Posts tagged lsu agcenter

2015 Prescribed Burn Workshop in SW Louisiana

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2015 Prescribed Burn Workshop in SW Louisiana

Keith Hawkins, Area Extension Forester

The LSU AgCenter in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry had a prescribed burn workshop to enable attendees to become “Certified Burn Managers”. Dr. Niels de Hoop, LSU Forestry Professor, was the lead instructor. Mark Davis and Darrell Eaves, both of the LDAF, also provided instruction.

2015 PB field exercise

Attendees cutting a firebreak during a field exercise.

Topics will include: fuels, burning techniques, proper tools, optimal weather conditions, smoke management, liability management, planning, fire behavior and more.

The successful graduates of this workshop are:

  1. Anderson, Becky
  2. Anderson, Harold
  3. Battaglia, Charles,
  4. Breland, Bradley
  5. Cooke, Dan
  6. Doffitt, Chris
  7. Fitzsimmons, Robert
  8. Garrett, Cody
  9. Gutierrez, Mariamar
  10. Holten, Ben
  11. Koepp, Russell
  12. Lawson, RaHarold
  13. LeJeune, Aubrey
  14. Parker, Kenneth
  15. Perkins, Robert Shane
  16. Reynolds, Matthew
  17. Richmond, Cecilia
  18. Rose, Gardner
  19. Shirley, Charleston
  20. Smith Vivian
  21. Sonnier, Cliff
  22. Tate, Jon

Congratulations to all students.

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Red Alert: Kudzu Bug

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 Red Alert: Kudzu Bug

By George Giltner, Adv. Master Gardener

2015 kudzu bug 1

Adult Kudzu Bug, Source: http://www.blogs.extension.org

Another invasive bug is spreading though the Southeast US, but this one doesn’t just stay outside. In the fall months, the Kudzu Bug (Megacopta cribraria), begins seeking nice warm places to overwinter – your home.  White walls, curtains, and trim are particularly attractive.  Typically they come in large numbers where excrement causes brown stains on fabrics and walls.  If they land on skin, it may also be stained, plus some people are even blistered.

2015 kudzu bug 2

Staining and blistering from crushed kudzu bug. Source: http://www.kudzubug.org

The Kudzu bug could develop into a real problem for us in Louisiana. Therefore report sightings and any infestation to the LSU AgCenter.  Not only do these bugs like your house in winter, in the spring your yard and garden are their new habitat where they feast on kudzu, wisteria, beans, and many other legume plants.

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Close up image of an adult kudzu bug. Source: Clemson University

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Close up of kudzu bug egg mass. Source: Clemson University

An ID is made by of the mature adults by its squared off shape, olive green to brown color and its ¼ inch diameter size. The immature bugs are also boxy, but they are also hairy.  The light brown and barrel shaped eggs are usually laid in parallel rows.

How do you control this midget, boxy stinkbug if they get in your home? First, don’t squish them or spray them as body secretions can stain and release foul odors. Your best bet is to use a wet capable shop vac.  Add a few drops of soap in about an inch of water in the bottom of the shop vacuum for a drowning solution. Then use the vacuum at will.  Second, seal off the entry point where they entered.  Calking, screening, window and door sealing are good energy savers and bug invader preventers.

For the yard, common insecticides that are designated for specific plants can be used. The best time for spraying is in the evening before dark with cool temperatures.  Most current insecticides degrade with light, moisture, and high temperatures.  Bugs on the side of buildings can be sprayed, but limit the sprayed area to that occupied by the invading bugs.

If you have an overwhelming problem with kudzu bugs, call a professional exterminator. And again, inform the LSU AgCenter in order to track the degree of this invasion.  As of August 2014, several eastern Parishes have confirmed the distribution is progressing in a western direction.

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Planting Tips & Community Gardening Plots Available in DeRidder for 2013

By George Giltner, Master Gardener

LSUAC4C72-80px[1]MasGarTM5x7_w85[1] A Blog from the LSU AgCenter and Beauregard Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners welcome gardeners to grow and care for vegetable plots in DeRidder.  Master Gardeners or community gardeners can obtain plots by calling the AgCenter, 463-7006, or George Giltner at 460-1715.  Corn, early tomatoes, a row of blackberries, broccoli, lettuce, snap peas, etc. are suggestions.  Our aim is to grow healthy, nutrient dense foods, and to support our LSU AgCenter.

A healthy potato variety, Nicola, will be trialed this spring in two sites in the Master Garden.  This potato has a low glycemic index and a buttery flavor that is great for potato salads and mashed potatoes.  One planting site is the primarily clay soil on the west end, and the other in a sandy loam site in the center of the garden center.

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Santa visiting a winter garden in Beauregard Parish

Potato planning tips:

  1. Be sure to order your potatoes early.  Many heirloom and hard-to-find varieties sell out quickly.  Ask about the delivery date.  This is important because potatoes do not do well when the temperatures reach the 90’s.  If a late planting runs into hot weather while the tubers are in the early bulking stage, you may get a low yield.
  2. When your seed potatoes arrive, store them in the refrigerator until the week before you are going to plant them.  To break their dormancy, take them out of the refrigerator, and place them on a bright and warm place, like a window seal.
  3. Plan on where you want to plant your potatoes.  The critical consideration for planting is good soil drainage.  Heavy spring rains can soak soil and turn it to anaerobic conditions and rot,  without proper drainage.  Do not plant potatoes where tomatoes or other members of the Nightshade family grew the previous year.  Plant them in spots where cabbage, mustards or other brassicas were grown for their fumigant and disease resistant properties.
  4. The right time to plant is determined by weather conditions.  Potatoes should be planted in soils that are dry enough to be cultivated without heavily sticking to cultivating tools.  The target date for our Nicola potatoes is Feb. 14.  However some may be planted under hoop wire and cover cloth for an earlier start.
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Containerized beds with hoop covers for winter gardening.

More planting and gardening tips will follow next month.  Gardening is fun.  You get mental and physical exercise, but the best part is really great food at the end of the day.  An outstanding web site is www.healthy-food-site.com/food-nutritional-value.  All of us want good health.  So think about a New Year of discovering ways to live a healthy life style.

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