LSU AgCenter

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Luna moth caterpillar found on a pecan tree. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

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Monarch butterfly caterpillar on host plant milkweed. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

It’s time for caterpillars, butterflies, moths

If you’ve spent any time outside or in the garden here lately, you are sure to have noticed a frenzy of insect activity. Insects, including bees, butterflies, caterpillars and moths, are in full force this fall.
Fall is especially busy for caterpillars. According to LSU AgCenter entomologist Nathan Lord, insects, especially lepidopterans such as butterflies and moths, have two main periods of activity in Louisiana. Early spring in March and April and again in fall during October through December.

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This selfie was taken moments before the Conner family, of Cameron Parish, evacuated their house in the face of approaching Hurricane Laura on Aug. 26, 2020. Pictured from left are Harleigh Trahan, Maeleigh Conner, Angelia Conner and Blaine Conner, Maeleigh’s parents. (Photo by Maeleigh Conner)

4-H families help one another with Hurricane Laura recovery

Louisiana 4-H members and LSU AgCenter agents have been offering hope, help and supplies to communities recovering from Hurricane Laura’s statewide trail of devastation.
Former Cameron Parish 4-H’er Maeleigh Conner has seen it all. When she was 5, Hurricane Rita destroyed everything her family owned. Now, Hurricane Laura has torn out shingles, siding and vents, causing significant water and structural damage to their home on Big Lake.
“It was scary,” Conner said. “We prepared ourselves to come back to nothing at all.”

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Row rice featured at virtual field day

Presentations for the virtual northeast Louisiana row rice field day were released July 27, providing farmers with the latest information from LSU AgCenter researchers. The complete event is available online at
Melissa Cater, director of the AgCenter Northeast Region, credited AgCenter agents Keith Collins and Bruce Garner for their work on the virtual field day. The video presentations can be viewed at any time for future reference.

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Improper watering and calcium deficiency can be the cause of blossom end rot in tomatoes. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

It’s time to talk tomatoes

I’ve been getting a great deal of questions about tomatoes lately. ‘Tis the season. Most folks who planted vegetable gardens in this spring are now reaping the fruits of their work.
And with this season of harvest comes the challenges of the weather of the season, which is favorable for many of the diseases that affect tomatoes. But not every problem is caused by disease. Some can be because of fertility issues, lack of pollination, inadvertent herbicide damage and pests.
Let’s look at some of these issues and how to deal with them.

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Crop consultant Blake Buller, left, and LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell look at rice plants damaged by hail during a storm on May 26. (Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter)

Hail damages portion of rice crop

Rice plants are recovering from a hailstorm last week, but yield losses are expected in some fields.
The storm hit on the night of May 26. The National Weather Service indicated hail up to 2 inches in diameter fell on a 200-square-mile area of southwest Louisiana, mostly north of Welsh and Jennings. Hail also was reported in northern Acadia Parish.
“It’s really unfortunate we have such extensive hail damage in the region,” said LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell. “The rice crop prior to the hail looked excellent.”


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