Agriculture

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Brahman cattle feed in Vermilion Parish, one of the largest cattle-producing parishes in Louisiana. Cattle prices are depressed because of the coronavirus. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Cattle producers face price declines amid coronavirus pandemic

Cattle producers are facing significant price declines because of the coronavirus pandemic.
LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry said prices have fallen about 7% in two months for fed cattle, or animals that are ready for slaughter. The average live-fed steer price across the five major feedlot areas in the country was $124 per hundredweight in January 2020. The price fell by $4 in February 2020, and has averaged about $112 this month.

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Rice plants have been damaged by apple snails in a 50-acre field in southwest Louisiana. (Photo by Dustin Harrell/LSU AgCenter)

First instance of apple snails damaging rice crop reported

An invasive species of snails has wiped out a 50-acre field of rice, the first time the pest has been known to do that in Louisiana.
LSU AgCenter entomologist Blake Wilson said damaged rice and apple snails were found throughout the field.
“There was no trace of rice. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was a snail production farm,” Wilson said.

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Crawfish farmers urged not to drain ponds yet despite drop in sales

ABBEVILLE — Crawfish producer Allen McLain’s business has dropped dramatically because of the coronavirus’ impact on the restaurant business.
“We’re struggling. It’s not looking good,” said McLain, of Abbeville.
A big portion of his business is selling his product to area restaurants, but he said that has been sharply reduced.
Crawfish are plentiful and have grown to a large size, but there’s a limited market. He said sales during the week are a fraction of his normal volume.
“The weekends are about average,” he said.

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Rice planting for 2020 is nearing completion in southwest Louisiana. Alan Lawson is drill seeding his rice fields in Acadia Parish on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Rice crop starting well, planting continues

Rice planting is nearing completion in southwest Louisiana, where most of the state’s rice is grown, and it has begun in northeast Louisiana.
LSU AgCenter state rice specialist Dustin Harrell said farmers took advantage of favorable planting conditions beginning around March 10 and planted much of the crop during the past two weeks in southwest Louisiana. Warm weather has helped the crop emerge quickly.
“Last week we already had some rice at 3 inches and two leaves,” Harrell said. “It’s moving along much differently than last year. It’s growing much faster.”

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A total of 44 graduates of the Louisiana Master Cattleman Program graduated during the Acadiana beef cattle producers field day at the LSU AgCenter Iberia Research Station on March 7, 2020. Shown here are, back row, Michael Marino, Lawrence Thompson, Jody Stelly, Geno Delafose, Joshua Renard, Yvette Delafose, Robert Duhon, Jarrod Neal, Anthony Sagrera. Second row, AgCenter agent Andrew Granger, Colby Gothreaux, Shannon Neveaux, Richard Gothreaux, Carroll Boudreaux, Rane Sills, Keysa Delino, Emily Miller, Ted Miller, Coy Fitch, Ronald Roy, Monique Ledet, Dwayne Martin, Melanie Martin, Lisa Patout, Kristi Broussard, Lisa Neal, Lisa Robillard, Michael Neal, Brett Robillard, AgCenter agent Stan Dutile. Kneeling, Shanon Gaspard, Rene Prejean, Vernon Trahan, Thomas Menard, John Franques, Peter Menard, Allen Blanchard. Not shown are Brady Bourgeois, Allen Bourgeois, David Billings, Kirk Bernard, Sally Neal, Travis Thibeaux, Shann Comeaux, Lee Krouse and Amanda Vanya. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

44 graduate from Louisiana Master Cattleman course

The LSU AgCenter recognized 44 graduates from the Louisiana Master Cattleman program during a field day on March 7.
The Louisiana Master Cattleman Program is a commodity-specific program designed to help beef producers become more profitable and environmentally sustainable.
The program, which covers all aspects of beef production, began in 2004.
Graduates from Lafayette Parish included Kirk Bernard, Shann Comeaux, Dwayne Martin, Melanie Martin, Rene Prejean and Travis Thibeaux.

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