Agriculture

Grinding time — An 18-wheeler load of sugar cane dumps its cargo at the LaSuCa mill at St. John earlier this week. Grinding got off to a smooth start and the mill is expected to complete harvest of the 2017 crop in early January. Motorists are cautioned to be wary of the big trucks and cane carts making their way to the mill located on La. 347/Resweber Hwy between St. Martinville and Parks.(Karl Jeter)

Sugar harvest off to a favorable start

The 2017 harvest of the parish’s sugar cane crop appears to be off to a good start, says County Agent Stuart Gauthier.
The LaSuCa mill at St. John cranked up last Wednesday, Sept. 20, for a season that is expected to stretch well into December.
“The current weather is very similar to what we were seeing at the beginning of last year’s harvest,” Gauthier said Tuesday. “But the crop is a bit different,” he added. “Last year we saw tonnage a bit on the low side but the sugar content was high. So far this year we’ve got decent tonnage but the sugar is not quite as high.”

Chefs from New Orleans and Baton Rouge examine a tray of brown rice at the milling lab of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. The chefs attended the station’s annual field day as part of a tour arranged by Jazzmen Rice of New Orleans. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

An aerial photo taken with a drone shows LSU AgCenter rice breeders Steve Linscombe and Adam Famoso during the field day at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station on June 28. Photo by Brady Williams/LSU AgCenter

Farmers at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Field Day watch a demonstration of a drone being used to pollinate an enclosed plot of hybrid rice. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

New rice lines featured at AgCenter field day

More than 400 people attended the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station field day on June 28 to hear about the latest work being done to help rice farmers.
During the field tour, Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter rice breeder and station director, said the new Provisia rice technology has taken five years to develop, with one line ready for release as a variety and three new lines in the works.

LSU AgCenter rice breeder Steve Linscombe talks at the Vermilion rice field day on June 25 about new varieties and hybrids under development. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Louisiana rice acreage down 8%

This year’s Louisiana rice planting, estimated at 400,000 acres, is 8 percent less than last year, according to LSU AgCenter rice extension specialist Dustin Harrell.
AgCenter estimates for the 2016 crop were 432,168 acres.
Harrell told farmers at a rice field day in Vermilion Parish on June 25 that the 2017 crop got an early start because of warm weather.
Some rice was planted in February, and rice in those fields have already headed. “We’ll probably be two weeks earlier on our harvest,” he said.

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