Despite rain from Hurricane Isaac and in late September, Louisiana sweet potato growers report an overall average, good-quality crop.
Sweet potato acreage is down for the second year in a row, but Louisiana State University sweet potato specialist Tara Smith said she didn't believe the decline is permanent, according to a news release.
This year, growers planted about 15,000 acres, down about 15 percent from 2011, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The university has released two new varieties—Orleans and La07146.
Beauregard still continues to dominate planted acreage, although Orleans may be the first variety to challenge for the top spot.
“It’s a great-tasting potato. It looks great,” Smith said in the release. “It yields on average with Beauregard if not a little higher. The quality and the pack out seem to be improved compared with the Beauregard variety.”
Although the sugarcane beetle has been a bain to growers the past few years, LSU AgCenter researchers developed a management strategy that kept the pest at bay this season.