Louisiana Corn Crop Off to Soggy Start

Persistent rains and flooded fields are obstacles facing Louisiana’s corn farmers. Record rainfall during the middle of March caused significant damage to corn that had already been planted, and farmers are expected to have to replant nearly 40,000 acres.

“Many fields were flooded for quite some time, and some of them are still holding water. So, obviously those fields are going to have to be replanted,” LSU AgCenter corn specialist Dan Fromme said.

Earlier in the year, experts were predicting a statewide increase in corn acres. Forecasts had corn at more than 500,000 acres, but the number is trending downward because of the wet conditions.

“I think that will probably bring corn acres back into somewhere in the 400,000 area, somewhere between 400,000 and 450,000 acres,” Fromme said.

Because many acres have to be replanted, Fromme and others were concerned that there would be a shortage of seed. Even if farmers were able to secure seed, it may have not been the preferred variety that performs best on their soil. But Fromme said it has not been an issue for Louisiana farmers.

“A lot of producers were able to get the hybrids they initially started with. Other states are not as well-off as we are,” he said.

Low prices continue to plague corn producers. Fromme said farmers need to monitor their inputs closely when it comes to making management decisions.

“That’s the name of the game this year: watching input costs as closely as you can,” Fromme said.

Farmers in north Louisiana, where the majority of the state’s corn crop is grown, have a couple of weeks left in the optimum planting window, according to AgCenter recommendations. If dry weather takes hold, many acres could get planted.

“Today’s farmers can cover a lot of ground fast. If we just get a couple of weeks of sunshine, we could get a lot of corn planted,” Fromme said.

Source: Craig Gautreaux, Agfax

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