presenters in Ville Platte at the rice clinic held by the LSU AgCenter on Jan. 9. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

LSU AgCenter holds rice clinics

In a series of meetings in southwest Louisiana, LSU AgCenter experts offered farmers advice for growing their 2019 crop.
Farmers met in Welsh, Abbeville, Ville Platte and Crowley and attended sessions held Jan. 3-10, only a few weeks from the start of planting season.
AgCenter rice breeder Adam Famoso said a new line of Provisia rice, PVL108, in development has outyielded the current Provisia offering, PVL01, and with low chalk. The grain size of PVL108 is shorter, but it has better second-crop yield potential of about 20 percent, he said.


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