LSU AgCenter launches preseason rice and soybean videos

LSU AgCenterWith the start of rice planting only two months away, the LSU AgCenter has prepared a series of video presentations by its experts to help farmers prepare for the 2021 crop. These are in place of the normal in-person winter grower meetings, which have been put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The videos can be viewed at https://lsuagcenter.com/topics/crops/rice/virtual-presentations.

In the videos:

• Ron Levy, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, talked about the upcoming year and the problems rice farmers encountered last year. He is expecting an increase of 10,000 to 15,000 acres of rice in Louisiana.

• Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist, had an overview of weed control projects and herbicide recommendations. He said the use of residual herbicides will help increase yields.

Fungicide selections and practices to reduce disease were discussed by Don Groth, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist. Earlier fungicide applications are needed for later planted rice, he advised.

• Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter agronomist, gave fertilizer recommendations and information on two new varieties: CLL17 and DG-263L.

• Blake Wilson, LSU AgCenter entomologist, talked about ways of controlling the rice water weevil and other pests. He said the apple snail’s range continues to expand.

• LSU AgCenter rice breeder rice Adam Famoso gave an update on the development of conventional and hybrid rice. He also talked about a predictive computer program that will help eliminate undesirable combinations for breeding.

An economic outlook for rice and soybeans was presented by Michael Deliberto, LSU AgCenter economist. He said soybean prices are expected to remain high, but rice will continue to have potential for profitability.

• Mark Shirley, LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialist gave an update on the crawfish market and crawfish research. He said the catch is off but should improve in the next few weeks.

• David Moseley, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, talked about his research and projects for the upcoming year. He said the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects soybean plantings to increase by 7% nationwide to 89 million acres.

The LSU AgCenter contributed this article.