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Meetings and Talks 2007
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Jan 18, 2007:Dr Ryan Viator (Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA) was invited to be a presenter at the annual Assumption parish Sugarcane Grower's Meeting in Napoleonville, LA. Dr. Viator discussed his research on post- harvest, sugarcane litter management techniques to mitigate the litter's suppressive effects on the development of subsequent ratoon crops and the effects of tillage frequency on sugarcane yields. The meeting also served as a forum for growers to ask specific questions pertaining to their own farming situations.

Jan.17 2007: The Sugarcane Research Unit hosted the annual spring Extension / Research Planning meeting at its Sugarcane Research Laboratory in Houma, LA.  The meeting is designed to bring sugarcane extension agents and specialists and University, Industry, and ARS researchers together to discuss ongoing research and industry needs as well as to assist county agents in planning their annual spring grower meetings for 2007.  ARS research in the areas of:  weed control, spring cultural practices, fertilization requirements and general soil health, and disease assessments were discussed by Drs. Caleb Dalley, Ryan Viator, Rich Johnson, and Mike Grisham, respectively.  County agents representing 90% of the sugarcane acreage in Louisiana were in attendance at this meeting.  Yields in 2006 were the highest they have been since 2002.  However, these yields were still significantly lower than the yields recorded in 1999 - yields that must be attained again to insure industry profitability.

Feb 6-7, 2007: Drs. Ryan Viator, Mike Grisham, and Ed Richard, Jr. (Sugarcane Research Unit) were invited to make presentations on:  "Cultural Practices to Optimize Yields, Maximize Profits, and Reduce Risks for Newly Released Varieties"; "Monitoring Yield in Rust Infected Commercial Varieties"; and "Bio-Feedstocks for a Green Energy Industry in Louisiana", respectively at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Division of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists in Baton Rouge, LA.  Topics for presentation were based on problems faced by the Louisiana sugarcane industry in 2006 as well as future opportunities for the industry.  The meeting's 200+ participants represented different facets of the industry to include:  growers, raw sugar processors, researchers, extension specialists, and industry support personnel.

Feb. 8-9, 2007: Drs. Ryan Viator, Rich Johnson, Ed Richard, Jr., and William White (Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA) were invited to be presenters during the sugarcane sections of the annual Louisiana Agricultural Technology and Management Conference in Alexandria, LA.  Presentations were based on the researchers results on experiments conducted in the areas of:  remote sensing, yield mapping and variable rate lime application (Johnson); cultural practices that may cause sugarcane yield reductions (Viator); utilization of chemical ripeners to increase early season sugar yields (Richard); and varietal responses to sugarcane borer infestations (White).  The Conference, sponsored by the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association, provides consultants with an update on the latest ARS and LSU Ag Center Research in the various agronomic crops grown in Louisiana.

June 1, 2007:The annual Terrebonne Parish and Area Sugarcane Field Day was held at the Sugarcane Research Laboratory's Ardoyne Research Farm in Schriever, LA.  Sugarcane Research Unit scientists discussed their research at stops strategically placed in the fields to showcase the research being conducted.  Topics discussed included:  "Managing Diseases with a Changing Variety Picture" (Dr. Mike Grisham), "Managing Borer Resistance to Maximize Profits" (Dr. Bill White); "Ripening Sugarcane - It's all About Timing" (Dr. Caleb Dalley); "Cultural Practices to Manage Stress and Insure Profitability" (Drs. Ryan Viator and Rich Johnson);  "Release of a New Commercial Sugarcane Variety, HoCP 00-950" (Mr. Edwis Dufrene); and "Release of Three High-Fiber Varieties for Biofuel Production" (Mr. Robert Cobill).  In addition there were poster displays that included:  "Molecular Identification of Sugarcane Varieties" (Dr. Yong-Bao Pan) and "Recurrent Selection for Sucrose - How Far Have We Come" (Dr. Sarah Lingle).  The field day was attended by over 100 farmers, processors, researchers, and extension personnel.

June 13, 2007:The staff of the Sugarcane Research Unit hosted the annual meeting of the Sugarcane Crop Germplasm Committee.  The committee consists of 15 members representing the Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, and California industries.  The major focus of the meeting is to discuss the breeding program and methodology to broaden the genetic base of parental lines in the breeding programs through the importation of clones from other countries through the APHIS Quarantine Facility in Beltsville, Maryland.  Dr. Tom Tew of the Sugarcane Research Unit currently serves as Chairman of this committee.

