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Sugar cane season ends on good note

Sugar cane season ends on good note

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 7:23 pm

SCHRIEVER, La. (AP) — Lousiana’s sugar harvest is turning out well for farmers, despite a delay caused by two hurricanes that reduced the volume of the crop. Daniel Naquin, a farmer from the Schriever area, says favorable weather conditions overall have meant higher sugar content in the cane, compensating for the lower yield caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Sugar cane is produced on almost 450,000 acres on almost 700 farms in 23 Louisiana parishes, and the state produces about 20 percent of the sugar grown in the United States from both beets and sugar cane. Cane is processed in 12 factories in the state. Grinding season is when farmers ship their cut cane to be processed into raw sugar and it runs from mid-October through late-December. Saturday afternoon Naquin was making plans to ship the last of his harvest from the 4,100 acres he leases near Bull Run Road in Schriever to Raceland Raw Sugar, which will likely shut production down for the season in the next few days. “The weather conditions since the storms have been very cooperative,” Naquin said. Generally speaking, farmers hope for lots of sun and an adequate amount of water when the cane is growing. But once it comes time to harvest, dry weather produces a superior product, Naquin said. The total value of the 2006 sugar cane crop to Louisiana growers, processors and landlords was nearly $538 million, according to statistics from Louisiana State University. Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com Published in The Messenger 12.30.08

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