Louisiana sugar, rice, may be Ok despite freeze - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Louisiana sugar, rice, may be Ok despite freeze

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The LSU AgCenter says farmers and experts are "cautiously optimistic" that the recent freeze didn't do major damage to Louisiana's sugar and wheat.

AgCenter agent Blair Hebert says in a news release that about 10 percent of the Teche area's sugarcane is still in the field, partly because farmers increased plantings.

Farmer Mark Patout tells the AgCenter that a hard freeze can split stalks, letting in bacteria that can reduce the sugar content. He says warm weather shortly after a freeze makes things worse.

AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois says days and nights have remained cool so far.

Wheat specialist Boyd Padgett says wheat probably was young enough to remain undamaged. He says that as long as the growing point is below the ground, wheat can tolerate several hours below freezing.

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