Wet conditions continue across much of Louisiana as farmers try to play catch-up on a flood delayed crop season. Soybean harvest now stands at 44 percent completed, ten points behind the five year average pace of 54 percent, according to the latest Crop Progress and Condition Report from the National Ag Statistics Service.
Sugarcane planting is even further behind, as flooded fields left farmers waiting last month when planting should have been getting underway. The report puts cane planting progress at 65 percent versus an average pace of 83 percent at this time of year.
Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents:
“Rain has been scattered with some getting frequent showers and others no rain. Soybean harvest has begun for most producers. Spraying pastures for armyworms continues. Cotton and sweet potato harvest beginning.” – Carol-Pinnell-Alison, Franklin Parish
“Some crop production areas remain wet, with better weather conditions in the forecast for fieldwork to resume this week. Reports of soybeans not affected by the flood have favorable yields. Rice harvest will be wrapped up soon, but heavy damage and rutted fields will offer an additional cost to repair. Hay producers will have a chance at getting some baling done, and cow calf producers are in the early stages of preparing for winter plantings for grazing. Armyworm populations are extremely high. A definite season change is needed.” – Vincent Deshotel, Saint Landry Parish
“Flood waters are slow to recede in the southern third of the parish leaving some pastures flooded. Post flood rice harvest is near complete with yields being highly variable. Cattle producers are weaning calves and trying to make hay, facing a potential severe hay shortage. Ryegrass planting should start soon. Sugarcane farmers are near complete planting and gearing up for harvest.” – Andrew Granger, Vermilion Parish
“Incessant rainfall has caused serious delays in the cane planting process. The remaining soybeans are beginning to deteriorate in quality.” – Jimmy Flanagan, Saint Mary Parish
“A wet week of showers hampered field progress. Cane growers voted to delay the start of grinding for a week to try and give farmers more time to finish planting. Now the mill will open Sept. 27th. Some cane growers have switched to billet planting to try and speed up the process. Soybean growers are spraying for stinkbugs and defoliants on mature beans. Some growers are reporting high levels of damage from insects and the flood waters. High levels of sod, webworms and armyworms are infesting pastures and hay fields. Satsumas are starting to color and should be ready to harvest in a few weeks. The pecan crop appears light and appears to have ample scab and insect damage.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish
“Rain just about every day. Work in fields will continue as soon as we get some dry weather.” – Reed Himel, Terrebonne Parish