The LSU AgCenter is offering many tips for keeping plants and trees alive during this cold snap. The AgCenter’s Shreveport-based horticulture agent Melea Martin said fragile plants should’ve been covered or moved during the last two nights of the hard freeze, but with care.
Dozens of pecan growers across Louisiana met at the LSU AgCenter Pecan Research Station in Shreveport earlier this month to discuss how proposed federal regulations could impact their operations. State pecan specialist Charlie Graham said the Food Safety Modernization Act will bring about more stringent guidelines that will be harder for small farmers to implement and adhere to.
The LSU AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute plans a Jan. 25 opening for a pilot plant designed to produce biofuels and biochemicals from agricultural crops and byproducts.
The centerpiece of the AgCenter's sustainable bioproducts Initiative, the plant focuses on processing sweet sorghum, energy cane and other grassy feedstocks into convertible sugars, fiber and bioproducts for further refining into butanol, gasoline, isoprene and biochemicals, said project director Vadim Kochergin.
LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry says good weather over the next several weeks could do a lot to reduce a preliminary estimate of $100 million in crop damage from Hurricane Isaac.
He says the preliminary figure is less than damage from last year's drought.
Some farmers lost all of some crops. Guidry says about 250 acres of vegetables were reported as a total loss, and losses were high on another 50 acres or so. But 7,000 to 8,000 acres of vegetables were unharmed.