2013 SW LA Forestry Forum Topics Included Deer Food Plots, Southern Pine Beetle & Eucalyptus Trees.
Keith Hawkins, SW Area Forester
The SW LA Forestry Association (SWLAFA) held its Annual Meeting in conjunction with the LSU AgCenter’s Forestry Forum on March 9th at the Exhibition Hall of the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds. Mr. Richard Meaux, President, greeted attendees and awarded a retirement plaque to Mr. Steve McCorquodale for his 17 years of service as a Board Member of the SWLAFA.
Mr. Buck Vandersteen, Louisiana Forestry Association, showed an example of a “Prestige” license plate recognizing Louisiana forestry. The proceeds of the license plate support the operations of the LA Office of Forestry. Vandersteen also described the legislative and legal issues affecting forest landowners at both the state and Federal levels.
The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of the USDA sent Mr. Corby Moore, District Conservationist, to describe the various Federal programs that support sound forest management.
Dr. Don Reed, a Wildlife Biologist with the LSU AgCenter, spoke at length about the installation of effective deer food plots. Some of the food plot crops included: legumes, preferred grasses, corn, soybeans and grain sorghum. Part of the presentation included the timing of planting for optimal deer browse. Reed also described the need for a small exclusion fence to monitor the effectiveness of a food plot. More details about deer food plots are available from LSU AgCenter Publication #2843, Food Plot Planting for White-Tailed Deer in Louisiana by Dr. Reed.
Because Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) has been inactive for several years, forest landowners heard from Dr. Tim Showalter, Forest Entomologist with the LSU AgCenter, apprised with the most current information about SPB. Showalter said it is too soon to know how SPB populations might behave because it is too early for the results of aerial surveys and SPB trapping. He did report that Mississippi had 1000 SPB spots during the 2012 season. Showalter provided the audience the necessary information about SPB biology and effects. This presentation also supplied treatment recommendations for mitigating SPB infestations.
Beauregard Parish is home to hundreds of acres of commercial eucalyptus trees, and Dr. Mike Blazier, Forestry Specialist with the AgCenter, updated the audience about this kind of forest management. Blazier said that growing eucalyptus resembles agriculture more than forestry because the intensive weed control during the first four years of the plantation. Blazier conducted herbicide trials in SW Louisiana and SE Texas where these trees will support the papermill of MeadWestvaco in Evadale, TX. The rotation for eucalyptus entails 8 years after which the trees will be clearcut, and the sprouts will become the second rotation for another 8 years. After eight years, the tree heights will approach 70 feet.
The number of forest landowners, foresters and loggers was 64. These folks represented over 17,000 acres of forests. Respondents to an evaluation estimate that this event was worth an average of $580 of economic benefit per person. One attendee wrote, “[This is] my 1st annual meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed the social, great talks and learned more & enjoyed the food.”
For more information about the AgCenter’s forestry programs, contact Keith Hawkins, County Agent, 337-463-7006. Also, you may also obtain regular forestry and wildlife updates by sending your request by email to email@example.com.