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Sugar cane field burning: the consequences of the centuries-old practice and possible alternatives

Sugar cane field burning
Courtesy of John Achee
Sugar cane field burning

For over 200 years in the United States, sugar cane field burning has been a tool that farmers use in the pre-harvest season to remove the tops of the sugar cane plant. However, the smoke from that burning can cause fog in the air, which leads to low visibility along roads and highways. This has been enough of a problem to cause road accidents, and in Louisiana, it has even caused some fatalities.

Earlier this year, John Achee of Assumption Parish launched Citizens Against Agricultural Field Burning, a nonprofit that advocates for field burning alternatives. He joins us today for more.

The organization E Pluribus Unum, founded by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, has released the latest in its annual series of surveys looking at southerners’ opinions on racial issues. This year’s findings revealed that roughly three quarters of southerners are in favor of some form of reparations to African Americans to address slavery.

Scott Hutcheson, executive director of E Pluribus Unum, joins us to break down the survey.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman and Aubry Procell. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.