Louisiana agriculture is getting more attention this year, as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner has asked state lawmakers to give him more authority to protect some of the state “best crops.”
A group of senators are seeking to give the commissioner more power over certain crops and plants that are not typically regulated by state regulators, such as cotton and sugar beets.
Louisiana agriculture is also facing increased scrutiny in recent months, as a group of farmers sued the state last month alleging the federal government has unfairly targeted their crop.
But the state Agriculture Commissioner, who oversees the state Department of Agriculture, told lawmakers in a letter last month that his agency was not currently involved in any crop regulation.
The letter also noted that Louisiana is the largest producer of corn and soybeans in the country.
The state agriculture commissioner has been working to get the federal Food and Drug Administration to consider regulations of crops and products produced by growers in Louisiana.
The agency has been considering regulating crop varieties, the type of seed, and the location of production, among other issues.