LSU AgCenter News for Summer 2021

Teens learn life skills in 4-H workshop

Woman teaching two girls to cook.

Chef Tasheena Butler from the Delgado Community College culinary department, center, helps students prepare their lunch during the Orleans Parish 4-H Healthy Living Workshop. Photo by Johnny Morgan

A group of 10 teenagers from across New Orleans spent all day June 2, 2021, learning life skills at the Orleans Parish 4-H Healthy Living Workshop. LSU AgCenter 4-H youth development agent Alisah Okoro, who conducted the workshop, said the 13-to-18 age group is sometimes overlooked, and she wanted to do something about that. The workshop focused on meal and snack planning, reading and following a recipe, identifying cooking terms and equipment, and the importance of incorporating physical activity into their daily routine. The workshop was funded by a grant from the Walmart Foundation. Read “Preparing students for life is goal of New Orleans workshop”

Conservation, water quality topics at field day

Four men holding 2 enlarged checks.

Tensas Parish farmer Mead Hardwick (third from left) was presented the Outstanding Master Farmer Award for 2020 at the Cotton and Grain Field Day. Left to right: Mike Salassi, LSU AgCenter associate vice president; Stephen Austin, president of Louisiana Land Bank; Harwick; and Eric Bergeron, Gowan Company representative. Photo by Rexanna Powers

Researchers discussed sustainability, farmland conservation and better water quality at the Cotton and Grain Field Day held at Somerset Plantation in Tensas Parish on June 24, 2021. Attendees took part in learning opportunities and hands-on demonstrations that highlighted the benefits of the best management practices that LSU AgCenter researchers are studying as part of a $1.4 million grant from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. Producers attended the event to learn about improving ecosystem services and reducing chemical fertilizer losses — practices that researchers ensure are environmentally and financially sustainable. The Hardwick Planting Company’s Somerset Plantation is one of two model farms of the Taylor Project and houses the cotton and grain portion. Read “Field day highlights grant-funded conservation research”

AgCenter, USDA and LDAF reps meet for rolling crops field day

The LSU AgCenter Central Region held an Interagency Rolling Crops Field Day on July 20, 2021, with stops at farms that produce pecans, sugarcane, beef cattle, soybeans and crawfish. Mark Carriere, extension agent in Pointe Coupee Parish, led the group, which also included representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Among the stops were the following:

At Gus May’s farm in Ventress, AgCenter agent Michael Polozola discussed diseases and recommendations for growing pecans. AgCenter animal scientist Glen Gentry discussed feral hog eradication efforts using sodium nitrite. He was joined by LDAF feral hog control specialist Gene Cavalier, who discussed different trapping systems.

At the Joe Beaud III farm in Morganza, AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois discussed the sugarcane crops and challenges that hemp growers face.

At Matt Frey’s beef cattle farm in Morganza, AgCenter regional beef specialist Ashley Edwards and Guillermo Scaglia, LSU AgCenter ruminant nutrition and forage systems specialist, discussed beef research. Edwards also discussed the new Beginning Farmers program, which is a complement to the established Master Farmer program. Read “Rolling field day brings ag agencies together”

Two new sugarcane varieties introduced at field day

Woman speaking into mike in front of wagonload of people.

Brenda Tubaña, researcher in the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences, discusses nitrogen fertilization Sugar Research Station Field Day. Photo by Olivia McClure

Two newly released sugarcane varieties took center stage at the LSU AgCenter Sugar Research Station’s first live field day since 2019 after the coronavirus pandemic forced a virtual version last year.

Attendees of the July 21 event included some from as far away as Seattle and the nation of Colombia as well as new LSU President William F. Tate IV. They braved hot weather and muddy conditions to hear about fertilization techniques, pest control, cover crops and the two new varieties. L14-267 is the latest AgCenter release, while HoCP 14-885 is a U.S. Department of Agriculture variety. AgCenter sugarcane breeder Collins Kimbeng said both have shown promise in field trials.

“Plant breeding is like finding a needle in a haystack,” Kimbeng said. “It takes about 12 years to get enough information to release a new variety, starting with 100,000 seedlings and going through numerous stages. By the time we release a new variety, we have good information about how it will perform.” Read “In-person field day returns with new varieties”

8/26/2021 4:35:32 PM
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