Sweet potato industry shrinking in Louisiana - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Sweet potato industry shrinking in Louisiana

Posted: Updated:

DELHI La. (KNOE 8 News) - Sweet potatoes are high in nutrition and demand, but local sweet potato farms are shrinking.

The sweet potato industry is growing rapidly, but the market is changing in Louisiana especially.

And competition with northern states puts pressure on the local farms.

"The North Carolina industry then developed the covington sweet potato, which is not very appealing in its looks. We get quite a bit more money for our sweet potatoes than they do. But at the same time it yields better," said Owner of Dawson Farms, Lev Dawson.

Louisiana State University's experiment station helped develop a different high-yielding potato for the south.

"It took over the industry by storm, and it didn't grow as well up in North Carolina," said Dawson.

Louisiana's sweet potatoes are also better quality.

"Down here this soil makes a prettier sweet potato, and a better tasting sweet potato, But it doesn't yield as much," said Dawson.

But not all local farmers have been able to keep up. With the expense and demand for fresh markets like Wal-Mart or Brookshire's.

"It's difficult to be small and be in the fresh market," said Dawson.

Dawson says fees, market prices fluctuating, refrigeration costs, machinery, and bad weather are all expenses – with minimum incentive.

"So there is no incentive for farmers to switch to sweet potatoes down here now. They can make a good living with corn, beans, and in some cases cotton," said Dawson.

LSU's experiment station continues to work on more sweet potato developments, so Louisiana can compete with North Carolina's high yield.

Dawson's farm is one of the largest in the country, and produces 3,500 acres of sweet potato a year.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Thieves make off with mowers

    Thieves make off with mowers

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-04-15 22:55:57 GMT
    WINN PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Winn Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for help locating the suspects who stole riding lawnmowers from a hardware store.
    WINN PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Winn Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for help locating the suspects who stole riding lawnmowers from a hardware store.
  • Monroe’s hidden gem

    Monroe’s hidden gem

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-04-15 13:36:04 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -Nolan Crane was given an exclusive tour of The Poolside Shop and shows us a rare piece of the city's history that has been hidden for several decades.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -Earlier this year Monroe businessman Michael Echols bought The Poolside Shop and the Southern Hardware Supply Company buildings in downtown Monroe. Nolan Crane was given an exclusive tour of the buildings. He shows us a rare piece of the city's history that has been hidden for several decades.
  • Community divided on charter school funding

    Community divided on charter school funding

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:20:17 GMT
    BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Residents in the Beekman Taxing District, located in Morehouse Parish, gathered to discuss a new proposed tax on the ballot for May.
    BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Residents in the Beekman Taxing District located in Morehouse Parish gathered to discuss a new proposed tax on the ballot for May.
  • 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
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.