Louisiana farmers and ranchers received scattered rainfall last week, but much more is needed to germinate ryegrass pastures and fall planted sugarcane. The latest Crop Progress and Condition Report from the National Ag Statistics Service rates 79 percent of Louisiana's soils short to very short on moisture.
Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents:
“Harvest complete and most fieldwork complete. Very dry. Some planted winter forage last week expecting rain but we got very little to no rain last week.” – Carol Pinnell-Alison, Franklin Parish
“Sugarcane harvest is making excellent progress with dry conditions. Tonnage is down. Rains last week got ryegrass germinated. It is critical that we get some rain shortly for continued ryegrass development.” – Jeremy Hebert, Acadia Parish
“Dry conditions continue to aid sugarcane harvest and all field work in general, but rain is desperately needed for next year's plant cane, as well as for cool season pastures.” – Stanley Dutile, Lafayette Parish
“Sugarcane tonnage yield is lighter than expected. However sugar recovery is excellent. Overall yields will be about 10% lower than previously expected.” – Jimmy Flanagan, Iberia Parish
“A couple days of showers settled the dust over most of the parish. More rain is needed to alleviate dry conditions threatening plant cane. Sugarcane harvest continues to progress at a rapid clip aided by dry weather and low tonnage. Cool season pastures are struggling to develop under dry conditions forcing cattle producers to feed hay and supplements. A light native pecan crop is being harvest with quality issues. Satsumas are maturing but need cooler weather to develop a sweeter flavor.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish
“Parish received just under an inch of rain allowing for sugarcane harvest to proceed at rapid rate and for fields to be worked for next year's crops. Recoverable sugar has been above average while tonnage is below average. Lack of rain is also causing concern for plant cane and recently planted cool season pastures.” – Blair Hebert, Iberia Parish