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Louisiana Rice Notes – Issue 1 – January 21, 2015

Louisiana Rice Notes – Issue 1 – January 21, 2015 published on No Comments on Louisiana Rice Notes – Issue 1 – January 21, 2015

Please find the first issue of the 2015 Louisiana Rice Notes below.

Link for pdf LA Rice notes 1 21 2015_1.

If you have any questions or comments please contact:

Dr. Dustin Harrell


2014 Grain Sorghum Research and Extension Summary

2014 Grain Sorghum Research and Extension Summary published on No Comments on 2014 Grain Sorghum Research and Extension Summary

By: Rick Mascagni and Josh Lofton, LSU AgCenter




For further questions, please contact:

Josh Lofton, Field crop agronomist, LSU AgCenter,


Preliminary results for statewide grain sorghum OVT

Preliminary results for statewide grain sorghum OVT published on No Comments on Preliminary results for statewide grain sorghum OVT

Rick Mascagni, Dustin Harrell, Blair Buckley, William Waltman, Daniel Fromme, and Josh Lofton- LSU AgCenter

Preliminary results are attached from the 2014 official grain sorghum hybrid trials. Results presented include individual hybrid trials from the six statewide locations as well as the average yield across all trial locations. This information should be utilized as a tool to aid in the coming year’s hybrid
selection. In the coming weeks we should have the complete hybrid test information available including all agronomic variables.  As this was a challenging year for insect damage and disease pressure, this information should be used as well to guide hybrid decisions.  Please note that as these are preliminary results some information, including addition or removal of hybrids, may be warranted following analysis of the complete data set.


Click the below link for the hybrid trial information across the state:



For further questions regarding grain sorghum hybrid selection, please contact:

Josh Lofton, Statewide grain sorghum specialist,

For full documentation and to participate in future LSU AgCenter hybrid trials, please contact:

Rick Mascagni, Grain Agronomist, Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph, LA,


2014 Grain Sorghum Update and On-farm Demonstration Results

2014 Grain Sorghum Update and On-farm Demonstration Results published on 1 Comment on 2014 Grain Sorghum Update and On-farm Demonstration Results

Josh Lofton, David Kerns, Trey Price, and Sebe Brown- Macon Ridge Research Station, LSU AgCenter

The 2014 season has been a challenging one for grain sorghum producers around the state. These challenges began with planting.  The cooler spring temperatures and high soil moisture delayed early season planting in many areas around the state.  Many growers were able to get grain sorghum in the ground and emerged in a timely manner.  However, those that were not able to plant early planted on the latter side of the optimum time frame, planted later than recommended, or did not plant.  Overall, once emerged, environmental conditions were generally favorable and little drought stress was noted.  However, with the heavy rainfalls experienced throughout the season, higher rates of diseases were evident during the season, including anthracnose, corn leaf blight, and head rots/grain molds.  While there were other issues within the grain sorghum crop, insect pressure was of highest concern for the 2014 season.  In 2013, the sugarcane aphid affected numerous fields across the state; however, it appears that a greater number of total acreage was identified this year as being influenced by the sugarcane aphid.  While this pest seemed unbearable during curtain times of the year, current recommendations appear to be the best course of action against this pest.   However, research from Dr. David Kerns and other LSU AgCenter entomologists as well as others throughout the grain sorghum growing regions will be critical in the coming years.  Furthermore, while many have begun to focus on the sugarcane aphid, it must be noted that damage from other pests (i.e. sorghum midge and head worms) can be just as detrimental to sorghum production in the state.  A conscious effort should be made to use sound IPM principles and practices to manage, not just a dominant pest but all of these pests.

As we begin to wrap-up the current growing season, it is never too early to begin looking forward to next season. In coordination with producers and LSU AgCenter extension agents across the state, on-farm hybrid demonstrations were carried out at two Louisiana locations in 2014.  While these trials provide valuable information for growers and crop managers on hybrid selection, it is critical to understand that these are only tools that should be used in conjunction with LSU AgCenter official variety trials to aid in hybrid selection.



For further questions or comments feel free to contact:

Josh Lofton, Agronomist and State Grain Sorghum Specialist,

David Kerns, Entomologist,

Trey Price, Pathologist,

Sebe Brown, Northeast Region IPM Specialist,

Wheat cultural management in Louisiana

Wheat cultural management in Louisiana published on No Comments on Wheat cultural management in Louisiana


Josh Lofton and Steve Harrison, LSU AgCenter


As much of the state is just gearing up for harvest of corn, soybeans and grain sorghum, it is time to start preparing for the state’s wheat crop. While wheat planting is still months away, it is this early season management that begins to determine the yield potential for the upcoming season.

