The LSU AgCenter has announced a field day featuring energy cane and sweet sorghum on Oct. 2 at the USDA-Agricultural Research Station Sugarcane Research Farm near Houma, La.

Field tours will include visits to the biomass quality laboratory and photoperiod and crossing house along with presentations on cultural practices, soil fertility, planting, harvesting, transportation, variety demonstrations and pest management, according to LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois.

The field tours will be followed by a short indoor program and lunch. After lunch, the group will tour the Raceland Raw Sugar Factory.

Producers in Louisiana and surrounding states will be interested in both energy cane and sweet sorghum, said LSU AgCenter crop specialist John Kruse.

“Those crops are going to be looked at not only from an agronomic perspective but also a fuel-efficiency perspective,” Kruse said. They will allow growers to produce alternative crops, particularly on more marginal lands and be profitable.

Both crops will be displayed under different productions scenarios, such as various population densities and fertility regimens. 

In addition to producers, Gravois expects the audience to include industry leaders interested in biofuels as well as researchers who may want to see practical results.

The field day is serving as a pre-meeting tour for the 2012 National Conference: Science for Biomass Feedstock Production and Utilization, which will be held Oct. 2-5 in New Orleans.

More information is available from Gravois at (225) 642-0224 or e-mail kgravois@agcenter.lsu.edu.

The USDA research farm is located at 501 Bull Run Road, Schriever, La.