Sweet potato farmers get updates
A newer sweet potato variety has finally overtaken a tried-and-true industry standard in terms of acreage grown in Louisiana, producers heard at the LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station field day in Chase on Aug. 31.
Louisiana sweet potato farmers now grow more acres of the Orleans variety than the Beauregard, which the AgCenter developed in the 1980s. Orleans is similar to the popular Beauregard but has a more uniform shape that offers a 10 to 15 percent gain in premium grade quality, said AgCenter sweet potato breeder Don LaBonte.
U.S. Sweet Potato Council director Kay Rentzel told attendees the Food and Drug Administration has extended the compliance period for the Food Safety and Modernization Act. She said U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, of Mangham, plans to hold a briefing for members of the House Agricultural Committee in late September to address labor and water issues facing the sweet potato industry.
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