Hurricane Barry

LSU AgCenter assesses local crops for damage after Barry

If you’ve driven by a sugar cane field since Barry hit and you may see a few canes leaning. So what does that mean for the crop this year? USDA and LSU AgCenter are going to farms and assessing the damage to figure it out.

Friday during their annual Sugar Cane Field Day in St. Martinville, LSU AgCenter invites vendors and farmers to explore what’s new in the industry and this year they will talk about the potential impact Barry will have come harvest.

“Just hope for the best, that’s all we could do.”

Sugar cane farmer Roy Latiolais says weather is a risk that comes with the job and Barry is no exception.

“It wasn’t as bad as we expected we thank God on that part, it always could be worse. It still can be worst for some.” Latiolais says. “We got canes that are leaning, a couple of broken stalks and all. Overall it’s not that much damage to be talked about, it’ll be a little slow.”

USDA LSU AgCenter are assessing damage across Acadiana. Some places are worse than others.

Blair Hebert from LSU AgCenter’s Iberia Parish Extension Office says, “It’s going to be on a low percentage, we’re not seeing the amount of water and the water that stayed like we did in 2016. We don’t have the wind effects like we did in Rita, Gustav and Ike but we do have damage.”

That’s for the sugar cane crop, it’s different for soybeans because they are grown closer to the coast and are more fragile.

Hebert says, “Right now we’re thinking some of those soybeans will be a total lost and we won’t be able to harvest them.”

Some farmers are still pumping water out of their fields. With more rain on the way there are still concerns on what will happen to future crops.

Hebert says, “Naturally, where the worst conditions are that’s what’s taking the longest to get back on those areas and allowing us to assess the damages that’s kind of where we are with that.”

There is another Sugar Cane Field Day Tuesday July 23 at 7:45 a.m. in Iberia Parish. For more information call 337-369-4440.