Spring planting in full swing

Published 12:46 am Monday, May 19, 2008

VIDALIA — Though conditions can vary tremendously across the area, the spring planting season is well under way in Concordia Parish.

Though there was a shortage of soybean seed earlier this year and a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that soybean acreage growth has peaked, that won’t dampen planting efforts in Concordia Parish.

The parish should see a significant increase in soybean acreage, between 6 and 7 percent, because commodity prices for soybeans are so high right now, Daniels said.

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“I think we will see a lot of double cropping of soybeans and wheat, which is always a risk because of the lateness of planting beans with wheat,” Daniels said.

The parish should also see between 30,000 and 40,000 acres of corn planted, 10,000 to 11,000 acres of rice and 20,000 to 25,000 acres of grain sorghum, Daniels said.

The recent high water may have dampened some of the corn and bean planting effort with the seepage water that affected parts of Concordia Parish.

“The seepage water has really hurt some people, Daniels said. “It prevented a lot of people from planting on time.”

But for those who did get to plant on time, conditions were good.

“We got a really good start with some timely rains,” Daniels said.

One odd problem the parish has to face this year is slugs, a pest that normally does not cause significant worry.

Living in the stubble from old crops, the slugs are taking a bite out this year’s yield.

“They come in and just feed on those beans and things,” Daniels said.

Another threat to agriculture — soybean rust — has not yet made its way into the area, though it has been detected in kudzu in three south Louisiana parishes, according to the USDA.