July 17-20, 2007:The Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension Service sponsored 4 Sugarcane Field Days in the parishes of Vermillion (July 17); Ascension, Avoyelles, Iberville, and West Baton Rouge (July 18); Lafourche (July 19); and St. Martin, St. Landry, and Lafayette (July 20).  The field days, which consist of both field demonstrations and inside presentations, are designed to educate growers on the summer and fall management practices needed to insure optimum sugarcane yields.  Sugarcane Research Unit scientists invited to make presentations on various aspects of their research included:  Dr. William White (1), Dr. Ryan Viator (3), Dr. Caleb Dalley (1), Dr. Ed Richard, Jr. (1), and Mr. Edwis Dufrene (1).  The majority of the sugarcane growers in these parishes attended the field days.

July 24, 2007: Dr. Caleb Dalley and Mr. Edwis Dufrene of the Sugarcane Research Unit (SRU) were invited to make field-stop presentations at the Ascension/Assumption Parish Sugarcane Field Day sponsored by the Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension Service.   Dr. Dalley discussed "At Planting Bermudagrass Control Options in Sugarcane" at one stop and Mr. Dufrene discussed "The Management of the Variety HoCP 00-950.  HoCP 00-950 was released for commercial planting in Louisiana in May, 2007.  The variety was bred and selected by scientists with the SRU.  The majority of the sugarcane growers in these parishes attended the field day.


July 28 - August 1, 2007: Dr. Michael Grisham, Research Plant Pathologist at the Sugarcane Research Unit (SRU) at Houma, LA participated in the Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society in San Diego, CA.  Dr. Grisham presented a poster entitled "Effects of sugarcane yellow leaf virus infection on sugarcane in Louisiana" and chaired the meeting and activities of the Tropical Plant Pathology Committee.  The poster, coauthored by Drs. Gillian Eggleston (Commodity Utilization Unit of the Southern Regional Research Center), Jeffrey Hoy (LSU Ag Center at Baton Rouge, LA), and Ryan Viator (SRU), presented results of field experiments showing the negative effect of the virus on yield and juice quality of commercial varieties.


July 29 - August 2, 2007: Dr. William White, Research Entomologist at the Sugarcane Research Unit at Houma, LA attended the 26th Congress of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT) which was held in Durban, KwaSulu-Natal, South Africa.  Dr. White currently serves as Chairman of the Society's Entomology Committee and in this capacity he moderated two paper sessions and gave a report on the Society-sponsored workshop that he organized in 2006 titled:  "Advances and Challenges in Sugarcane Pest Management:  A Review of the 2006 Entomology Workshop".  Dr. White also had a poster presentation titled:  "Introgressing New Sources of Sugarcane Borer Resistance:  Can Theory Become Practice?" during the entomology sessions at the Congress.  In addition to serving as Chairman of the Entomology Committee, Dr. White accepted an invitation by the Executive Committee of the ISSCT to serve a 6-year term as its Biology Commissioner.  While in South Africa, Dr. White accepted an invitation to tour and discuss possible collaborations with scientists at the South Africa Sugar Research Association in Mt.Edgecombe.   

July 31 - August 2, 2007: Dr. Ed Richard, Jr., Research Leader of the Sugarcane Research Unit at Houma, LA, was invited to make a presentation titled:  "The Utilization of Sugar Canes as a Potential Source of Bioenergy"  during the Feedstock Section of the 2007 Southeast Bioenergy Conference held in Tifton, GA.   The conference attracted over 450 participants and included growers; researchers; ethanol and biodiesel manufacturers; users of "green energy"; and local, state, and federal legislatures.

October 21 - 28, 2007: Dr. Rich Johnson of the Sugarcane Research Unit made an invited presentation titled:  "Sugarcane yield, sugarcane quality, and soil variability" at the 4th International Symposium of Precision Agriculture that was held in Vicosa, Brazil.  Invited speakers discussed the use of precision agriculture and remote sensing technologies to maximize the production of both horticultural and agronomic crops.  Nearly 400 participants representing university, federal, and industrial organizations, primarily in Brazil, attended the symposium.  


November 5 - 8, 2007:Drs. Tom Tew, Sarah Lingle, and Ryan Viator and Mr. Robert Cobill of the Sugarcane Research Unit made presentations at the joint annual meeting of the: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America held in New Orleans, LA.  Presentations included:  "Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Simultaneous Energy Cane and Sugar Cane Genetic Improvement:  Results of a Survey of International Sugar Cane Breeders" (Tew),  "Effects of Recurrent Selection for Sucrose  on Growth and Sugar Accumulation in Sugarcane Internodes" (Lingle), "Sugarcane Post-Harvest Residue Management in the Temperate Climate of Louisiana" (Viator), and "Registration of Three High Fiber Sugar Cane Varieties:  l 79-1002, HoCP 91-552, and Ho 00-961 for Biofuels Production" (Cobill).