Randy Romero, president of the American Sugar Cane League, said the $10 million in federal funding U.S. Congressman Garret Graves secured for the government’s Sugarcane Research Unit in Schriever will go a long way to finish building out the rural research farm.
“Congressman Garret Graves recognizes the important role sugarcane plays in Louisiana’s economy and we thank him,” Romero said. “He knows the state’s sustainable sugarcane industry continues to be built and grown by local farmers, millers and research community and provides a safe and reliable domestic source of sugar for American consumers. We appreciate the confidence the federal government assigns to our industry.”
“The League’s sugar producers have invested significantly in their industry over the last 100 years and have long established relationships with the USDA and LSU AgCenter. The investment in the research farm in Schriever will help ensure Louisiana continues to play a cutting-edge role in research,” Romero said.
Sugarcane, Louisiana’s largest row crop, is an economic driver worth $3 billion annually and supports 16,000 jobs. The League helped build the earliest USDA farm in Houma in 1922 and has benefitted by the research conducted at the Schriever farm. The USDA Sugarcane Research Unit has helped develop improved varieties of sugarcane, expand the crop’s range, develop environmentally friendly production strategies, and created strategies to manage plant disease, insects and weeds.
The funding will construct a joint office and laboratory building as well as two greenhouse facilities. The new buildings will allow the Sugarcane Research Unit to finish consolidating its operations in Houma to the state-of-the-art facility in Schriever.