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.
David Constant has been named head of the department of biological and agricultural engineering, a joint position shared between the LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Engineering.
Constant, most recently dean of the LSU Graduate School, has been on the LSU faculty since 1984. He holds the Humphreys T. Turner Professorship in the department of civil and environmental engineering and has served as associate dean and then interim dean in the College of Engineering.
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.