Sweet Potato Harvest Wraps Up; Cane Harvest on Track

Louisiana's 2016 sweet potato harvest is wrapping up, with 93 percent of the crop now out of the field.  The latest Crop Progress and Condition Report from the National Ag Statistics service shows sugarcane harvest now 41 percent done, which is right on pace with the five year average of 40 percent.

Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents:

“All harvest is complete for maybe a few acres of sweet potatoes. Producers not interested in planting wheat with present price of the commodity. Producers planting winter forage with the anticipation of some rain this week.” – Carol Pinnell-Alison, Franklin Parish

“Acadia Parish is still experiencing dry conditions. Still lots of field preparation work being done while conditions remain ideal for it. Ratoon rice harvest is winding down with average yields running in the upper teens to lower twenties (bbls). Cattle producers have ground ready for ryegrass planting but many are choosing to delay seeding as conditions are too dry; a few good showers could really benefit pastures. Lots of pumping on crawfish ponds with producers are flooding/flooded up for the upcoming crawfish season. I would expect to start seeing some traps out in the fields before too long.” – Jeremy Hebert, Acadia Parish

“Very dry conditions persist. Topsoil moisture very short. – Anna Timmerman, Jefferson Parish

“We desperately need a good rain in order for germination to occur on some of the later planted cane. Also, due to the extremely dry conditions, the harvested cane has lost some weight.” – Jimmy Flanagan, Iberia Parish

“Dry conditions and lighter than expected tonnage continue to accelerate cane harvest. Mills are reaching the midway point and are expecting to close around the 3rd week in December. A very light pecan crop with quality issues is being harvested. Satsuma's are changing color, but cooler temperatures are needed for flavor and sweetness to develop. Cattle are starting to overgraze standing hay in dry pastures and eagerly await cool season pasture development.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish

“Another week of dry weather has allowed for sugarcane harvest to continue at a rapid pace. Farmers continue to prepare land for next year. The dry weather has allowed for hay to be baled, but it is of low quality. The lack of rain/soil moisture is causing concern for sugarcane that was planted this year as well as cool season pastures are having a difficult time getting started. A few cattle producers are beginning to offer hay as warm season pastures are of low quality and quantity. Crawfish ponds are flooded and crawfish farmers are preparing for the upcoming season.” – Blair Hebert, Iberia Parish

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