March 13-15, 2012: Dr. Michael Grisham (Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA) participated in the Sun Grant/DOE Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 29, 2012: Drs. Ryan Viator and Paul White (Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA) attended the 2012 Plant Materials Technical Committee Meeting, at the USDA-NRCS Golden Meadow Plant Materials Center in Galliano, LA. The purpose of the meeting was to provide input and guidance on plant assemblies, evaluations, and studies that would help identify, integrate, and prioritize plant technology needs conducted by the center. Drs. Viator and White conduct sugarcane flood tolerance research at the center. In addition to USDA-ARS scientists, representatives from USGS, NRCS, Southern University, Nicholls State University, Bayou Grace Community Service, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, and private industry attended.
May 17, 2012: Drs. Bill White, Caleb Dalley, and Mr. Edwis Dufrene (Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA) attended and made presentations at the Extension/Research Sugarcane Training Meeting in St. Gabriel, LA. The meeting was attended by personnel from LSU AgCenter, American Sugar Cane League, and the USDA.
June 1, 2012: Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA, scientists and the LSU AgCenter will host the USDA-LSU Terrebonne Parish Sugarcane Field Day at the SRU’s Ardoyne Research Farm. Topics will include: the new crossing facilities and results from a successful crossing season (Dr. Anna Hale), the USDA-ARS’s sugarcane varietal development program (Dr. Bill White, Mr. Edwis Dufrene, and Mr. Mike Duet), managing soil fertility levels to maximize yield and insure profitability (Dr. Rich Johnson), starter and delayed release fertilizers and use of cover crops (Dr. Paul White, Mr. Kelvin Lewis, and Mr. Trevis Olivier), benefits of bermudagrass control (Dr. Caleb Dalley), molecular investigation of varietal anomalies in L01-283 (Dr. Yong-Bao Pan), and influence of a mild winter on diseases (Dr. Mike Grisham).
May 7-11, 2012: Dr. Michael Grisham, Sugarcane Research Unit, New Orleans, LA, participated in the 10th ISSCT Pathology Workshop in Nanning, China. The Workshop was hosted by the Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GXAAS); Guangxi University; and the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT). A total of 66 delegates from 13 different countries attended the workshop. A total of 55 oral presentations (including one by Dr. Grisham) and posters were presented covering basic and applied aspects of a range of diseases of world- wide importance and their effective management under so many diverse conditions. Following the workshop, Dr. Grisham was invited to visit the National Center for Sugarcane Industry Technology and the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, P.R. China where he presented a seminar on SRU’s research program and participate in several research discussions with faculty and graduate students.
June 7, 2012: Researchers of the USDA, ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit, New Orleans, (Drs. Ryan Viator, Anna Hale, and Michael Grisham) hosted participants of the Nicholls State University’s Raw Cane Sugar Manufacturing Institute at the SRU Ardoyne Research Farm. The participants attended the two-week institute designed to teach current technologies utilized in the processing of raw cane. The purpose of their visit to the SRU was to educate them as to research involved in the development of the commercial sugarcane varieties they are processing in their factories.
June 20, 2012: Drs. Anna Hale and Michael Grisham will participate in the USDA, Crop Germplasm Committee meeting. As chair of the committee, Dr. Hale will lead discussions related to sugarcane germplasm preservation and characterization and the collection and safe movement of germplasm. The committee will hear reports from the Sugarcane World Collection in Coral Gables, Florida, and the sugarcane quarantine activities in Beltsville, Maryland.
June 20, 2012: Researchers of the USDA, ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit, New Orleans, LA (Drs. Richard Johnson, Anna Hale, and Michael Grisham) will participate in the Joint Meeting of the American Society of Sugarcane Technologists in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Johnson serves as the Chairman of the Louisiana Division Agricultural Section. Dr. Johnson will present a paper entitled “Precision Agriculture Techniques for Identifying Yield Limiting Factors in Louisiana Sugarcane,” Dr. Hale a paper entitled “HoCP 04-838 – A New Sugarcane Variety for Louisiana,” and Dr. Grisham a paper entitled “Susceptibility of Saccharum spp. and Near Relatives to Mosaic Viruses.”
