[Image: Linda Z and Jackie L]
News Release Distributed 10/31/12
CROWLEY, La. – The Louisiana Rice Research Board met Oct. 29 to decide how funds from checkoff money should be spent on research projects to benefit fellow farmers.
The board approved $1.3 million in funding for 17 projects, after hearing several hours of presentations from LSU AgCenter scientists.
The checkoff funds are derived from a 5-cent self-assessed fee collected on every 100 pounds of rice produced and sold in Louisiana. Farmers approved renewal of the checkoff program in January.
“These funds are investments in our future as rice farmers,” said Board Chairman Jackie Loewer, a farmer from Branch. “The board’s money is being well spent by scientists working on such programs as breeding new varieties, disease resistance, salt tolerance in new rice lines, hybrid rice, testing of new herbicides and insecticides, fertilizer applications and fungicide work.”
Loewer said the projects are practical and aimed at solving problems encountered by all rice farmers.
“As farmers, we individually don’t have the resources to have our own research and development department,” Loewer said. “So as farmers, we pool our money together and help provide funding for our research team.”
Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, said the board’s funds represent a large portion of the money required to conduct research. “With budget cuts in the past several years, the board’s contribution toward our mission to help farmers is appreciated even more,” he said. “We could not maintain the current level of research without the checkoff funds.”
Also at the board meeting, outgoing board member Linda Zaunbrecher, of Gueydan, was recognized for her six years of service. New board member Ronnie Sonnier, of Kinder, attended his first meeting.
Projects to be conducted with the board funds are:
–Economic analysis of rice production and farm management in Louisiana, Mike Salassi, economist.
–Integrated management strategies for insect pests of rice in Louisiana, Mike Stout, entomologist.
–Characterization and use of genetic traits for resistance to multiple diseases of rice, Jong Hyun Ham, plant pathologist.
–Study of the biology and management of Cercospora disease in rice, Clayton Hollier, plant pathologist.
–Weed management in rice, Eric Webster, weed scientist.
–Breeding rice varieties with tolerance to salt and other stresses, Prasanta Subudhi, plant breeder.
–Rice Research Station overall support, Linscombe.
–Development of disease control in rice, Don Groth, plant pathologist.
–Rice management strategies for efficient use of agronomic inputs and natural resources, Dustin Harrell, agronomist.
–Multiple generation rice breeding nursery, Linscombe.
–Enhancement of rice research and extension communications, Linscombe.
–Development of superior rice varieties for Louisiana, Linscombe.
–Marker-assisted breeding and development of molecular markers for important traits in Louisiana rice production, Herry Utomo, molecular biologist.
–Characterization of high-protein rice lines and development of herbicide-resistant rice, Ida Wenefrida, rice researcher.
–Development of hybrid rice and sheath blight-resistant germplasm for Louisiana, James Oard, geneticist.
–Rice research verification program, Johnny Saichuk, rice specialist.
–Rapid, on-site evaluation of soil salinity and zinc deficiency, David Weindorf, soil scientist.