Trump Administration Appoints Roy Holleman to Serve as State Director for USDA Rural Development in Louisiana

ALEXANDRIA - The Trump Administration recently appointed Roy Holleman as the new State Director for USDA Rural Development in Louisiana. Holleman started his new role on Monday, October 28th. Holleman began his career in the banking industry then became a successful business owner. During his business career Holleman was an avid volunteer in his community which lead to his first non-profit role as President and CEO of a local economic development organization.

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Louisiana Sugarcane Harvest Stays on Track

Wet field conditions have not slowed the Louisiana sugarcane harvest, according to the latest Louisiana Crop Progress and Condition Report released Monday. The report shows sugarcane harvest now 38 percent complete, right at the 37 percent five-year average pace. Fifty-nine percent of the cane crop is rated good to excellent, with 37 percent rated fair, and 4 percent rated poor.


LaSalle Lumber Open, Adds Second Shift

By Jeff Zeringue, Louisiana Forestry Association

URANIA — What’s better than promising 115 new jobs in rural Louisiana? Delivering more. That’s what is happening at the LaSalle Lumber Co., a joint venture of Hunt Forest Products and Canada-based Tolko Industries Ltd. At the sawmill’s grand opening in May, log trucks poured in one after another as Louisiana pine was unloaded to be made into plank lumber for construction. 


Developing Tea as a New Louisiana Specialty Crop

By Jeff Beasley, Yan Chen, Jeff Kuehny, Kathryn Fontenot, Kayla Sanders, Jason Stagg and Mary Sexton, LSU AgCenter

It’s that time of year again when we seek relief from the hot, humid weather by drinking a cold glass of tea. Although tea is a common beverage, second to only water in consumption for Americans, the majority of leaves used to brew this summertime concoction are still mainly imported from Asia. Countries such as China, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have long histories on how best to produce and process tea.


Farmers Hear About Changes in New Farm Bill

By Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter

CROWLEY — The LSU AgCenter hosted the last of seven of meetings across the state to explain details of the 2018 farm bill on Oct. 31. One of the biggest changes in the new farm bill is the flexibility it gives farmers to choose between price protection plans, said AgCenter economist Mike Deliberto. Previously, producers were locked into a decision for five years, but under the new farm bill, they can change after two years. 

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LSU AgCenter Scientists Press Forward With Roseau Cane Research

By Johnny Morgan, LSU AgCenter

Roseau cane continues to die-off at the mouth of the Mississippi River with no known cause. But LSU AgCenter scientists are studying multiple possibilities. AgCenter entomologist Rodrigo Diaz is leading a group of federal and state researchers who are looking at the possible cause of the die-offs. “We’re looking at a number of possible causes, but we can’t be sure until we put the pieces together,” he said.


Louisiana Farm to School Program Receives National Award

By Olivia McClure, LSU AgCenter

The LSU AgCenter Louisiana Farm to School Program has received the Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Award for the second year in a row. The award was presented during the 2019 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit, held Oct. 7 to 9 in Rosemont, Illinois. The Louisiana Farm to School Program helps connect child nutrition services with local farmers who can provide fresh fruits and vegetables.


AgMagic Coming to Alexandria November 20-21

By Johnny Morgan, LSU AgCenter

ALEXANDRIA — The second annual AgMagic Cenla will be held Nov. 20-21 at the State Evacuation Shelter in Alexandria. AgMagic Cenla is a signature ag awareness event that promotes agriculture in Central Louisiana, said Tara Smith, AgCenter Central Region director. “This program is the ultimate student experience in making valuable connections to agriculture and the environment in a way that is relevant in our daily lives,” she said.


Grand Champion Steer Sells for $10,600 at ALTAC Jr. Livestock Sale

SHREVEPORT - The best of the best were auctioned off to the highest bidders Wednesday at the ArkLaTex Agricultural Council's 83rd Annual Jr. Livestock Sale at the State Fair of Louisiana. It kicked off about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the fairgrounds Sale Arena. The auction is the culmination of months of hard work by thousands of students across the state who are involved in 4-H and FFA.


Louisiana Citrus Growers Keep Going Despite Weather, Market Setbacks

Johnny Morgan, LSU AgCenter

Louisiana citrus is coming in, and the crop is good, according to two Plaquemines Parish producers. Joseph Ranatza Jr., owner of Star Nursery in Plaquemines Parish, said he started picking on Oct. 7, and it looks like he’s going to have a good crop this year. “My season is going very well this year versus last year,” he said. “Last year, the grocery stores bought a lot of foreign fruit, and that really hurt us.”


Yellow Rails and Rice Festival Continues Through Sunday

By Doris Maricle, The American Press

JENNINGS — Birdwatchers from all over the United States and the Netherlands are in Jeff Davis Parish and surrounding areas this week hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive yellow rail during the 11th annual Yellow Rails and Rice Festival. The festival began Wednesday and continues through Sunday with birdwatching field trips, rice tours and more.


Beauregard Parish Man Arrested for Theft of Farm Raised Deer

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Livestock Brand Commission arrested 21year old Davin Chaney of 639 Bearling St., Merryville La., for allegedly shooting and stealing a farm raised deer in Beauregard Parish.  On October 29, 2019, LDAF brand inspectors determined Chaney, shot and removed the deer from the owner’s property on October 21. 


Fluker Farms Bets the Black Soldier Fly Holds the Key to Food Sustainability

By Maggie Heyn Richardson, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Years ago, people called them privy flies—those harmless, wasp-looking indigenous bugs that like to hang around livestock manure and outdoor toilets. Today, the black soldier fly is emerging as a major player in addressing two big environmental concerns. The fly’s larvae have the potential to reduce massive amounts of organic waste, after which the larvae are easily converted to a protein-rich food source for animals, fish and maybe even humans.


Early Sugar Cane Yields are Mixed but Farmers are Hopeful for a Better Finish

By Eric Zernich, KATC-TV 3, Lafayette

With Halloween this week and the holidays fast approaching most farmers are finishing their work in the fields, but sugarcane farmers are just getting started. Most sugarcane farmers have cleared about a quarter to a third of their fields and early results are mixed. Eddie Lewis in Youngsville has received the right amount of rain and sunshine.