Louisiana sugarcane crop poised for good harvest despite Hurricane Barry


LSU AgCenter sugarcane breeder Michael Pontif speaks about L 12-201, one of two new sugarcane varieties released in 2019, during the 37th annual field day at the AgCenter Sugar Research Station in St. Gabriel on July 17, 2019.

ST. GABRIEL, La. (LSU AgCenter Press Release) – After escaping Hurricane Barry with minimal damage, the Louisiana sugarcane crop seems to be on track for another successful harvest.

Barry, a Category 1 hurricane that made landfall July 13 near Vermilion Bay, delivered anywhere from 3 to 14 inches of rain across the sugarcane belt in south Louisiana.

“We were pretty dry, so actually, people were looking for a little bit of rain,” said LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois.

While some cane in coastal areas remains under water that was pushed in by tidal surge, that water does not appear to be salty, and “we are hopeful that the problem is localized and not industry-wide,” he said. And because this year’s crop is a little shorter than usual, lodging and top breakage from storm winds were limited.

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