Louisiana: Dryness Aids Harvest but Moisture Needed – USDA

    Soybean harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending October 11, 2015.

    Comments from Cooperative Extension Service Parish Agents

    Carol Pinnell, Franklin Parish
    “We are still very dry. Some late planted rice still to be harvested, soybeans planted behind wheat waiting to harvest, cotton and sweet potato harvest continuing. Some cattle producers beginning to feed hay. Need rain for ryegrass planting. Due to low wheat prices and the problems with last year’s crop, not many producers plan to plant wheat.”

    Vincent Deshotel, Saint Landry Parish
    “A general rain event is critical at this time. Winter pasture plantings for livestock are suffering stand loss due to extremely droughty conditions. Fall field preparations for spring plantings of field crops have slowed due to dry conditions. The sugarcane and sweet potato harvest has begun, both crop areas could utilize some rain to improve soil conditions. Livestock producers are feeding hay and having to supplement their cattle due to declining pasture conditions from drought.”

    James “Jimmy” Meaux, Calcasieu Parish
    “Dry condition continued this week. Farmers continue to harvest soybeans with yields lower than last season. Lots of hay continued to be baled also.”

    Stuart Gauthier, Saint Martin Parish
    “Dry conditions are allowing growers ample harvest time to wrap up hay and soybean harvest. Our local sugar mill opened and due to mill issues processed a lower volume of cane than expected. The sugarcane tonnage is lower than expected but the sugar content of the cane is exceptional. Some sugarcane growers are concerned that plant cane may be damaged by the current extended period of dry weather. Many gardens, and fruit trees are showing signs of drought stress. The pecan crop continues to be poor to nonexistent for many growers.”

    B Barton Joffrion Jr., Terrebonne Parish
    “Sugarcane harvest has begun. Citrus harvest has begun. Cattlemen planting ryegrass. Vegetable producers planting and working fall crops.”

    General Comments

    According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Louisiana, there were 7.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Sunday, October 11, 2015. Topsoil moisture supplies were 43 percent very short, 37 percent short, 20 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were 33 percent very short, 38 percent short, 29 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

    Low temperatures ranged from 52.8 degrees Fahrenheit at Homer to 67.0 degrees Fahrenheit at New Orleans. Highs ranged from 80.0 degrees Fahrenheit at Galliano to 86.2 degrees Fahrenheit at Alexandria. Cool, dry weather conditions were prevalent throughout most of the state, with the highest rain concentration in the northeast part of the state with an average of 0.15 inches.

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