Rain Continues to Plague Louisiana Farmers; Crop Ratings Plunge

Wet, soggy conditions throughout Louisiana have severely slowed crop harvesting, muddied cattle pastures, and made it nearly impossible to cure late summer hay cuttings.  

The latest Crop Progress and Condition Report shows crop condition ratings plunging lower. Corn harvest now stands at 59 percent, versus the five year average of 81 percent.

Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents

“Continued light to moderate rains over the last two weeks has caused issues with moisture in corn and sloppy field conditions. Soybeans are showing wide spread issues from mold on pods to green soybeans sprouting in pods. We started the season wet and looks like we are ending the season wet.” – Bruce Garner, West Carroll Parish

“Agriculture lands are saturated. Producers are "muddling" through the rice that can be harvested following the flood. Grain quality is poor of harvested commodities, grain sorghum rejected at the elevators. Soybeans that had standing water for days are not doing well some completely gone as though nothing was planted there. Two big concerns, will we make enough hay for winter feeding of livestock and what crawfish producers can expect? Many unanswered questions from this flood.” – Vincent Deshotel, Saint Landry Parish

“Throughout the week showers continued to plaque growers and prevented flooded fields from drying and slowed flood waters from receding. Cane producers are anxious to start planting cane before the start of grinding in late September. Cane producers continued to apply ripener this week aerially. Rice growers are trying to finish harvesting flooded rice fields that now have significant grain quality and yield losses issues. Livestock producers in flooded areas have moved animals to higher ground and are feeding hay and grain supplements. Hay producers are eagerly awaiting dry weather to make a hay cutting of rank forage. Vegetable producers are waiting for dry conditions to start fall garden preparations. Soybeans in flooded areas appear heavily damaged and plants near maturity have experienced large yield and quality losses.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish

“Rain almost every day. Fields are saturated with water. Work will continue when field dries up.” – Reed Himel, Terrebonne Parish “The majority of field conditions remain fairly wet. A few dry days did allow for some soybean harvest and sugarcane planting.” – Mariah Simoneaux, Saint James Parish

“Following the flooding of August 12-15 fields & pastures have been slow to drain and dry due to continued showers and "backwater" flooding. Since the flooding soybeans and rice harvested have had a significant decrease in quality. Rice yields have been reduced by approximately 45% while soybean yields have been reduced by approximately 25%. Sugarcane damage appears to be less than 10% with the majority of issues associated with sugarcane that was planted just prior to the flooding. Some cane was planted during the week with some concerns related to the quality of "seed" cane. Cattle producers are dealing with the loss of stored hay and pastures that are too wet to cut for hay.” – Blair Hebert, Iberia Parish