BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For a third year in a row, the Louisiana agriculture industry has recorded the highest number in history with well over $12 billion.
"2014 was a year of back-to-back-to-back records for many areas - record yields, record production," said LSU AgCenter economist Dr. John Westra speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.
The state's agriculture economy increased nearly eight percent in 2014, breaking 2013's record number of $11.8 billion which surpassed 2012's number that was also a record at the time.
The LSU AgCenter credits nearly ideal weather conditions combined with no severe pest threat. In 2014, records were set for corn and soybeans while near records were hit for cotton, rice and wheat.
"When you look at soybeans, almost 1.5 million acres. Look at the value, more than a billion dollars. It's a record in the state and a record across the United States," said Mike Strain, LA Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.
The AgCenter says last year's record total would have been even greater if not for a few minor events, again citing the weather. Economists are blaming a very cold start to 2014 for increased production costs for many fruits and vegetables.
"Those helped drag down what would have been an even bigger year in 2014," said Dr. Westra.
When legislative session starts April 13th, Commissioner Strain says he will be at the Capitol, working with lawmakers to continue to grow the agricultural economy.
"We are poised for a true tremendous agriculture renaissance because what we have now is record productivity, record efficiencies, but now we're going to start demanding a stronger price as we grow these commodities," said Strain.
The complete summary of the record-breaking year in agriculture, visit the AgCenter's new website.