Louisiana Crawfish Season Starts Slow, but Demand Still High

By Associated Press

CROWLEY — Louisiana leads the nation in crawfish production but cold weather, a shortage of workers to process them and other factors have contributed to a slow start to the 2019 season for the freshwater crustacean. Despite expensive prices for crawfish, the demand is high in the first full week of Lent in heavily Catholic South Louisiana, The Acadiana Advocate reported.


Contracts Have Worked Well for Louisiana Sweet Potato Grower

It was a challenging 2018 harvest for sweet potato growers across the United States. Each region experienced some kind of adverse weather, with North Carolina - the nation's largest producer - enduring the effects of two hurricanes and record rainfall. Other states had an opportunity to step up and contribute volume, however some areas were affected more than others. "The weather was atrocious right across the south," observed Ken Thornhill of Thornhill Farms in Louisiana. 


High-Speed Broadband Access is Essential

By Dr. Carrie Castille, Louisiana State Director, USDA Rural Development

Rural broadband e-Connectivity is the digital superhighway connecting rural America to today’s information-driven global economy.  Just as rural electrification and the deployment of rural telephone networks began to revolutionize the United States in the 1930s, we anticipate a significant transformation for rural America through e-Connectivity. 

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First Load Leaves LaSalle Lumber Co.

The first truckload of lumber from LaSalle Lumber Co.'s state-of-the-art mill in Urania has been shipped, according to a company press release. "We're very happy with how the start-up process has gone to date, said LaSalle Lumber Plant Manager Nick Landi said in the release. "With the first shipment of 21,000 board feet of 2-by-6 pine lumber last Thursday (March 7), we believe we are right on track to achieve full operation by the end of this month and we hope to expand to two full shifts by May."


History Made as Bonnet Carre Spillway Opens

The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Feb. 27 was the first time in history that it had been opened in consecutive years. It is also the third time in four years that it has been opened, and the 13th time it has been operated since construction was completed in 1931. Operation of the structure will relieve pressure on mainline levees, maintain river stages, and regulate the flow downriver from the spillway, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


Tawny Crazy Ants Pushing Fire Ants Out of Sugarcane Fields

By Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tawny crazy ants are pushing fire ants out of some Louisiana sugar cane fields — one of the few places people are happy to see fire ants. Entomologists worry that the new invaders could hurt the crop. "Louisiana sugarcane farmers are some of the only folks in the southern U.S. that welcome fire ants into their property, because they do a great job controlling our No. 1 pest, the sugarcane borer," said Blake Wilson, an LSU AgCenter agronomist.


Slow Start to Crawfish Season Doesn't Dampen Demand for Louisiana's Favorite Freshwater Crustacean

By Dan Boudreaux, The Acadian Advocate

It's the first full week of Lent, and in heavily Catholic South Louisiana, that means big business for the seafood industry. And when it comes to Louisiana seafood, crawfish is king. Unfortunately, a number of factors have contributed to a slow start to the 2019 crawfish season.


Louisiana Sugarcane Podcast: Dr. Al Orgeron

Dr. Al Orgeron is the LSU AgCenter weed expert. He conducts a variety of experiments with herbicides to control weed populations in Louisiana’s sugarcane fields. He reports several times a year to the farming community. The Louisiana Sugarcane News Podcast recorded Al’s January 2019 presentation at the White Castle, Iberville Parish growers meeting. 


Sugar’s Sweet Story – Farmers Share Importance of Sugar with Congress

For Pete DuFresne, a sugarcane farmer from Louisiana, it is important that Congress understand that a vibrant sugar industry means economic opportunities for communities across America. “We’ve grown sugar in Louisiana for more than 250 years. And if we didn’t raise sugar, the only thing we’d grow around here is the unemployment line,” Pete says.