LSU AgCenter to hold field day
The LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research and Extension field day on July 19 will feature presentations on biofuels, cotton, corn, soybeans and cattle.
The event will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the State Evacuation Center on U.S. Highway 71. Field tours will begin at 9 a.m.
The field day will provide Louisiana row crop and beef cattle producers, agricultural consultants, industry personnel and others with production strategies, said LSU AgCenter weed scientist Daniel Stephenson.
Topics will include: biofuel crops; soil texture effects on corn and cotton production; weed management in fallow soybean and sugarcane fields; beef cattle research and using legumes to complement grass pastures; soybean fertilization and insect management; soil compaction; and field crop disease research.
LSU center selected research partner
LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology was recently selected as a 2012 CUDA Research Center by Nvidia, a company that specializes in visual and high performance computing.
CUDA is Nvidia’s parallel computing platform, which allows dramatic increases in performance by harnessing the power of a computer’s graphics processing unit, or GPU. CUDA is being taught in more than 580 universities and institutions around the world.
The CUDA Research Center Program gives CCT access to the latest Nvidia products and the opportunity to interact with computing industry experts from around the world.
Honggao Liu, deputy director of CCT and principal investigator of the university’s CUDA research, coordinated these efforts and submitted a proposal to NVIDIA.
Tax preparers must register with IRS
The Internal Revenue Service announced today that more than 12,000 Louisiana tax preparers have registered with the agency, as required by recent regulations, but about 5,600 of them must take an IRS competency examination by Dec. 31, 2013, or they will not be able to prepare tax returns for compensation.
So far, 49 tax preparers in Louisiana have passed the competency exam and, as a result, have been given the new credential of Registered Tax Return Preparer. Enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys are not required to take the exam because they already have testing requirements.
“Preparers who are required to take the IRS competency exam have about 18 months left to study and pass it,” said IRS spokesman Dee Harris Stepter. “The IRS urges them to take the exam soon in case they have to retake it and to avoid a potential flood of last-minute exam takers.”
Three years ago, the IRS began a program to register paid preparers and require certain ones to pass a competency test. In addition, paid preparers are expected to take continuing education courses and meet ethics standards.
The IRS eventually will create a publicly searchable database that will allow taxpayers to see if their tax preparers have met IRS standards or to find a tax preparer in their zip code area. The database also will show any credentials held by the preparer, including the new RTRP credential.
Bar association to host law expo
The Baton Rouge Bar Association will host its 27th annual Law Expo trade show from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Baton Rouge River Center.
The Law Expo gives local business owners the opportunity to market their goods and services, gain brand recognition and network with Baton Rouge legal professionals. The trade show is expected to have 300 attendees.
The Law Expo involves 40 exhibitor booths, various levels of sponsorship and free continuing legal education seminars for attending attorneys. Booth space is still available.
The trade show concludes with a luncheon at the River Center. H. Alston Johnson III of Phelps Dunbar and the LSU Law School will provide a legislative update during the luncheon.
For sponsorship or booth information, contact BRBA Communications Coordinator Pamela Labbe at (225) 214-5560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albemarle completes plant upgrade
Albemarle Corp., a Baton Rouge-based specialty chemicals maker, has completed the expansion and upgrade of its pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing plant in South Haven, Mich.
Albemarle did not disclose the cost of the work.
The expansion of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-registered plant is the latest in a series of projects to increase the facility’s production. Albemarle makes generic and custom products at the plant. In the past two years, Albemarle has more than doubled the number of custom projects at the plant.
Albemarle has invested in solids-handling equipment, enabling the company to advance its portfolio of custom pharmaceutical products. Several of those products are in the late stages of clinical development.
Edgen added to Russell 2000, Global
Edgen Group Inc., a Baton Rouge-based global energy services company with $1.7 billion in sales last year, has been added to the Russell 2000 Index and Russell Global Index.
Edgen Group is comprised of two commercial units. Edgen Murray distributes high performance steel products for oil and gas, infrastructure and mining applications including offshore rig construction, natural gas transmission and refining and petrochemical applications in all major global energy markets. Bourland & Leverich supplies specialized oil country tubular goods, or the pipe and tube products used in the petroleum industry, to conventional and unconventional onshore drillers in the United States.
In a news release, Edgen Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dan O’Leary said the company believes focusing on specialized products offers value to current and potential shareholders.
“We are very pleased to be included in the Russell 2000 and Russell Global Indexes which reflect our continued positive momentum as a new public company,” O’Leary said. “We look forward to introducing our company to a broader investment audience through this channel.”
Shaw Group wins Saudi contract
The Shaw Group Inc. has been awarded a contract to implement a fleetwide services program for Saudi Electricity Co.’s oil and gas-fired power plants throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Shaw did not disclose the contract’s value.
The Baton Rouge-based company provides construction, engineering, technology, fabrication and support services to companies worldwide.
Under the new contract, Shaw will implement a comprehensive asset management and performance diagnostic program that will address most aspects of 37 operating power plants.
Shaw will concentrate its efforts on safety, maintenance, staffing, benchmarking and corporate environmental programs.
Shaw said it expects to continue expanding its role assisting Saudi Arabia in developing oil, gas and nuclear power to support the Kingdom’s growing power generation needs.