Arkansas Farmers Struggle to Plant Soybeans

May 20, 2019 03:03 PM
 
 

According to the latest Crop Progress report from USDA, only 31% of the Arkansas soybean crop is in the ground. That's about half of the five-year average of 65%. For cotton, 50% is in the ground while its 67% planted for the rice crop. Both crops are also well behind the average planting pace.

​In Monroe County Arkansas, Bo Mason farms rice, soybeans, and corn, on roughly 2500 acres. This year, planting has been slow.

"We are probably about half done with the rice planting and this time last year we were done," says Mason. "We were in preparation to plant and soybeans at this time but with the rain that we've had, we're pretty much on the delay."

A month behind and a bad harvest in 2018 didn't help. 

"So that's added to some of the steps that we've had to take in our ground preparation," says Mason. 

Rain is still in the forecast. 

"We're at a time that is getting critical, that crops need to be in the ground and grow so that we can get our maximum yields," says Mason.  "This can be serious." 

Low prices mean every bushel counts. 

"With our price levels that we're dealing with right now due to tariffs we need to be where we can put in a crop cheaply and have maximum yield," says Mason. "[We need] to be able to sustain these price levels so that we can carry on and go another year."

Regardless of the challenges, Bo remains positive. 

"You always feel like when you start, the year is going to be better than the last," says Mason. "Try to have a positive outlook and draw on a smile every once in a while."
 

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