Agriculture

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 on Jan. 9 of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association. 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 by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

La. rice industry gives $1M for research

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 on Jan. 9 at the annual joint meeting of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association.
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.

Louisiana cotton crop is harvested with mixed reactions

Louisiana’s 2018 cotton crop is being harvested with mixed reactions.
“A lot of people were happy; a lot of people were sad,” said LSU AgCenter cotton specialist Dan Fromme.
Northwest Louisiana was hit with drought during the growing season, while the northeast corner had good rainfall. Central Louisiana had areas of drought and adequate rainfall, so yields varied there. About half of Louisiana’s cotton crop is irrigated, he said, so those fields are not as dependent on rainfall.
This year’s Louisiana acreage totaled 189,000, compared to 212,000 acres in 2017.

Cane harvest in St. Mary Parish.

Frequent rain is hampering sugar cane harvest

Consistently rainy weather during recent weeks and months has hampered sugar cane farmers from harvesting this year’s crop and planting for next year.
Sugar cane harvest season started around the beginning of October.
Louisiana sugar cane farmers began seeing wet weather a couple of months ago after a mostly dry summer.
“Beginning in August, the rains turned on,” said Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League. “And they’ve been hitting us pretty consistently since, for the last month and a half or so.”

Despite the rain, work in this sugar cane field near Garden City continues Thursday morning. (The Daily Review/Bill Decker)

Frequent rain tough on sugar cane farmers

Consistently rainy weather during recent weeks and months has hampered sugar cane farmers from harvesting this year’s crop and planting for next year.

Sugar cane harvest season started around the beginning of October.

Louisiana sugar cane farmers began seeing wet weather a couple of months ago after a mostly dry summer.

“Beginning in August, the rains turned on,” said Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League. “And they’ve been hitting us pretty consistently since, for the last month and a half or so.”

Thanos Gentimis, an assistant professor in the LSU AgCenter Department of Experimental Statistics, recently “taught” a computer program to analyze this aerial photograph of a rice field and automatically distinguish the different plots. Now he is using data to formulate an algorithm directing the computer to rate the plots for vigor, a measure of plant growth. (Photo provided by Thanos Gentimis)

‘Big data’ presents new opportunities, challenges in agriculture

Every summer, scientists at agriculture research stations spend hours with clipboards in hand walking down row after row of plants, going about a tedious chore known as rating plots.
Often, the process involves assigning a numeric value to each small-scale plot where the scientist is growing crops for research. Those ratings are subjective, but they offer insight into how well a variety performs, whether an insecticide treatment is effective or if an extra application of fertilizer resulted in a better yield.

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