Saturated fields affect crops

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Most crops were planted late due to heavy rainfall. This field off Bermuda Road shows promise. Photo by Juanice Gray

Sierra Pesnell | Times Intern

The excess rainfall this year has affected planting a variety of crops in Natchitoches. While corn was planted during dry periods, soybean and cotton have yet to be put in the ground. Even once corn acreage has been established, some parts of the crop, including those areas where there is standing water, are suffering.

This article published in the June 26-27, 2021, print edition
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Randall Mallette, an agriculture and natural resource agent with LSU Ag Center, said he hasn’t seen any pipes out for irrigation because of excess rain during the year. “Although soybean and cotton aren’t on time, the corn will be harvested by the fall,” Mallette said. Soybeans and cotton are past the late date for planting. If both crops are sown in the near future, their harvesting date would also be late. Hay fields have also had minor setbacks in its timeline of production.

The rainy periods have resulted in postponement of baling hay, delaying its distribution and creating a loss in its nutrient value for livestock. The weekly crop weather report for June 7 provided by the USDA shows crop conditions for the last week has 26% of corn in fair condition, 71% in good condition and 3% in excellent condition. Other crops are behind in usual progress in planting because of wet conditions according to the Kathy Broussard, State Statistician for USDA.

Moderate to heavy precipitation was reported throughout Louisiana, with the highest concentration in the southwest region with an average of 4.37 inches.