Fields coping OK with heat

Published 12:30 am Monday, August 2, 2010

VIDALIA — It’s been a dry year, but it looks like things in the fields may be doing OK anyway.

A nearly rainless spring had farmers and those in the farming community worried about an early drought.

As June rolled around, though, so did some summer showers, saving the year’s first planting from a parching summer sun.

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“We got a lot of relief in June with those good rains, and we had more than expected this (July),” Adams County Extension Service Director David Carter said.

The U.S. Drought Monitor lists both Adams County and Concordia Parish as being in moderate drought, and the scattered showers of July have been enough to make a decent crop despite mostly dry weather since June.

Some areas have received more rain than others, but this year’s rainfall — and its effects on growing crops — has definitely been better for the area’s crops than in 2009, Concordia Parish Extension Service Director Glen Daniels said.

Things are going better than they have in the last couple of years, but it’s not going to be a bumper harvest.

The soybeans should do the best of all the crops, Daniels said.

“On this year’s late planting, we caught some of these rains and they did pretty well,” he said.

“Beans should yield at 40 bushels per acre plus. I would be surprised if we don’t get that, and the later ones should do better than that.”

In ideal conditions, soybeans will produce approximately 50 bushels an acre.

The rice harvest should stay around its average, Daniels said, estimating that the rice crop would produce between 145 and 150 bushels an acre.

One commodity, however, really took a hit because of the lack of consistent rain.

“The corn really took the brunt of the dry weather, Daniels said.

“I would estimate the harvest for that would be 95 to 110 bushels per acre.”

In comparison, in 2008 the estimated corn yield for the same period was nearly 160 bushels per acre. Last year, however, corn came in at only 50 to 60 bushels per acre.

“I think we will have a better crop than last year,” Daniels said.