Agriculture

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.

La. pecan crop coming up short

Expectations for an excellent Louisiana 2017 pecan crop have been dashed by unfavorable weather, according to the LSU AgCenter pecan specialist.
“It’s not nearly as good as what we thought it was going to be,” said Charlie Graham, who is based at the LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station.
The projection of 15 million pounds has probably been reduced by 3-4 million pounds as a result of several factors.
Some losses occurred from heavy rains washing away the initial crop, Graham said.

AgMagic to teach about food, fiber at state fair

AgMagic, the premier agricultural exhibit of the LSU AgCenter will open to the public Oct. 26 and run through Nov. 12 at the State Fair of Louisiana in Shreveport.
The annual event will feature Louisiana agriculture and commodities following their evolution from past to present. This year’s theme is “Highlighting Agriculture: An American Tradition.”
“We’re finding that youth, even rural youth who are surrounded by agriculture, have little or no concept of how their food gets from the farm to the table,” said LSU AgCenter 4-H regional coordinator Karen Martin.

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