AgCenter: Late planting, August floods hurt sweet potatoes
MANSURA - The LSU AgCenter says late planting and August floods hurt Louisiana's sweet potato harvest, cutting the yield from 450 bushels an acre in 2015 to 290 bushels per acre last year.
Extension Associate Myrl Systrunk told the Louisiana Sweet Potato Association on Jan. 18 in Mansura that the crop was shaping up well until the floods.
Louisiana had 9,296 acres of sweet potatoes in 2016, only a slight decrease from 2015's 9,309 acres. Sistrunk said Franklin and West Carroll parish farms make up about half that acreage.
Tara Smith, director of the AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station, says rain also kept many farmers from applying a pesticide in time, and some reported heavy losses from infestations of root rot nematodes.