LSU Ag Center weighs in on how flooding impacts farming

LSU Ag Center weighs in on how flooding impacts farming
The Red River Research Center sits just off of Highway 1 headed towards Coushatta

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The recent flooding across the ArkLaTex may not be as severe as what many saw in June of 2015, but for farmers, any weather can come with a cost.

The Red River Research Center is a branch of the LSU Ag Center and consists of around 500 acres off of Highway 1 in South Bossier Parish.

Patrick Colyer is the Executive Director and conducts studies and research to come up with strategies to improve the productivity of plant and animal agriculture.

"Luckily these past two floods have happened early in the spring when we really haven't had many crops in the ground," said Colyer.

"A lot of producers this time of year are trying to get their crops ready. They're putting out pesticides, tilling the land, and what this rain has been doing is delaying planting and pushing it back."

Colyer says another issue is with livestock on pastures that sit on the wrong side of the levee.

Recently law enforcement was forced to rescue cattle from a flooded field.

"If they have flooded pastures, they don't have grass and they may not have hay later in the year that they can cut for their animals," said Colyer.

"They need as much productivity as they can get and losing 50 to 100 acres can be devastating to them."

Colyer says the agriculture business in Louisiana accounts for $13 billion of the state's economy, but for individual farmers, every little bit counts.

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