Business Briefs for Dec. 21

Louisiana crops setting record yields

Despite drought conditions and a hurricane, Louisiana farmers set yield records for corn, soybeans, rice, cotton and grain sorghum, according to the LSU AgCenter.

Corn farmers averaged 170 bushels per acre, 10 bushels higher than the previous record. At 44 bushels per acre, soybeans were up one bushel above the last record, set in 2007. Grain sorghum was at 100 bushels, up about three bushels from its former record. Cotton farmers harvested 1,025 pounds per acre.

The previous record was 1,017 pounds. Yields per acre of rice were 6,500 pounds, surpassing the record set in 2011 at 6,320 pounds.

Farmers are still harvesting the state’s sugar cane crop, and yields so far are at record levels.

In a news release, LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry said good production practices and a lot of luck with the weather helped produce record yields.

The agriculture industry in Louisiana was worth about $6 billion in 2011. With high prices and yields, that number will likely be higher in 2012.

Globalstar stock delisted by Nasdaq

The price of Globalstar stock has fallen below $1, leading the Nasdaq exchange to pull the company off its listings effective Friday.

The Covington satellite communications company was put on delisting notice in September when its share price failed to meet Nasdaq’s minimum bid amount.

According to a Globalstar statement, the company sought an extension of its compliance period, which Nasdaq declined. Starting Friday, its shares will be traded on the over-the-counter market.

The delisting comes after a year of challenges for Globalstar. The launch of a new generation of satellites to upgrade its communications system ran into delays after a dispute with a vendor.

Globalstar is also pursuing a new line of business. In November, it asked for the Federal Communications Commission’s permission to enter the Internet access provider market for mobile devices.

The venture probably would involve the company partnering with a large mobile provider or selling its spectrum license.

In its most recent financial report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Globalstar reported a $41 million loss in the third quarter.

Compiled from Advocate business staff and Associated Press reports