Drier conditions have finally allowed Louisiana farmers to get back into fields and assess the damage caused by excessively wet conditions and flooding.
The latest Crop Progress and Condition Report from the National Ag Statistics Service shows corn harvest wrapping up with 83 percent of the crop out of the field, although that's well behind schedule because of the rain. Sorghum harvest is also finishing up, with milo at the 90 percent complete mark.
Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents:
“Good harvest conditions this past week aided in getting most of the corn harvested. Some fields lost grain due to the delayed harvest from weather events that broke stalks, sprouted grain or weaken stalks. Some soybeans fields will be harvested this week and defoliants going out on others. Hay harvest last week with drier conditions. Sweet potato producers need dry soil to harvest. Rice harvest begins this week also.” – Carol-Pinnell-Alison, Franklin Parish
“Recent flooding has significantly damaged unharvested rice crop with some cases of complete loss. Rice farmers were rapidly harvesting what was harvestable with the threat of tropical storm. Sugarcane farmers were back in the fields this week planting and made good progress. Ranchers impacted by flood are struggling to find hay and feed and are expecting a very expensive winter.” – Andrew Granger, Vermilion Parish
“Drier conditions finally allowed growers back into the fields this week. Rice growers are finishing up with harvest/salvage efforts in flood damaged fields. After a near 3 weeks delay due to wet conditions sugarcane growers returned to the fields to continue planting. Hay growers are starting to rake and bale hay. Some low lying cattle pastures are finally draining and some displaced cattle may be able return home next week. Stinkbugs are showing up in soybean fields. Soybean fields damaged by flooding are fading out.” – Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish
“Last half of the week was good dry weather. Farmers cutting rice again, some in the water to get the crop of out the field. Second crop rice is looking great for those that cut a few weeks before the rains. Soybean fields are looking good after the rains, some close to maturity. Still too wet to cut hay pastures. Cattle producers starting to market spring calves.” – Jimmy Meaux, Calcasieu Parish
“Many fields are still very wet from the flooding and rains each afternoon.” – Frances Guidry, Jefferson Davis Parish
“Drier weather has allowed for farmers to return to their fields. Rice and soybeans were harvested with reduced yields and low quality. Sugarcane planting is in full swing with farmers dealing with lodged and brittle cane. Planting ratios seem to be somewhat near average. Some fields of sugarcane have been damaged by wild hogs. Pastures were bailed with abundant grass, but of low quality as many pastures were over mature.” – Blair Hebert, Iberia Parish