High heat and lack of rain in many parts of Louisiana are drying out soils and stressing crops. Some areas of the state have received showers, but the rainfall amounts have been small according to the latest Crop Progress & Condition report from the National Ag Statistics Service.
Almost half the state's soils are in need of rain, with 48% rated short to very short on moisture. The report notes that while soils are drying out, the hot and dry weather has been good for crop growth, but condition ratings are starting to slip.
Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents:
“We are dry and need a rain. Producers trying to keep irrigation going to meet crop needs. Early planted corn is drying out. Forage growth slowed due to dry conditions.” – Carol Pinnell-Alison, Franklin Parish
“Scattered showers interrupted fieldwork throughout the week. High temperatures coupled with high humidity limited grazing time by forcing livestock into the shade early in the day. Cane growers continued spraying for West Indian cane flies and prepared land for cane planting that will commence in a couple of weeks. Cane is comparatively taller than average for this time of year and should have a good planting ratio. Rice and soybeans are making good progress with growers making some fungicide applications. Pears are starting to ripen and the bulk of the fig crop has been harvested.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish
“Starting to get dry with some scattered rainfall over weekend. A few rice fields are getting close to harvest this week. A lot of hay pastures cut last week, some fertilizer fields for second cutting in hopes of rain. Soybeans need a good rain this week for proper growth.” – Jimmy Meaux, Calcasieu Parish
“Hot and Dry weather. Work continues in fields. 105 heat index for the last five days.” – Reed Himel, Terrebonne Parish
“Rice is progressing well and many fields are drained and getting ready for cutting. Insect pressure has been sporadic as well as disease pressure. More cases of spotty blast are starting to emerge. Soybeans are looking very good and are developing very well. Many fields are still flowering and some are setting some pods. Soybean fields could use a good rain as field conditions are starting to dry. Hay cutting has made great progress and a lot of first cuttings have been made. Yields are looking good as well as quality.” – Jeremy Hebert, Acadia Parish