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Research award bestowed on Louisiana plant pathologist

Don Groth, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist, received the 2010 Doyle Chambers Research Award. Groth has helped farmers with his work on rice disease control.

Groth has been an integral part of the rice varietal development team, evaluating breeding lines for multiple diseases. He says one of his biggest challenges has been battling sheath blight, but over the years he has helped develop better resistance and tolerance for the disease and has shown farmers how best to use fungicides to control it.

Groth came to the LSU AgCenter straight out of graduate school, and for nearly three decades he has distinguished himself as a leader in rice pathology research.

“I am honored by this because Doyle Chambers actually hired me,” Groth says. “I remember Doyle fondly, and this really helped me in my career.”


D. Marlin Brandon Rice Research Fellowship

Dr. Marlin Brandon began his career in 1966 as the UC Rice Farm Advisor in Colusa, Glenn and Yolo counties. He later served as UC Rice Extension Agronomist, LSU Professor of Agronomy and Director and Agronomist at the Rice Experiment Station in Biggs, Calif., before passing away in 2000. He was a mentor and teacher of rice production science to colleagues, students and growers everywhere.

In tribute, the California Rice Research Board and the Rice Research Trust established a fellowship in his memory that is awarded at the annual Rice Field Day. Recipients will be known as D. Marlin Brandon Rice Scholars.

In 2010, a fellowship of $2,500 was awarded to Mark Lundy. A total of 20 fellowships have been awarded.


AGROTAIN announces launch of two product sites

AGROTAIN International has launched Web sites for two of its flagship agricultural products: AGROTAIN PLUS and SUPERU. Both products provide nitrogen stabilization to keep nitrogen in the soil and available for the plant leading to bigger yields and ultimately a better bottom line.

AGROTAIN PLUS is added to UAN before application to stabilize the nitrogen. The new www.AGROTAINPLUS.com allows growers to find out how AGROTAIN PLUS controls nitrogen loss from volatilization, leaching and denitrification and view testimonials from other growers as well as retailers and university experts.

The site also allows growers to request AGROTAIN PLUS data specific to their crops and growing conditions and practices. Also available is a value estimator for corn and wheat, which allows growers to plug in their nitrogen cost along with the commodity price and average yield to figure out the net potential advantage that AGROTAIN PLUS holds for their specific situation.

SUPERU is AGROTAIN International’s triple-action ready-to-use urea fertilizer that controls volatilization, leaching and denitrification. At its new home, www.SUPERUREA.com, growers can read the latest university research and view testimonials on the benefits that SUPERU provides from key retailers and growers. Available on both sites is the ability for growers to find their local AGROTAIN sales representative.

“Because of the rapid expansion and demand for the AGROTAIN technology over the past several years, we felt it was time to give these products individual sites to help our customers understand what technology will work best for them,” says Jeff Whetstine, VP, Global Marketing, AGROTAIN International.


LSU AgCenter agents start precision ag blog

LSU AgCenter agents in north Louisiana have started a blog to help farmers use new technology and equipment to maximum capabilities. The blog, which was launched in November 2010, at www.lsuprecisionag.wordpress.com gives producers examples of how practicing precision ag can aid in production, said Dennis Burns, LSU AgCenter agent in Tensas Parish.

More and more farmers are using GPS receivers on their equipment to increase their efficiency. The GPS technology uses latitude and longitude coordinates to direct planting, fertilizing, spraying and harvesting operations.

“You can build a prescription after seeing problems in the field – good parts and bad,” Burns says.

R.L. Frazier, LSU AgCenter agent in Madison Parish, said he wants farmers to get the maximum use from inputs by “putting the right products in the right areas.” He said it does not always equate to cost savings in the short term.

Frazier believes 60 percent of the harvest equipment in north Louisiana has onboard GPS technology to be able to record yield data on the go at pre-defined intervals. Recordings include weight, elevation, moisture and numerous other measurements at a given point, he explained.

After the information is gathered, data for multiple years can be combined on one map to identify field differences, such as elevation areas, to improve management decisions. As producers amass data, they can create management zones.

Farmers can develop variable-rate spray maps and use GPS receivers to monitor machine location and speed. Then, GPS-based shut-off valves on a sprayer can turn on and off at appropriate times to avoid overlapping and wasting chemicals.

Burns said they chose the blog to distribute the information because the material can go out quickly in that format. Other LSU AgCenter agents also will be contributing to the blog.


Insecticide granted EUP for use as seed protection in Southern rice

NipsIt INSIDE Insecticide has received from the EPA an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) in multiple Southern states for use against rice water weevil and grape colaspis. Additional rice pests are being applied for on the section 3 label, which is anticipated mid-year of 2012.

Under the EUP, NipsIt INSIDE may be applied as a seed treatment to dry-seeded, drilled rice in up to 40,000 total acres across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas in the 2011 season. The EUP label also stipulates NipsIt INSIDE may be used in another 40,000 total acres in the same states in the 2012 season if used prior to June 23 of that year.


2011 Rice Leadership Development Class announced

Members of the 2011 Rice Leadership Development Program class were announced in December during the annual Rice Awards Luncheon held in conjunction with the 2010 USA Rice Outlook Conference. The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals selected by a committee of agribusiness leaders.

The new rice producer class members are Marc Breckenridge, Durham, Calif; Galen Franz, Victoria, Texas; Scott Gairhan, Jonesboro, Ark.; Mark Pousson, Welsh, La.; and Paul Zaunbrecher, Rayne, La.

The new industry related class members are Park Eldridge, Lehman Elevator, Inc., Gillett, Ark., and Brendan O’Donnell, Sun Valley Rice Company, Sacramento, Calif.

This program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions designed to strengthen their leadership skills. John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc. and American Commodity Company sponsor the Rice Leadership Development Program through a grant to The Rice Foundation. The USA Rice Federation administers the program.

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