Farming and Agriculture
Pointe Coupee Parish had some of the first European settlers in what is now the State of Louisiana. From that point on agriculture has been a major economic factor. In the early 1800's, a man from New Jersey named Colonel James Morgan, established a large sugar cane plantation on the exact location of Morganza. There were a large number of plantations established and the area grew greatly prior to the Civil War. During the war, and the period of reconstruction following it, many of the large plantations failed. However, this did not alter the fact that agriculture was the predominant economic factor for the area.
Morganza is located essentially in the heart of Pointe Coupee Parish and very nearly in the heart of Louisiana. Situated between the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi Rivers, Morganza sits in an alluvial plain and is one of the productive areas in the State. The alluvial plain consists of soils formed in sediment deposited by the Rivers. This land is generally low lying, with an elevation of 8 feet in some area, and must be drained and protected from flooding. The agricultural land has been carefully groomed in many instances to provide drainage. While not strictly intended to protect the land owners near Morganza, the Morganza Spillway does provide protection from spring time flooding.
There are over 165,000 acres of farmland in the Parish. Crops of cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, milo, wheat, cattle, grain sorghum, hay, vegetables, rice, crawfish and pecans. Pointe Coupee is the top pecan-producing parish in the state, with some of the best quality nuts grown anywhere. Livestock production of beef cattle is another major agricultural force in the Parish. While not strictly agriculture, the Parish and the Morganza area also produce significant oil and gas.
The farmers and ranchers in the Morganza area are progressive and generally rely on information from the LSU AgCenter to stay productive. Therefore, the parish hosts an annual Farm Forum with presentations from specialists and researchers who provide the most current research based information available. Due to this specialized training, farmers have been able be much more productive. The following statistics show while the number of farms is decreasing the productivity is increasing (statistics from the U. S. Department of Agriculture)