Louisiana Crops and Livestock Feeling the Heat

Rain continues to fall across Louisiana, but high temperatures are drying it up quickly.  The latest Crop Progress and Condition report from the National Ag Statistics Service shows that 89 percent of Louisiana soils are holding adequate to excessive moisture.  However, temperatures have soared well into the mid 90's over the past week, causing stress on both crops and livestock.  

Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents

“Heavy rains across the parish on Sunday night into Monday morning caused localized flooding of corn and soybean fields. Some soybean fields held water in excess 48 hours, couple that with daytime temps in the mid-90's almost worst case scenario for flooded young soybeans. Rain fall stopped sweet potato planting and stop hay cutting.” – Bruce Garner, West Carroll Parish

“Moderating temperatures are needed as the rice crop is heading at a rapid pace, yields could be affected, unless we get a break from the high temperatures certainly at night. Livestock are feeling the heat as well with limited day time grazing. High water temperatures in newly seeded crawfish ponds is not a good scenario for survival rates of brood stock. In the area of vegetable production, we are experiencing a rapid decline due to widespread disease issues related to excessive rain and now high temperatures.” – Vincent Deshotel, Saint Landry Parish

“Good week of drying weather after last week. Rice is heading and farmers are applying fungicides with not much of any disease pressure yet. Seeing some stink bug pressure and grasshoppers eating rice heads. Soybeans looking a little better after no rains this week. Hay producers still too wet to get into the fields. Cattle doing well with an abundance of grass.” – Jimmy Meaux, Calcasieu Parish

“Some light to heavy showers, conditions were favorable for the harvesting of watermelons. Crop is excellent and should hold for several weeks. Others vegetables like tomatoes, okra are being impacted by insects and diseases.” – Henry Harrison, Washington Parish

“Hot temperatures quickly dried fields between scattered showers. Cattle looked for shade as the hot sun and high humidity increased environmental stress on livestock and growers. Sugarcane continues to make excellent progress. Brown rust issues have subsided with the hot temperatures. West Indian cane fly levels and sugarcane borers control measures are becoming more of a concern. Early blight is starting to advance in spring tomato patches and stinkbug damage in home gardens is increasing. Hay producers need a harvest window to bale overgrown, and often weedy fields.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish

“We have received scattered showers which has helped row crops and pastures. Crops are looking good.” – Carol Pinnell-Alison, Franklin Parish

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