Sweet potato acreage continues to decline - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Sweet potato acreage continues to decline

Posted: Updated: July 2, 2013 10:34 AM
Source: AP Source: AP

WINNSBORO, La. (LSU AgCenter)  – Louisiana farmers have finished planting sweet potatoes, and acreage continues to decline.

Tara Smith, coordinator of the LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station, said Louisiana has about 7,500 acres, which is down 25 percent from last year and less than half of what farmers were planting 10 years ago.

Smith said several factors have led to lower acreage. "One is an aging producer population, and we've had several retirements. The other is the high cost of production the last couple of years, and we haven't realized a large enough return on some of the crop we're marketing," Smith said. 

Farmers across the country produced a good crop last year, which led to an oversupply of sweet potatoes and low prices. Farmers were selling their highest grade No. 1 potatoes for less than they did 20 years ago, according to Smith.

Sweet potatoes are an expensive crop to produce in Louisiana, but it also has the highest revenue potential, so Smith is optimistic that new growers may be attracted to the crop.

A cold and wet spring delayed field preparation this year, but growers have good stands of sweet potatoes.

The majority of the state's crop is planted in the variety Beauregard, but more growers are trying two new varieties released last year – Orleans and La 07146.

"Orleans is a Beauregard-type potato. It has a beautiful shade and more consistency hill-to-hill than Beauregard and slightly higher yield," Smith said. "We're really excited about what it may bring to the fresh market."

The other variety, La 07146, is aimed at the processing market for sweet potato french fries. On average it yields 15 to 20 percent higher than Beauregard.  "It's the first variety to really give Beauregard a run for its money in terms of yields," Smith said.

The sugarcane beetle is a major pest of sweet potatoes. LSU AgCenter researchers received a specialty crop grant from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to study the biology and ecology of this pest and develop better ways to manage it.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grambling State senior found dead in Lafayette park ditch

    Grambling State senior found dead in Lafayette park ditch

    Monday, April 14 2014 1:24 PM EDT2014-04-14 17:24:57 GMT
    GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News)— The Grambling State University community is in shock by the death of a senior criminal justice major.
    GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News)— The Grambling State University community is in shock by the death of a senior criminal justice major.
  • Shelton dies of accidental drowning

    Shelton dies of accidental drowning

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:17 AM EDT2014-04-15 14:17:37 GMT
    LAFAYETTE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Lafayette authorities have ruled out foul play in the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found in Girard Park over the weekend.
    LAFAYETTE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Lafayette authorities have ruled out foul play in the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found in Girard Park over the weekend.
  • McAllister camp finally speaks

    McAllister camp finally speaks

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 4:20 PM EDT2014-04-15 20:20:37 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has received official word from Congressman Vance McAllister's office that he will return to Washington, D.C.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has received official word from Congressman Vance McAllister's office that he will return to Washington, D.C.
  • Body found at Tallulah motel

    Body found at Tallulah motel

    Monday, April 14 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-04-14 21:18:24 GMT
    TALLULAH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A body has been found outside a Tallulah motel.
    TALLULAH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A body has been found outside a Tallulah Days Inn motel.
  • Vitter dodges interview at Monroe Chamber Meeting

    Vitter dodges interview at Monroe Chamber Meeting

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:44:07 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Senator David Vitter avoided a one on one interview with KNOE 8 News on Wednesday at a Monroe Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Senator David Vitter avoided a one on one interview with KNOE 8 News on Wednesday at a Monroe Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.
  • Law enforcement looking for suspect in human trafficking case

    Law enforcement looking for suspect in human trafficking case

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-04-15 17:08:00 GMT
    BATON ROUGE (KNOE 8 News) – Investigators from the Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit are seeking the public's assistance locating Emmanuel Bailey.
    BATON ROUGE (KNOE 8 News) – Investigators from the Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit are seeking the public's assistance locating Emmanuel Bailey (B/M age 21) of Fort Smith, Arkansas wanted on charges of Human Trafficking.
  • Drivers could choose if they want REAL ID

    Drivers could choose if they want REAL ID

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 12:50 PM EDT2014-04-15 16:50:36 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Louisiana driver's licenses could move in line with a federal identification law.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Louisiana driver's licenses could move in line with a federal identification law
  • Juvenile arrested on second degree murder

    Juvenile arrested on second degree murder

    Sunday, April 13 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-04-13 21:45:06 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A juvenile is facing attempted second degree murder charges after a shooting occurred around midnight on Sunday.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A juvenile is facing attempted second degree murder charges after a shooting occurred around midnight on Sunday.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.