Variety selection:

Choosing varieties for the upcoming season is potentially your most important decision prior to planting. Most producers agree that grain yield is the most important criterion for variety selection. However, there are many aspects of grain yield that need to be evaluated when selecting varieties. Two-year average yields give some indication of stability. This not only demonstrates the performance of varieties across various growing environments but also attempts to minimize environmental influence on variety performance (i.e. current year was better for early- or late-maturing varieties). Additionally, test weight is important because varieties with low test weight may result in the producer being docked at the mill.  Therefore, when evaluating variety yield performance, it is essential to use as many parameters as possible.

Heading day, plant height, lodging and disease susceptibility are also important selection criteria. Heading day allows producers to gauge relative maturity of the individual variety. Early-heading and maturing varieties permit earlier harvest and timelier planting in a double-cropping system, while later-heading varieties guard against damage from a late spring freeze and can be planted a little earlier. Early-heading varieties should be planted in the second half of the recommended planting window to avoid the likelihood of spring freeze damage. Lodging resistance helps in some years. Intense storms can occur during late grain fill and cause severe lodging, which results in lower test weight, decreased yields and lower harvest efficiency. Disease susceptibility is very important in terms of yield and profitability. It should be noted that varieties less susceptible to disease may not always produce the highest yields, especially if disease pressure is not present. However, in high disease pressure situations, the resistance may result in higher yields as well as enhanced profitability by saving the costs of fungicide applications. Therefore, managers and producers must weigh the benefits of disease susceptibility with potential yields.

Crop management:

Planting dates for Louisiana wheat depend on location and variety. For southern and central Louisiana optimum planting dates range from November 1 through November 30. The optimum planting for northern Louisiana is slightly earlier, ranging from October 15 through November 15. Early-heading varieties should generally be planted after the mid-date, while late-heading varieties can be pushed a little on the early side of the planting window. The weather in north Louisiana is cooler in the fall and early winter, which slows growth and prevents excess winter growth. It is important that the wheat crop be well-established and fully tillered before going dormant in the coldest part of the winter. Additionally, because of the cooler conditions, the threat for fall pests (Hessian fly, army worms and rust) are decreased earlier in the fall compared to south and central Louisiana. While these dates are the optimum planting window averaged over years, the timing will vary in some years depending on weather patterns. Additionally, if wheat cannot be planted within these optimum windows, planting later than the optimum window would be preferred. Early planting can result in greater insect and fall rust establishment and also makes plants more prone to spring freeze injury due to excessive fall growth and development. Planting too late (more than 14 days after the optimum window) can result in significant stand loss due to slow emergence and seed rotting and can decrease yield potential due to poor tillering and decreased canopy density.

Wheat can be planted by broadcasting seed and incorporating; however, it is preferred that the seed be drilled. Drilling the seed increases the uniformity of depth and stand. If drill seeding, wheat should be planted at a rate of 60 to 90 pounds per acre of high quality seed into a good seedbed with adequate moisture. If the seed is broadcast, seeding rates should be increased to 90 to 120 pounds of high quality seed to account for decreased germination and emergence. This higher seeding rate should be adapted for conditions in which high germination or emergence is not expected, as with late-planted wheat or heavy, wet soils. Late-planted seed should be planted at a higher seeding rate using a drill to ensure rapid, adequate and uniform emergence.

Nitrogen fertilization of wheat can be a challenging aspect of production. Total N application should normally range from 90 to 120 pounds per acre, but this will vary depending on soil type and rainfall after applications. Timing of N application depends on several factors. The wheat crop needs adequate N in the fall and early winter to establish ground cover and properly tiller; however, excessive levels of fall N can result in rank growth and increased  lodging potential, as well as a higher probability of spring freeze damage from early heading. If the wheat crop is following soybeans, soil residual or mineralizable N should be adequate for fall growth, and no pre-plant N is needed. However, if the wheat crop follows corn, sorghum, rice or cotton, the application of 15 to 20 pounds of N per acre would typically be beneficial. Where the wheat crop is planted later than optimum, additional N may be necessary to ensure adequate fall growth prior to winter conditions. If the wheat crop did not receive a fall application and appears to be suffering from N deficiency in January, the initial topdress N application can be made early to promote additional tillering. Early spring is when the majority of N for the wheat crop should be applied. There is no universal rule on how early spring N should be applied. Each field should be evaluated based on tillering, stage of development, environmental conditions and crop color. A crop that has good growth and good color should not need N fertilization prior to erect leaf sheath (Feekes 5), usually sometime in February. However, first spring fertilizer application should be applied prior to first node (Feekes 6) in order to ensure optimum head development, tiller retention and head size. Crop N stress around jointing (Feekes 6) will result in yield losses. Any additional N applied following flag leaf typically contributes very little to crop yield. Splitting topdress N into two or three applications is common in Louisiana production systems due to the increased risk of N losses often associated with heavy rainfall and our long growing season. Splitting N typically occurs by applying fertilizer N at or just prior to jointing with a second application occurring 14 to 28 days later. About 50 percent of the topdress N is normally applied with the first split, but this may be decreased if the first split is put out early and plants are not well enough developed to take up that much N.

