click image to zoomCourtesy Louisiana State UniversityLSU AgCenter sweet potato specialist Tara Smith checks sweet potato vines for disease and insects at the Sweet Potato Research Station in Chase. Louisiana sweet potato acres appear to be rebounding, with growers planting more than 9,000 this year.
The increase follows several years of dwindling acreage and growers leaving the industry.
Part of the growth can be attributed to two recent releases from Louisiana State University s AgCenter, according to a news release.
The AgCenter released LA 07-146 in 2012 mainly for the processing sector. Orleans, another release, was designed for the fresh market.
Both are gaining a following because of better pack-out and better quality.
LA 07-146 is averaging 15-percent higher production than the industry standard Beauregard.
And the university continues to work on even better varieties.
Sweet potato specialist Tara Smith and her crew will show off the latest at the semi-annual field day, Aug. 7, at the Sweet Potato Research Station, 30 Sweet Potato Road, Chase.