Sep 25, 2013 11:26 PM by Erin Steuber
The 72nd Annual Sugar Cane Festival is kicking off. The festival has a long standing tradition of honoring the sugar cane industry, which brings in nearly $2 billion to the state. And the largest producing parish, right here in Acadiana, plays host to the big event.
In Iberia Parish sugar cane is the cash crop of choice with more than 55,000 acres, bringing in more than $72 million.
"So to say it's important to the economics of Iberia Parish is a tremendous understatement," said LSU Ag Center's Blair Hebert. "It is by far our number one crop in terms of acreage and economic importance."
The Sugar Cane Festival is a celebration of the crop, and marks the beginning of harvest season. For many farmers, this is the last couple of days off before 100 days of grinding.
"For a farmer, harvest season is when we get paid. We work all year long and finally it's time to get paid," said Farmer Ryan Dore.
Last year's sugar cane harvest set a record. Between the production of sugar and seeds more than 14 million tons was harvested.
"This crop may not set records like last year, but we think it's going to hold it's own. We're going to have an above average crop," said Hebert. "Any time in our fast paced society that we stop, and honor, and pay attention, what the American farmer does, is probably, for me, the thing I like about it the most," said Hebert.
For a full list of this weekends events visit hisugar.org.