farming

Livestock exhibits are a popular part of farm country fairs, but they're coming with a warning this year: Don't pet the pigs. And wash your hands well after exhibiting swine.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is relaying word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It says human cases of swine flu rose last week from 29 to 158. Most of the patients were children who probably were infected while raising, displaying or visiting pigs at the fairs.

The CDC says the H3N2v virus may spread more easily to humans than is usual for swine flu viruses.

If you don't love scallops, you probably just haven't had one that's cooked properly. That is, pan fried with some garlic and butter and herbs. They are very tasty.

In Maine, scientists and fishermen are learning how to farm, instead of catching, these tasty sea critters. That could be good for business and the environment.

Out on the water off Stonington, Maine, Marsden Brewer is motoring his lobster boat through the crowded fishing harbor. Today, just about all the boats here are lobster boats. But 30 years ago, he says, it was a different story.

You might imagine a war between lobster trappers to be something like this battle of the lobsters. OK, not really. Still, the price war heating up between the fishing folk in Maine and Canada this summer is bringing everybody down.

SHREVEPORT — A stray hog went unclaimed, so the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office is selling it.

The black-and-white male hog was found July 23, running loose on Sparks Davis Road. The sheriff's office is taking bids from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the sheriff's substation at 4910 North Market. The hog will be there for viewing.

For more information contact Deputy Beaux Nunnery at 318-681-1120.

The Louisiana Farm Bureau Radio Network is merging with the Louisiana Radio Network's agrinews division.

The Advocate reports that the Louisiana Farm Bureau Agrinews Radio Network will have a combined 42 affiliates in Louisiana and Mississippi.

LRN launched the Louisiana Agrinews Network in 1976, offering several daily agriculture reports for the state's farmers and produced in cooperation with the Farm Bureau. In 1998 the Farm Bureau began the Louisiana Farm Bureau Radio Network with 22 affiliates statewide.

The Louisiana mirliton is disappearing. But, there is hope.

In recent years, Lance Hill has become an unexpected mirliton midwife. He has assembled a fleet of farmers, backyard growers, and foragers to search for and propagate disappearing heirloom varieties of this unique vining, chayote squash. They scour farmers markets, garage roofs, storm fences and other places where fruit can still be found. I just viewed video footage of an incredible mirliton orchard in Harvey.

Produce growers in Louisiana have a new organization for marketing, lobbying and providing information about production.

LSU AgCenter gardening specialist Kiki Fontenot says a vegetable growers' group stopped functioning a few years ago. She says the same people usually grow both fruits and vegetables, so the new organization is the Louisiana Fruit and Vegetable Growers.

Officers elected at the first meeting represent growers from each area of the state.

Redbanded stink bugs showing up early in soybeans

Jul 14, 2012

Warm winter weather led to stink bugs showing up earlier than usual this year — bad news for soybean farmers because redbanded stink bugs can destroy entire fields if left unchecked.

The threat comes as high prices and drier weather prompted Louisiana and Mississippi farmers to boost soybean acreage from last year.

Louisiana farmers plant more soybeans, less cotton

Jul 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Louisiana farmers are planting more soybeans than they have in 14 years but may tie a record low for cotton.

Changing weather patterns appeared to be a factor as the wet early spring gave way to a drier pattern. So farmers are planting more soybeans and less rice than originally expected.

The USDA's July crop report says Louisiana farmers are planting 1.14 million acres of soybeans, the highest since 1.2 million acres in 1998 and 70,000 acres more than projected in March.

Sugarcane disease new to Louisiana found

Jul 10, 2012

The LSU AgCenter says a sugarcane fungus new to Louisiana has been identified in two fields. It's called orange rust.

Plant pathologist Jeff Hoy says sugarcane experts had expected the wind-borne fungus earlier since it was first identified in the United States five years ago in Florida.

Researchers and extension agents are checking other fields to see if they are infected.

Orange rust is native to Asia.

Pages