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Conservation Programs

Agricultural Solid Waste Management Programs

Through the Agricultural Solid Waste Management Program, agricultural producers can learn how to manage agricultural waste for beneficial uses.

By the use of Best Management Practices adopted through this program, facilities such as rice dyers, grain elevators, cotton gins, seafood processors and similar operations, or facilities generating wood waste or stable manure can carry out their activities in an environmentally sound manner, where otherwise these operations would be subject to the LDEQ solid waste permitting process at public expense. By affected producers and processors implementing prescribed BMPs through this program, agricultural waste and by-products may be utilized beneficially as organic fertilizer, mulch, and other useful products.

Agricultural Solid Waste Best Management Practices Guidelines

Prescribed Burning Program

Prescribed burning is an agricultural management practice and, in Louisiana row crop production, is used primarily during sugarcane harvest. There are a number of environmental concerns associated with this practice and the state has instituted a voluntary smoke and ash management training program to assist growers in addressing these concerns.

Additionally, a number of research projects are underway to identify possible alternatives to the prescribed burning practice. The training program stresses that growers should have a responsible attitude toward environmental and public issues in their efforts to be as efficient as possible in the production of sugarcane. The following are some of the important objectives which growers should always strive to achieve with regard to smoke and ash management.

  •  Minimize the adverse effects caused by open field burning of sugarcane.
  • Prevent smoke from being blown across public highways and airports.
  • Prevent smoke from affecting public areas, especially public health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and doctors’ offices.
  • Prevent smoke from impacting schools during times when students and teachers are present.
  • Prevent smoke from affecting subdivisions, individual homes and other housing facilities.
  • Minimize ash fallout that may result from burning sugarcane.

To achieve these objectives, growers should practice smoke and ash management by using recommended prescribed burning practices. Prescribed burning can be defined as the controlled application of fire to agricultural fields under weather conditions that allow the fire to be confined to a predetermined area, in a manner that will produce the desired result of reducing leaves in the harvested cane, or reduction of crop residue. Smoke and ash management can be defined as conducting a prescribed burn under recommended weather conditions using burning techniques that reduce the adverse impact of smoke and ash on the environment, or to public health and safety.

LSU AgCenter Prescribed Burning Practices (Website)

Coastal Wetland Re-vegetation Program

This program is conducted through partnerships among the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources/Coastal Restoration Division, the LDAF/Office of Soil & Water Conservation and eleven coastal SWCDs. Using locally adapted plant species, an average of 30 linear miles of shoreline and interior wetland restoration plantings are implemented each year within the LA coastal zone.

These 30 miles are an aggregate of 20-25 annual planting projects that differ greatly according to environmental parameters, plant materials used and restorative effects. By transferring these restoration techniques through local SWCDs to land owners with whom they establish a long-term working relationship, many land owners are able to knowledgeably and affordably contribute to these restoration efforts.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

CREP is a federal/state program that addresses significant agriculture related environmental concerns. Through this program, eligible land owners may receive financial incentives to remove environmentally sensitive cropland and grazing land from production for up to 15 years; these areas are then converted to native grasses or trees. Nearly 50,000 acres of such marginal cropland in the Boeuf River and Bayou Macon watersheds have been enrolled in CREP, reducing soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution, improving water quality in rural drinking water sources and improving critical wildlife habitat.

LA CREP Annual Reports

  • 2005 (PDF, 461 KB)
  • 2006 (PDF, 681 KB)

LA CREP Partners