As Louisiana gets hit with heavy rain from Tropical Storm Cindy, the Pelican State has already experienced a wet spring, but it hasn’t hurt the corn crop.
“Things are looking very, very promising,” said Dan Fromme, corn and cotton specialist with the Louisiana State University AgCenter. “Some of the farmers are already talking about this being one of the best corn crops they’ve ever had.”
Fromme credits an early start to corn planting and favorable weather early in the growing season as reasons for the crop’s success. The early planting means an early harvest for the crop, which may mean completing the harvest before the peak or hurricane season.
“We might see some of the combines rolling in the field around the middle of July versus August 1,” he said.
Cotton planting also got off to an early start. Some cotton was planted near the end of March, but frequent rains in April caused planting to stop and injured some of the early planted cotton.
“Seems like every time we got the cotton out of the ground, we received too much rain, especially if cotton was just coming out of the ground,” said Fromme. “We’ve had some replanting.”
Louisiana farmers did plant more cotton acres in 2017 than in previous years, but Fromme doesn’t believe it will meet some early projections of nearly 200,000 acres.
“Driving across the state, I think we’re going to be around 160,000 to 170,000 acres which is about 35,000 acres more than the 2016 crop,” said Fromme.
Another crop seeing it’s footprint across the state decrease is grain sorghum. Problems with the sugarcane aphid discouraged many growers from planting it.