farming

Some grapes like it hot.

LSU AgCenter faculty will offer information ranging from beef cattle management to pruning timber at the Hill Farm Field Day set Oct. 9.

Activities begin with registration at 9 a.m., said LSU AgCenter forestry professor Michael Blazier.

Topics to be discussed by LSU AgCenter research and extension faculty during the general station field tour include forage management, beef cattle research, the poultry demonstration house project and planting and thinning strategies for loblolly pine, Blazier said.

For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.

"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.

The LSU AgCenter says Tropical Storm Isaac could wreck what was looking like an excellent year for Louisiana agriculture.

AgCenter cotton and feed grain specialist John Kruse says cotton is at the same stage it was when Hurricane Gustav destroyed the 2008 crop.

And he says about two-thirds of a record 560,000-acre corn crop was still in the field Monday because the low Mississippi River has slowed shipping.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 11 north Louisiana parishes as disaster areas because of drought.

He says he was notified Wednesday that four — Morehouse, Richland, Union and West Carroll — are primary natural disaster areas. The other seven — Caldwell, Claiborne, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Madison and Ouachita — were named because they're are adjacent to the primary disaster area.

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.

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