Agriculture

A farmer harvests sugarcane in the snow near Lecompte on Dec. 8. Despite a wet growing season and an early December snowstorm, Louisiana is expecting to set a record in terms of sugar per acre this year. Because of the large crop, some mills are extending their grinding season as late as Jan. 20. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

Louisiana sugarcane crop poised to break record

It looks as if Louisiana’s sugarcane grinding season is going to be an extended one. But there is a good reason for the late finish—an exceptional sugarcane crop.
Most years, the majority of mills complete grinding by the end of December. While some may be finished by then this year, others are scheduled to continue grinding until as late as Jan. 20.
“That’s very late,” said Kenneth Gravois, LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist. “That makes a lot of people nervous going that late, but we’ve had a good crop. We’re sitting on a record crop here in Louisiana.”

Attendees at the Farm to School conference on Oct. 24 at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge talk with representatives of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. (Photo by Rick Bogren/LSU AgCenter)

Grant supports Farm to School Program

The Louisiana Department of Education Division of Nutrition Support, in collaboration with LSU AgCenter, has announced a multiyear effort toward a statewide Farm to School Program.
Designed to increase the amount of locally produced foods served in schools, the three-year agreement provides $900,000 to support the program.

Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, at left, answers a question at the Richard and Neal Fontenot Farm in Evangeline Parish. At right is Gov. John Bel Edwards. Strain and Edwards made six stops across the state Nov. 14-17.

Farmers voice concerns about infrastructure, labor

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain wrapped up an agriculture and forestry listening tour at Richard and Neal Fontenot’s R&N Farms in the Evangeline Parish community of Vidrine on Nov. 17.
Farmers expressed their concerns about infrastructure needs, red tape involved with obtaining foreign labor, sales taxes on farm supplies and equipment, high electricity rates and funding for LSU AgCenter research facilities.

National Association of Farm Broadcasting President Max Armstrong (L) presents Louisiana farm broadcaster Don Molino (R) with a 30-year certificate for three decades of service to the farm broadcasting industry. Photo by Carey Martin

Louisiana farm broadcaster recognized for 30 years of service

The National Association of Farm Broadcasting recognized long-time Louisiana farm radio broadcaster Don Molino Friday for 30 years of service to the farm broadcasting industry.
Molino is the senior farm broadcaster for The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network based in Baton Rouge. His broadcasts are heard each weekday on over 20 radio stations across the state of Louisiana.
He also celebrated another milestone earlier this year, when the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters presented Molino with the LAB Lifetime Achievement Award.

Don Groth, right, is the new resident coordinator of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, and Dustin Harrell is the new research coordinator. Both will continue their research and extension work with Groth working in plant pathology and Harrell maintaining his agronomy projects. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

LSU AgCenter names new rice research administrators

The LSU AgCenter has named Don Groth as the new resident coordinator of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station.
Kurt Guidry, director of the LSU AgCenter Southwest Region, made the announcement Oct. 3) at a meeting of the Louisiana Rice Research Board.
Guidry also announced that Dustin Harrell is the station’s research coordinator, a position Groth previously held.
“We’re excited about having both of these outstanding scientists in their new roles,” Guidry told the board.

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