July, 2012: During the month of July, scientists from the Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA, were invited to make presentations at five LSU Cooperative Extension Service Sugarcane Field Days. Dr. Bill White updated growers on the insect situation in Louisiana sugarcane and Mr. Edwis Dufrene discussed sugarcane varieties at the Field Day in Assumption Parish. Mr. Dufrene also discussed sugarcane variety characteristics at the consolidated field day for St. Martin, Lafayette, and St. Landry Parishes and the Field Day at the LSU Sugar Research Station in St. Gabriel. Dr. Ryan Viator gave presentations at Field Days in Assumption and Lafourche Parishes and the consolidated Field Day for St. Mary, Vermillion, and Iberia Parishes in which he discussed sugarcane cultural practices. Dr. Mike Grisham gave a presentation on the introduction of sugarcane orange rust into Louisiana and the current status of orange and brown rust development and control at the consolidated Field Day for St. Mary, Vermillion, and Iberia Parishes.
September 9-14, 2012: Dr. Ryan Viator, Sugarcane Research Unit (SRU), Houma, LA, participated in the 9th ISSCT Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering Workshop in Townsville, Australia. The Workshop was hosted by BSES and the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT). Dr. Viator presented a poster about stress tolerance with energy cane. Before the workshop, Dr. Viator visited the Herbert Productivity Board to discuss their conservation tillage programs. He gave an invited lecture to farmers and scientists concerning the challenges of sugarcane production in the temperate environment of Louisiana. Following the workshop, Dr. Viator met with representatives from BSES and BonSucor to discuss cold tolerance and reduction of sugarcane production’s carbon footprint. At this informal meeting, Dr. Viator gave an overview of the past and current research from SRU on sugarcane cold tolerance.
September 13-23, 2012: Dr. Yong-Bao Pan, at the Sugarcane Research Unit (SRU), Houma, LA. visited the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. He met with the Pakistani Co-PI, Dr. Javed Iqbal, evaluated the dissertation research being conducted by four Ph.D. students, and advised on their future research experiments. Dr. Pan presented a seminar entitled “Biotechnology: Impact on Sugarcane Agriculture and Industry” attended by the Director General Dr. M. Akhtar, SBS faculty members, graduate students, and five other invited guests from Jhang and Faisalabad, Pakistan. Dr. Pan had separate meeting sessions with Dr. Afghan, Research Director of the Shakarganj Sugar Research Institute, Jhang and the directors of three research institutes (sugarcane, biotechnology, and oil seed) from the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad. Dr. Pan’s visit was sponsored by a Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperative Program entitled “Enhance the Sugarcane Production in Pakistan by Modern Breeding Technology”.
September 18-21, 2012: Dr. Charles Webber, of the Sugarcane Research Unit (SRU), Houma, LA, participated in the Bioenvironmental Polymer Society (BEPS) Annual Meeting in Denton, Texas and gave a presentation entitled “Natural Fiber Production, Harvesting, and Preliminary Processing: Options and Opportunities.” Dr. Webber served on the organizing committee for the meeting and served as a chair for one of the sessions.
October 2, 2012: Four researcher of the Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA (Drs. Anna Hale, Ryan Viator, Paul White, and Michael Grisham) made presentations at the National Conference on the Science for Biomass Feedstock Production and Utilization in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Hale’s presentation was entitled, “Breeding for an Unidentified Industry,” Dr. Viator’s “Energycane Crop Establishment and Flood Tolerance in a Temperate Climate,” Dr. White’s,“Green-Cane Harvest of Sugarcane Effects on Biomass and Energy Yields and Nutrient Removal,” and Dr. Grisham’s, “Disease Concerns in Energycane.” The Conference focused on the scientific progress in the field of biomass production, harvest, logistics and processing, conversion, and renewable energy and was hosted by the Sun Grant Initiative.
October 21-24, 2012: Dr. David Burner made a presentation at the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meetings in Cincinnati, OH entitled, “Establishing Bristly Locust Robinia Hispida in an Emulated Organic Silvopasture.”
November 28-30, 2012: Dr. Paul White, Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA gave a presentation at the Southeast Bioenergy meeting, “Energy Solutions for the Southeast” in Tifton, GA. His presentation focused on updating the audience on the progress made to date for the LSU AgCenter led NIFA AFRI-CAP grant, “A Regional Program for Production of Multiple Agricultural Feedstocks and Processing to Biofuels and Biobased Chemicals.” Dr. White was part of a panel that included NIFA Director Dr. Bill Goldner and Dr. Timothy Rials of the University of Tennessee.
December 4, 2012: Drs. Richard Johnson and Michael Grisham, from the Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA served as category judges at the Terrebonne Parish Science and Engineering Fair. They also selected Miss Sarah Simoneaux as the 21st recipient of the annual “Scientist for a Day” award presented by the staff at SRU. She has been invited to spend a day at SRU observing research in action.