Jul 12, 2013 20:38 Business Briefs for July 7 Business Briefs for July 7 Advocate story July 12, 2013 Comments Agency automates contractor testing The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors has automated its testing and assessment process for issuing contractor licenses in Louisiana. Testing is no longer limited to one location and eliminates the outdated use of pencil and paper. Proctors at various locations throughout Louisiana will administer online exams. Test-takers will get the assessment results immediately rather than waiting for printed results mailed by the LSLBC. “We created an application that gives the LSLBC the ability to create and modify custom and specialized assessment tools for every specialty and trade,” said Peter Ranzino, president of Learning Sciences Corp. Test-takers soon will be able to choose from five testing locations: the LSLBC office in Baton Rouge; Delgado Community College in New Orleans; Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City; LSU Alexandria in Alexandria; and SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles. The LSLBC partnered with RegisterBlast to provide online exam registration and scheduling for preapproved applicants. “This enables a profoundly more efficient administration of a rigorous process, both operationally and fiscally, while better serving the contracting industry,” said Michael McDuff, executive director of the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Soybean, rice field day set in Palmetto PALMETTO — A soybean and rice field day will be held 8 a.m. July 25 at the Charlie Fontenot farm at 2359 La. 360 in Palmetto in St. Landry Parish. A field tour will include visiting a soybean core block study, consisting of 40 varieties, a soybean fungicide trial and rice variety studies and work being conducted by the Rice Research Station. Information will include this year’s soybean and rice crops and methods of controlling weeds, insects and diseases. LSU AgCenter plans sugar cane field day The LSU AgCenter’s 31st Annual Sugar Cane Field Day will be held 8 a.m. July 17 at the Sugar Research Station near St. Gabriel on La. 30, 11 miles south of LSU Tiger Stadium or nine miles north of Gonzales. Field tours will feature reports from LSU AgCenter scientists on their current research. The research includes conventional versus soybean fallow programs, including soybean production and economics; a review of current sugar cane varieties as well as those in the research pipeline; fungicides and orange rust; and handling sugar cane residue after clipping. The program also will feature a presentation on sugar cane labor issues. More information is available by calling the station at (225) 642-0224.