Phosphorus, K, and micronutrients should be applied in the fall based on soil test reports. All fertilizers applied as well as lime should be incorporated into the soil prior to planting. Required lime should be applied as soon as possible because it takes time for the lime to begin to neutralize the acidity of most soils. The application of sulfur is a growing concern in Louisiana production systems, with increasing deficiencies appearing every year. Oftentimes, early spring S deficiencies are mistaken for N deficiencies and additional S is not applied. Because sulfur is mobile, similar to N, the application solely in the fall will not be adequate. Supplemental applications of S with spring N applications are often warranted.


For further questions or comments contact:

Josh Lofton, Wheat Extension Specialist,

Steve Harrison, Small Grain Breeder,



Late-season weather affecting corn crop

Late-season weather affecting corn crop published on No Comments on Late-season weather affecting corn crop


Josh Lofton and Dan Fromme, LSU AgCenter



Over the past several days Louisiana has experienced some severe weather across the state. Most notable was the severe weather of August 11. Damage from this storm has been felt from northern Louisiana through the rice-growing areas of southern Louisiana. While reports of hail have been sporadic, damage from wind and heavy rains have been the primary concern. Unfortunately, with the rains that have been experienced across the region in the past several weeks, little of the corn crop has been harvested. This means that a large portion of the state’s crop was at risk for this damage. Driving across the state, many fields have been spared damage; however, others have not. Damage includes lodging of the tops of the plants to complete stalk lodging. At this stage in the corn growth cycle, anything short of complete stalk lodging should be of minimal concern, and there should be little effect on final yields. However, greater concern may be warranted for those with more intense lodging.

The next couple of days will determine how damaging complete stalk lodging will be. At this stage, corn lodging will not correct itself as it will at earlier vegetative stages. However, with most modern day harvesting equipment, producers will be able to capture most of what is currently on the ground.  Where the problem arises is with the rain associated with the windy conditions. Lodged corn lying in standing water will begin to be an issue as time progresses. Not only will this corn not dry like the rest of the crop, seed sprout will start to develop. This sprouted seed will maintain relatively high moisture, and dockage will be incurred if high rates of sprouted seed develop. Therefore, it will begin to be essential that these spots dry in the coming days.

While it seems the extent of this damage will be minimal across the state, yield losses on affected fields will be more substantial. Conditions will not be fully known for the next several days.


For further questions or comments, contact:

Dan Fromme, Corn and Cotton Extension Specialist,

Josh Lofton, Research Agronomist,

Preliminary results from on-farm wheat variety demonstrations

Preliminary results from on-farm wheat variety demonstrations published on No Comments on Preliminary results from on-farm wheat variety demonstrations

Preliminary results from the 2013-2014 on-farm wheat variety demonstrations are listed below.  Each trials was through coordination between LSU AgCenter county extension agent of each respective parish and a grower of that parish.  These results should be used not independently, but in conjunction with the OVT results to identify varieties that perform well in intensely managed small plot trials as well as across field scale variability.





For further questions or comments, feel free to contact:

Josh Lofton- State Wheat Extension Specialist,

Steve Harrison- Small Grain Breeder,

Preliminary wheat OVT results

Preliminary wheat OVT results published on No Comments on Preliminary wheat OVT results

Steve Harrison, Rick Mascagni, Trey Price, Boyd Padgett, Ronnie Levy, Dan Fromme, Dustin Harrell, Howard “Sonny” Viator, Josh Lofton, Blair Buckley, Kelly Arceneaux, Kylie Carter, Tim Talbot, John Stapp, and Greg Williams

Preliminary results are attached from the 2013‐2014 official wheat variety trials for commercially available varieties. The results have been divided up between north (Alexandria, Bossier City, St. Joseph,
and Winnsboro) and south (Baton Rouge, Crowley, and Jeanerette) Louisiana due to differences in varieties evaluated. This information should be utilized as a tool to aid in the coming year’s variety
selection. It is important to also consider the 2‐year yield average, maturity, test weight, and disease reaction. The 2‐year average allows for representation on how the varieties respond to a variety of environmental conditions. Additionally, various agronomic and pathology characteristics are provided.  These characteristics can be used to gauge variety suitability to individual production systems.

Click the below links for the variety trial information at the indicated location within the state:

North Louisiana

South Louisiana

For Additional Information
Contact Josh Lofton at:
For complete copies of data tables email Steve Harrison at:



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