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Meetings and Talks 2011
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January 10-14, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit Research Geneticist, Dr. Anna Hale, was invited to give a presentation on sugarcane breeding at the 8th Annual Bioenergy Feedstocks Symposium in Champaign, Illinois.  The Symposium was held to provide researchers; farmers; industrial professionals; and local, regional, and state government officials and related staff information about current bioenergy research and the use of perennial grasses as a potential renewable energy source and profitable alternative crop for the Midwest.  Topics ranged from breeding and improvement to thermochemical conversion of biomass fuels to biorefinery operation.  There were 19 featured speakers and over 300 participants.

January 15-19, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit Research Molecular Geneticist, Dr. Yong-Bao Pan, attended the XIX International Plant & Animal Genome Conference in San Diego, CA.  He presented a poster titled:  "Inheritance of SSR DNA Markers in a Self Progeny Population of the Louisiana Sugarcane Cultivar LCP 85-384".  The meeting was attended by molecular researchers from around the world as well as representatives from commercial biotech companies.  Of note is the fact that Dr. Pan was invited to give a talk on sugarcane genetics to a small group of researchers at the Sequenom Center in San Diego.

January 19, 2011: The Sugarcane Research Unit hosted the LSU Cooperative Extension Service-sponsored Extension/Research Winter Meeting at Houma.  The purpose of the meeting is have researchers with the SRU and the LSU Ag Center present information from studies conducted in the various areas of sugarcane production, as well as to here from the County Extension Service personnel the various problems that their growers are facing.  Making presentations from the SRU were Drs. Caleb Dalley on weed control research; Dr. Rich Johnson on sugarcane fertility and the use of precision ag applications; Dr. Ryan Viator on conservation/reduced tillage, post-harvest residue management, and other cultural practices; Dr. Paul White on managing soils for the long term without potash addition; and Dr. Michael Grisham on the 2010 outbreak of Red Stripe Disease.  The County Agents used the information presented to develop spring grower meeting topics for their respective parishes.

January 25 - February 14, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit Scientists, Drs. Ryan Viator, Rich Johnson, Mike Grisham, and Paul White, made presentations at a number of LSU Cooperative Extension Service-sponsored Spring Sugarcane Grower's Meetings.  These included the combined New Iberia, St. Mary, and Vermillion Parishes morning meeting on January 25th (Viator, Grisham, and White) and the combined St. Martin and Lafayette Parishes PM meeting (Viator).  Topics discussed included: "Residue Management and Cultural Practices" (Viator), "Red Stripe - a New Disease in Louisiana Sugarcane" (Grisham), and "Managing Soils for the Long Term-How Long Can We Go Without Potash and Phosphorus applications?" (White).  On January 31st, Drs. Ryan Viator and Rich Johnson made presentations at the West Baton Rouge, St. Landry, and Point Coupee Tri-Parish Farm Forum in New Roads.  Presentations made during the sugarcane session included: "Residue Management and Cultural Practices" (Viator), and "Spring Fertilizer Recommendations" (Johnson). On February 1st, Dr. Paul White discussed sugarcane fertility at the Assumption Parish spring grower's meeting in Napoleonville.  Finally, on February 14th, Drs. Ryan Viator and Rich Johnson made presentations at the Iberville Parish Spring Grower's meeting at St. Gabriel on Residue Management and Cultural Practices (Viator) and the 2011 Sugarcane Fertilizer Recommendations (Johnson).  These spring grower meetings are attended by most of the growers in the various parishes.


January 26, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit Research Agronomist, Dr. Ryan Viator, was invited to give a presentation on Post-Harvest Sugarcane Residue Management to the LSU AgCenter's Master Farmer Class and members of NRCS's Assumption, Lafourche, and Terrebonne Parishes Water Conservation Districts. 


February 8, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit Soil Scientist, Dr. Paul White , was invited to make a presentation titled:  "Soil and Crop Management Impacts on Sustainable Sugarcane Yields" during the Joint Agricultural and Manufacturing Session of the Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Division of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists in Baton Rouge.


May 13 - 21, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit Research Geneticist, Dr. Anna Hale, participated in the 10th International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists-sponsored Breeding and Germplasm Workshop, held in Meceio, Brazil.  Dr. Hale, as a member of the ISSCT Breeding and Germplasm Committee assisted in the planning of the workshop and moderated a session.  The workshop consisting of 45 oral and 35 poster presentations, centered on the general theme of   "Breaking breeding and biotechnology paradigms - towards a complementary approach in sugar cane research."  There were a total of 148 participants representing 16 sugarcane producing countries.  During one of the sessions Dr. Hale presented a paper titled: "Breeding Sugarcane for Temperate and Cold Environments."


