Insects, diseases are up this year, wheat acreage is down in Louisiana

In Delta Farm Press

by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter

Wheat acreage in Louisiana is at an all-time low of 58,000 to 60,000 acres, LSU AgCenter experts said at the April 20th wheat and oat field day at AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station.

Low prices, scab disease in 2015 and wet weather at planting are the reasons, said Boyd Padgett, AgCenter wheat specialist. In particular, scab disease “left a bad taste in growers’ mouths.” Continue reading

LSU AgCenter releases guide listing sugarcane aphid-resistant hybrids

In Delta Farm Press

by Olivia McClure, LSU AgCenter

The 14 hybrids listed in the guide have been tested in AgCenter trials around Louisiana and showed some resistance to the aphids, said AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown. It also shows a yield comparison between hybrids that were sprayed for aphids and those that were not sprayed. Download the guide Sorghum Hybrids. Continue reading

Nanoparticles may reduce insecticide use

In Delta Farm Press

The soybean looper is a destructive pest on soybeans capable of defoliating fields if left unchecked. It can be difficult to control because of its resistance to many insecticides. LSU AgCenter scientists are looking at a novel way to increase the efficacy of pesticides to better control insects such as the soybean looper using nanotechnology.

Cristina Sabliov, biological engineer, and entomologist Jeff Davis are testing the use of nanoparticles  — particles 1,000 times smaller in width than a human hair — in insecticides to see if the particles help the chemical better adhere to the leaf tissue and provide better defense against pests. They want to see if the use of nanoparticles loaded with pesticides means farmers can use less chemicals on their crops while making the chemicals more effective.

Continue reading

Emerald ash borer in north Louisiana

in Delta Farm Press

Efforts are underway in north Louisiana to slow the spread of an invasive species that threatens to destroy native ash trees. The trees play an important part in bottomland ecosystems and also have an economic value to the timber industry.

Continue reading

Redbanded stink bug is major soybean pest in Louisiana

In Delta Farm Press

LSU AgCenter researchers are looking at different aspects of the redbanded stink bug. Changes in the state’s climate seem to be causing changes in the population of this insect in Louisiana, LSU entomologist Jeff Davis said.

“Redbanded stink bug is still our major stink bug pest and has been for the past 15 years,” Davis said. “But last year throughout the state there were very low populations.”

Continue reading

LSU AgCenter escapes major cuts

In Delta Farm Press

Bill Richardson is no stranger to bruising budget battles. He’s seen plenty of them in the years he’s served first as chancellor of the LSU AgCenter and now as LSU’s vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture.

But none have been more bruising and cantankerous than the one that ended with a 59-43 House vote to approve the SAVE offset on June 11. The vote averted a veto of the state budget by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican with presidential ambitions.

Continue reading

LSU AgCenter may be facing cuts

In Delta Farm Press

If you spend any time in northeast Louisiana, you realize the soils of the Macon Ridge, an area that runs north and south to the west of the Mississippi River, are different from the alluvial soils of the Delta.

Recognizing that difference, farmers asked the Louisiana Legislature to create a research station on 815 acres near Winnsboro more than 60 years ago. It’s one of 17 research stations, operated by the LSU AgCenter, that were established to provide research on specific crops or regions.

Continue reading

How to manage nematodes in cotton and soybeans

In Delta Farm Press

By Charles Overstreet, LSU AgCenter

Louisiana has historically experienced losses due to plant-parasitic nematodes in cotton and soybean every year. Some years these losses can be severe and other years fairly minor. The greatest losses occur in years when additional stresses occur during the growing season with drought a primary contributor.

The two major nematodes of both cotton and soybean are the Southern root-knot and reniform nematodes.

Continue reading

Follow 7 principles for a sustainable landscape

One of the LSU AgCenter’s many educational efforts is the Louisiana Yards and Neighborhoods program for gardening and landscape enthusiasts. LYN – through its literature and demonstrations – tells how to maintain sustainable landscapes and follow best management practices in home horticulture.

LYN centers on seven landscape principles: putting the right plant in the right place; watering efficiently; maximizing mulch and recycling yard waste; fertilizing efficiently; managing yard pests; protecting surface water and wetlands; and providing beneficial wildlife habitats.

Continue reading

New pest attacking crape myrtles in the South

by Kathie Rowell, special to the Times

Crape myrtles paint the South in candy colors every summer.

Unfortunately, the trees that brighten our hottest months are under attack by a foreign invader — crape myrtle bark scale.

Continue reading