MONROE, La. (AP) – Matt Frey admits noticing a few double takes from passers-by in Concordia Parish near Blackhawk when they notice a stand of sugarcane in his field, the first that far north in generations.
"Yeah, we’ve gotten some looks,” said Frey, who farms about 4,000 acres with his brothers Mitch, Mark and Marty. "But it works.”
The brothers farm rice, corn and soybeans as well as cattle and crawfish, but they’ve more recently added sugarcane to the mix.
"We’ve only grown 19 crops and some growers have been farming cane for 150 years,” Frey said. "We bought 1,500 acres at Blackhawk and it’s real good, fertile ground. We decided to plant 150 acres of cane there.”
Kenneth Gravois, the LSU AgCenter’s sugarcane specialist, said sugarcane acres "have been expanding farther north and also farther west into Vermilion Parish.”