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Crop Outlook

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Again this year farmers are planting most fields in grain crops, and hoping for a good return as they go to market later this year.  Cold weather in late march slowed the crops already in the ground just a bit, but they are expected to recover. Richard Letlow works for the LSU AgCenter.

"A lot of it on the corn as far as cold weather was cosmetic.  It was emerging and one of the first 2 or 3 leaves that came out was when it was freezing...28-29 degrees.  Warmer weather will help the plant to grow."

Letlow says the cold snap may reduce yields in some of the wheat fields of the area.
"Wheat has a way of tillering and making more heads.  It seems to make up for it later in the year.  There could be some damage to the wheat because of the cold."

One other crop that may be affected by the cold would be this years soybeans. Letlow tells us that cool nights have kept the soil temperatures low and that may delay planting of some beans. "Soil temps still cool...upper 50s-60s...you want to plant soybeans in warm soil where it will start growing right off."

So much like last year, due to the influence of higher prices for grain, most of Northeast Louisiana farm acreage will be planted in  those crops. "Growing conditions and prices, although not as high as last year...the grain prices are a lot better than cotton prices."

Cotton acreage is expected to decrease again this year, with the bulk of the cotton crop expected to be planted in the delta parishes.

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