Two new LSU AgCenter blogs related to rice farming have made debuts this season on the Web.

Natalie Hummel, entomologist, documents her work with rice insects, and Johnny Saichuk, rice specialist, has turned his Field Notes newsletter into a blog.

Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said the blogs are good examples of using technology to distribute research-based information to producers.

“Innovations such as these blogs are cheaper than mailing material to farmers and accessible 24 hours a day to anyone,” Coreil said.

Hummel said she started the blog in January, and so far she has had 4,124 hits, including from other countries such as India and Colombia. She also posts the entries on her Facebook page.

Her blog is http://louisianariceinsects.wordpress.com/.

Because the entries are brief, she leaves out some explanatory information.

“The target audience is expected to know about rice insects,” she said.

Hummel said she got the idea from the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station blog, which is at http://lsuagcenterrice.blogspot.com/.

She said the blog is easy to find, even if the address is unknown, if you search for Louisiana rice insects.

Saichuk’s regular dispatches from Field Notes are the basis for his blog, which is at http://lariceman.wordpress.com. He said the first day it went live on the Web, it received 400 hits.

He writes about what he sees every week in the rice fields that are in the LSU AgCenter rice verification program, everything from the planting of a crop to the harvest.

A condensed version of Field Notes is used for the blog. “What I write for Field Notes is too much text for the blog format.”

He has been writing Field Notes and sending it out by e-mail since 2005. Even with the blog started this year, he still e-mails Field Notes to more than 120 recipients, and it is passed along to others across the U.S. rice-growing areas.

“County agents distribute it to their farmers, and so from there it multiplies,” he said.

LSU AgCenter rice farming blogs:

http://louisianariceinsects.wordpress.com/

http://lariceman.wordpress.com

http://lsuagcenterrice.blogspot.com/