Cotton planting has started, although not in a big way. Rain has stalled progress on a wide front, plus a cooling trend has prompted at least some growers to hold off until warmer conditions prevail.
With the wet and cold conditions, cotton has been growing slowly, if at all, which prompts concerns about thrips gaining the upper hand.
The rain has reduced the final amount of corn that will be planted in parts of the region. While the bulk of those acres will likely shift to soybeans, some of the land could end up in cotton.
Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana: "Less than a third of our cotton has been planted. This year's rains have really been disruptive. At one time between 1,200 and 1,400 square miles in this part of the country were under water. All that flooding closed highways and made it hard for anybody to get around, aside from not being able to get in their fields."
Dan Fromme, Louisiana Extension Cotton And Corn Specialist: "Some cotton was planted in April, probably 5,000 to 6,000 acres, and part of that had to be replanted. We've had cutworm issues in places. It's suppose to dry up here in a couple of days (from 5/3) and then we'll have a dry forecast for a week, so we maybe can finish planting cotton. We're hoping for 150,000 to 160,000 acres, which would be up from the 110,000 acres last year."