Landscape field day set at Hammond station

A landscape horticulture field day for nursery, landscape and garden center professionals is being held at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 9 at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station, 21549 Old Covington Highway.

Walking tours of landscape research projects and demonstration plots begin at 9 a.m.

Topics include an overview of ornamental plant variety evaluations, including annual bedding plants, herbaceous perennials, roses, new crape myrtles, new shrubs and hardy hibiscus; updates on current disease, insect and weed issues; and a field tour featuring plant growth regulators used to manage shrub growth.

The annual Southeast Louisiana Nursery Association trade show will be held concurrently with the field day. Wholesale nursery exhibitors from the north shore will display available products from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from noon to 2 p.m.

No registration fee or RVSP is required. Louisiana licensed landscape architects attending receive four continuing education credits.

For information, contact the Hammond Research Station at (985) 543-4125.

Oil opportunities in Mexico being discussed

Seminars about oil industry opportunities in Mexico are being held next week in Lafayette and New Orleans.

Recent reforms to Mexico’s energy regulations mean that the country will open up its 76-year energy monopoly under state-run PEMEX to private businesses, allowing foreign entities to enter into leasing agreements to explore and drill wells.

Mauricio Garcia Palacios, president of the Association of Southeastern Mexico Oil Cos., will lead an oil and gas delegation from Mexico to Lafayette on Oct. 2 at the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise center and to New Orleans on Oct. 3 at the Port of New Orleans.

The seminars will cover new regulations for exploration and production in Mexico and the oil and gas sector; upcoming Pemex projects for 2014-2018; legal considerations of doing business with PEMEX in Tabasco; accounting and tax implications of the energy reform; a new procurement directorate and how to sell to PEMEX; and the new petroleum Port of Frontera.

For information and registration for the Lafayette event, contact Vanessa Paredes at vparedes@lafayettela.gov or (337) 291-5474.

For information and registration for the New Orleans event, contact Brittany Banta at brittany.banta@trade.gov or (504) 589-6702.

LSU’s LaHouse holding mold remediation course

The LSU AgCenter LaHouse Resource Center will conduct a mold control and remediation training course Oct. 21-23 at LaHouse in Baton Rouge.

It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day.

Satisfactory completion of the course fulfills the initial 24-hour education requirement for a mold remediation contractor license in Louisiana. It also qualifies for Louisiana Incumbent Worker Training Program tuition reimbursement for eligible employers and counts as 24 continuing education credits for Louisiana residential contractors.

For information or to register, visit www.lsuagcenter.com/lahouse or contact Claudette Reichel at (225) 578-7913.

Outdoor business workshop planned

Landowners can learn how to earn additional income from their agricultural lands, recreational property or timberland during an outdoor business workshop on Oct. 16 at the Thomas Jason Lingo Community Center, 10284 La. 17, in Oak Grove.

Registration starts at 8 a.m., with presentations from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Experts will talk about outdoor revenue potential, conservation ecosystem enhancements, liability issues, agritourism potential, farm bill opportunities, land management, outdoor recreational opportunities and carbon payments.

For information, visist www.lsuagcenter.com/agritourism and click on the Outdoor Business Workshop link or contact LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator Dora Ann Hatch at (318) 927-9654, ext. 229. Registration is $25 per person or $30 per couple. Registration is at www.lsuagcenter.com/agtourismworkshop or by mailing a check payable to LSU AgCenter, 195 A Community Road, Oak Grove, LA 71263.

Farmers, beekeepers trying to protect bees

Agricultural producers, beekeepers and pesticide applicators are working together in an effort to minimize the damage chemicals may have on honeybee populations in Louisiana.

LSU AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown said the Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program was created to prevent beekeepers and pollinators from exposure to pesticides from agricultural operations.

“Essentially, what we’re doing is representing both beekeepers and farmers at the same table,” Brown said. “Since they often have their operations in the same vicinity, we felt a need to have both groups sit down together.”

Mississippi has been developing a location identification program that uses a yellow and black flag to indicate where hives are located.

“Their use of the ‘bee aware’ flag is something that we want to pattern after because it creates a unified recognition system that is highly visible to pesticide applicators and farmers,” Brown said.

“Communication, communication, communication,” said Kim Pope, LSU AgCenter pesticide safety education coordinator. “Producers and beekeepers need to create a dialogue with each other to know where hives are located so that when pesticide applications are made, we can minimize risk to the hives.”

Pollination services provided by honeybees are important for producers of vegetables, fruit, nuts, flowers, grasses and other plants that feed wildlife, livestock and people.

In 2013, an estimated 325 beekeepers produced 1.8 million pounds of honey. That’s up from 322 beekeepers who produced 1.5 million pounds in 2012. The number of hives during that period also increased from 21,443 to 22,628. The total value of honey production for 2013 was $4.3 million, up from $3.7 million in 2012.

Sugar cane industry brochure available

An educational brochure about the sugar cane industry has been published by the American Sugar Cane League.

Sugar cane is Louisiana’s top crop, with more than 16,000 residents making their living from sugar cane.

The 16-page brochure, “From Louisiana’s Sugar Belt to Your Table,” is available for all teachers who want to include a lesson plan about sugar cane.

The package has eight different lessons and covers the history, chemistry, geography, cultivation and the many ways sugar is used in the United States, said Frankie Sotile, an Ascension Parish sugar cane farmer and chairman of the ASCL’s public relations committee.

The packet is available at the ASCL’s website at www.LaCane.org/learn or by contacting the ASCL at (985) 448-3707, (800) 883-2875 or via email at sugar@amscl.org.