The Louisiana State University research station in central Louisiana has found that various varieties of sugarcane survive in chilly weather. It is a good reminder of what a large and powerful part agriculture plays in our state’s economy and culture.

The research done at the Dean Lee Research Center showed steady yields and prices have prompted some Louisiana farmers to push the limits, planting sugarcane in what has traditionally been corn and soybean country.

“This is a farmer-driven project,” AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois said. “The cold tolerance work in variety testing and weed control work done by Dr. (Al) Orgeron,” an AgCenter pest management specialist.

According to Dr. Mike Strain, DVM, the commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, agriculture is the largest industry in the state.

Our state’s agriculture products include cotton, soybeans, cattle, horses, sugarcane, poultry, eggs, dairy products, rice, forestry and aquaculture (seafood).

Louisiana’s farmers, foresters and fishermen contribute some $10 billion annually to the states economy.

Among the state’s many seafood products is crawfish. Louisiana is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world. And what would Louisiana be without its incredible world-famous cuisine and famous restaurants?

In addition, forestry is a massive industry in Louisiana, with 48 percent of the state comprising forest lands, or 13.8 million acres.

According to the Dept. of Agriculture, forestry is a renewable resource that provides the raw material for the second largest manufacturing employer — the forest products industry — with over 900 firms in 45 parishes directly employing over 25,000 people.

An additional 8,000 people are employed in harvesting and transportation of the resource. Other benefits of Louisiana’s forests are clean air and water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and scenic beauty.

Beyond the economic impact, agriculture has always been a big part of Louisiana’s history, heritage and culture, with many of our most famous and important people coming from rural backgrounds.

Our state is truly blessed to have such an abundance of natural resources produced by farmers, foresters and fishermen, as well as agriculture’s contribution to our very unique Louisiana culture.

More from this section

  • Updated

The Louisiana Department of Justice recently appealed to a federal court to intervene and permit reporting to appropriate authorities, concerning an alleged attempt by June Medical Services (d/b/a Hope Medical Group) to hide evidence of alleged criminal and professional misconduct.

Louisiana's farmers have collected more than $180 million in federal aid designated for farmers hurt by the United States' trade war with China — but some of them say it isn't enough.

  • Updated

Louisiana's long-standing reputation for losing its best and brightest as soon as they finish college has lent itself to an unfortunate label used by some elected officials — "brain drain."

Criminal justice reforms enacted by the Louisiana Legislature in 2017 have made the state safer by reducing the crime rate and have reduced the state's prison population. That is the view of Craig DeRoche, senior vice president of advocacy and public policy at Prison Fellowship, the nation's…

The exact date when work on a new Interstate 10-Calcasieu River bridge will begin remains as unclear today as it has been for the last decade. And as each year passes, the cost of a new bridge becomes more and more expensive.

The fact that Congress isn't getting much done because of the Democratic effort to impeach President Donald Trump has been common knowledge for some time now. Even if that happens before year's end, it is also well known that the Republican-controlled Senate isn't going to convict Trump.