Annual Rice Field Day draws crowd

CROWLEY – A six-part focus in field tours, a poster session and several other programs all equaled to lots of important information for those in the rice industry at the annual Rice Field Day.

LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station held its annual Rice Field Day Thursday at the station.

Beginning early, at 7:15 a.m. to be precise, the field day activities started with the field tours.

The tours saw focuses of rice variety development, rice weed control and marker-assisted selection, rice disease control, rice insect control, rice hybrid breeding and agronomic practices and rice soils classification. Among the presenters for the day included Drs. Steve Linscombe, Tim Walker, Eric Webster, Herry Utomo, Don Groth, Tom Allen, Mike Stout, Mo Way, Xueyan Sha, James Oard, Dustin Harrell and David Weindorf.

The last tour departed around 9 a.m.

Meanwhile, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., a poster session was held under the pavilion.

The indoor programs began at 10:45 a.m. with Chairman of the Louisiana Rice Research Board Jackie Loewer discussing the activities of the board.

Dr. Michael Salassi was also on hand to discuss updates on the farm bill discussions. Salassi is a J. Nelso Fairbanks endowed professor of agricultural economics department of agricultural economics and agribusiness.

Jay Grymes, retired member of the LSU AgCenter and chief meteorologist of WAFB-TV out of Baton Rouge, then discussed if it is really possible to “forecast” long-range climate trends.

A big topic in the worlds of agriculture and wildlife and fisheries has been the reintroduction of the whooping cranes to southwestern Louisiana, which saw Dr. Sammy King, leader of the USGS Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and adjunct professor with the School of Renewable Natural Resources, lead the discussion.

Remarks were also made by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry commissioner, Dr. Mike Strain; LSU AgCenter chancellor, Dr. William B. Richardson; Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station vice chancellor and director, Dr. John Russin; and Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service vice chancellor and director, Dr. Paul D. Coreil.

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