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LSU AgCenter to sell off 1 of 5 research cattle herds

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU AgCenter says it’s going to sell many of the cattle in the largest of its five research herds, and eventually plans to eliminate cattle research at its facility in Homer, near the Arkansas state line.

The Hill Farm Research Station’s beef researcher is leaving, “so the station’s focus will be on poultry, forage and forestry research,” AgCenter Associate Vice President Phil Elzer said in a news release Thursday. He said money from the cattle sale will plug holes in the animal program budget.

Officials haven’t decided how many of the 371 mature and 69 younger cows and bulls will be sold at auction, AgCenter spokeswoman Tobie Blanchard said in an interview. Current prices for a 600-to-700 pound cow range from $1 to $1.33 a pound.

There are smaller research herds near Alexandria, Shreveport, Louisiana, in Iberia Parish and near the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.

The Dean Lee Research Station near Alexandria has about 200 head of cattle, with 151 at the Iberia Research Station, 94 at the Red River Research Station and a small herd at the Central Research Station in Baton Rouge.

Elzy said the Homer research station will lease about 640 acres for grazing and hay production.

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