June 3, 2011: The USDA-LSU AgCenter's Terrebonne and Area Sugarcane Field Day was hosted by the Sugarcane Research Unit's staff at the Ardoyne Research Farm.  Topics discussed during the tour of the research farm included: "Modernization of the USDA-ARS Crossing Facilities" (Dr. Anna Hale), "The Varietal Anomalies of L 01-283 Sugarcane - Getting Down to the Molecular Level" (Dr. Yong-Bao Pan), "Commercial Sugarcane Varieties - Decisions, Decisions, and More Decisions" (Mr. Michael Duet, Mr. Edwis Dufrene, and Dr. William White), "Planting - Does Rate and Date Make an Difference" (Dr. Ryan Viator), "Soil Fertility/Soil Health Impacts on Yield and Your Bottom Line" (Drs. Rich Johnson and Paul White), Disease Update-What Should We be Looking Out For" (Dr. Michael Grisham), and "Minimizing the Impact of Bermudagrass-Where do We Start" (Dr. Caleb Dalley). There were 72 participants including growers, millers, and university extension and research personnel.


June 8, 2011: The Sugarcane Crop Germplasm Committee meeting was held in New Orleans, LA.  Sugarcane Research Unit scientist, Dr. Anna Hale, is chairman of the committee and Dr. Michael Grisham represented the SRU as a member.  Items discussed at the meeting included: funded projects in 2010, the ARS-maintained world sugarcane collection in Miami, activities at the sugarcane quarantine facility in Beltsville, and the importation of true sugarcane feed from foreign countries for use in sugarcane breeding programs.


June 9-10, 2011: The annual Joint Meeting of the Louisiana and Florida Divisions of the American Society of Sugarcane Technologists was held in New Orleans, LA.  Oral presentations by Sugarcane Research Unit scientists included:  "Seasonal Timing of Glyphosate Ripener Application Affects Sugarcane's Response in Louisiana (Dr. Caleb Dalley) and "Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Louisiana Sugarcane (Dr. Michael Grisham).  Posters were also prepared by the SRU to include: "Effects of Cultivation Frequency on Sugarcane Yields" by Dr. Ryan Viator and "A LCP 85-384 Genetic Linkage Map Enriched with Polymorphic SSR Markers" by visiting SRU scientist, Dr. Pingwu Liu.


July 12-21, 2011:The LSU Ag Center's Cooperative Extension Service sponsored sugarcane field days in a number of sugarcane producing parishes in Louisiana to include: the Assumption Parish field day (July 12); the combined St. Mary, Iberia, and Vermillion Parishes' field day (July 13); and the Lafourche Parish field day (July 21).  Sugarcane Research Unit Scientists:  Drs. Rich Johnson, Ryan Viator, Mike Grisham, Paul White, and Caleb Dalley and Mr. Edwis Dufrene were asked to discuss various topics at one or more of these field days to include: weed control (Dalley), soil fertility (Johnson and White), sugarcane diseases (Grisham), planting practices (Viator), and the expected performance of the SRU's newly released sugarcane variety HoCP 04-838 (Dufrene).


September 30, 2011: Dr. Sarah Lingle retired after 29 years of federal service with ARS. She joined the Southern Regional Research Center as a Plant Physiologist in October 1997, following a Research Associate position with ARS in Fargo, ND and Plant Physiologist and Supervisory Plant Physiologist positions with ARS in Weslaco, TX.  When she first joined SRRC, she was working with the Commodity Utilization Research Unit. She then transferred to the Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma in 2003 but her office remained at SRRC until she was transferred back to the Commodity Utilization Research Unit in 2008.  Dr. Lingle has 43 publications and her work has also been the subject of a large number of invited presentations.

October 24-26, 2011: Dr. Ed Richard, Research Leader of the Sugarcane Research Unit attended a Sustainable Bioenergy Project Director's Meeting sponsored by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  Under the leadership of the LSU AgCenter, SRU scientists are cooperating on a $17.2 million 5-year grant titled:  "A Regional Program for the Production of Multiple Agricultural Feedstocks and Processing to Biofuels and Biobased Products".  The grant is funded as a Coordinated Agricultural Project through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).   SRU scientists will be significant contributors to the development of new energycane varieties and sustainable production practices for production areas outside of the traditional sugarcane growing areas of South Louisiana.

November 19-27, 2011: Sugarcane Research Unit, Research Molecular Geneticist, Dr. Yong-Bao Pan, attended the 4th International Sugar Conference and Exposition in New Delhi, India.  The annual conference whose general theme was: "Coordinated Sugar and Energy Production in Developing Countries: Sustainable Technologies and Marketing Strategies"  had over 500 delegates from 30+ countries.  While attending the conference Dr. Pan delivered an invited plenary speech titled:  "Biotechnology: Impact on Sugarcane Agriculture and Industry" and chaired a session on sugarcane breeding and biotechnology.