AgCenter changes, winter tree advice, animal shows
Changes in Responsibilities- As many of you are probably aware; Eddie Eskew recently retired as County Agent in Jeff Davis. Ronny Levy, County Agent in Acadia Parish, assumed responsibilities as LSU AgCenter Soybean and Grain Crop specialist in September 2008.
As a consequence of state budget cuts, neither of these parish positions will be filled in the foreseeable future.
On January 1, 2009, I assumed educational responsibilities for soybean and feed grains for Acadia, Jeff Davis, Cameron, Calcasieu and Allen parishes.
Barrett Courville, County Agent in Acadia Parish, assumed rice educational responsibilities for Acadia and Jeff Davis parishes.
Mr. Courville and I will each maintain our offices in our respective parishes and be responsible for general agricultural and horticultural work in those parishes.
This arrangement will be maintained until the state budget situation warrants other changes.
Fertilizing Fruit Trees- All plants remove nutrients from the soil, use them to produce food, use this food for fruit production and store the rest in the tissues of their trunk or stem to initiate new growth in the spring.
Keeping an adequate supply of plant nutrients in the soil is essential for continued growth and production.
The major nutrients used by the plant are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
These are the nutrients used in the greatest quantity.
To assume that they are present in proper amounts, we add fertilizer to the soil. A late winter application of fertilizer will accomplish this when the need for nutrients is greatest for fruit trees.
Citrus trees are usually provided with one and one-half pounds of 8-8-8 fertilizer per year of age up to a maximum of 12 pounds per tree (eight years of age).
In June, an additional one-half pound of ammonium nitrate per year of age up to a maximum of ten pounds (20 years of age) can be applied. The additional nitrogen in June helps promote leaf development and greater food production.
Fig trees in general need one pound of 8-8-8 per year of age (up to 10 pounds maximum).
Blackberries need one-half pound of 8-8-8 per row foot in late winter. Apply an additional one-half pound of ammonium nitrate per row foot after berry harvest.
Pecan trees receive three pounds of 8-8-8 or equivalent per inch of trunk diameter measured one foot above the soil line.
Older pecan trees (25 years or older) need an additional one-half pound of ammonium nitrate per inch of trunk diameter. Apply this in May or June.
Following this formula, you will find that pecan trees are quite expensive to fertilize properly. Many home gardeners have decided to treat the pecan as a shade tree and be happy for any nuts that it provides.
Livestock Shows- The LSU AgCenter Livestock Shows are well under way.
The Southwest District Show is being held the week of February 1-7, 2009 in the Burton Coliseum Complex in Lake Charles. Dairy cattle, Breeding Sheep and Goats will be exhibited Monday, February 2.
Market lambs and Breeding goats will show on February 3. Hog exhibits will show on Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7. As usual, Jeff Davis Parish 4-H and FFA members will have a large representation in this seven parish show.
Beef breeding cattle, steers and beef commercial replacement heifers will be shown on Wednesday, February 4; Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6.
The Southwest District Livestock Show is also a qualifying show for the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show that will be held February 14-21, 2009 in Gonzales, LA.
For specific dates and times of individual competition categories for both these shows, you may call the Jeff Davis Parish AgCenter office in Jennings at (337) 824-1773.
The young people would appreciate your support and attendance.