From Bummer to Bumper: Louisiana sweet potato growers combat extreme heat, drought with irrigation

After conditions ruined Louisiana’s sweet potato crop last year, producers have managed to harvest a good haul this year. Louisiana State University Ag Center’s Craig Gautreaux has this report from northern Louisiana.

Sweet potato harvest is wrapping up in the state of Louisiana. Despite the hot, dry conditions, farmers have gathered a good crop this year.

Last year, incessant rains ruined Louisiana’s sweet potato crop. This year, farmers have had to deal with stifling heat and drought conditions. But with the aid of irrigation, this year’s crop is in much better shape.

“We are seeing some strong yields this year, but those yields come at a price with a lot of the farmers having to spend quite a bit extra on the irrigation and labor costs associated with it,” explained LSU Ag Center Sweet Potato Specialist Cole Gregorie.

Louisiana producers are expected to harvest about 6,000 acres of potatoes this season, but that haul is far lower than 20 years ago when the potato growers harvested 30,000 acres across the state.

Marion is a digital content manager for RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel. She started working for Rural Media Group in May 2022, bringing a decade of experience in the digital side of broadcast media as well as some professional cooking experience to the team.
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