Franklin Parish farmers planted some 98,000 acres of corn this season, up significantly from last year’s total of 72,000, said Carol Pinnell-Alison, LSU AgCenter County Agent.
Official FSA certified acreage numbers of major commodities were released late last week.
“Franklin Parish’s corn crop came out well compared to our neighboring parishes,” Pinnell-Alison said. “Some of the neighboring parishes with clay soils were impacted more with wet conditions.”
Regionally, northeast Louisiana farmers planted 457,773 acres of corn. Statewide, corn farmers planted 539,730 acres.
There were “some pockets” of corn that did not fair well in Franklin Parish, Pinnell-Alison said.
Areas of corn in Fort Necessity were hit with wind damage earlier in the season wrecking havoc during harvest time, Pinnell-Alison said. North Franklin Parish and southeast Franklin Parish farmers with clay soils dealt with early season rain which may hamper yield results.
Corn yields are going to be “off a little bit from last year,” Pinnell-Alison said.
Lower yields can be blamed on heavy rains or rain at the wrong time that delayed planting.
Projected statewide yields will be between 165 and 175 bushels per acre compared to previous years with yields around 185 bushes per acre, said Dan Fromme LSU AgCenter corn specialist.
Even though yields are down, harvest is on schedule. In Franklin Parish, the majority of corn has been harvested.
“When you look at the past couple of years, we are on schedule (for the harvest) maybe a little behind, but not very much,” Fromme said.
Due to high temperatures the last few weeks, cotton and soybean harvesting are not far behind the corn, Pinnell-Alison said.
“Cotton and soybeans are maturing quickly because of the heat,” Pinnell-Alison said.
Soybean acreage took a major hit in Franklin Parish due in part to the popularity of corn and the resurgence of cotton. Local farmers planted 22,000 acres of soybeans this year, down from last year’s 76,000 acres.
Cotton acreage continued to increase in Franklin Parish as farmers planted 22,880 acres up from last year’s total of 16,000 acres.
“Lot of the bean acreage was picked up by cotton and corn,” Pinnell-Alison said.
Other parish commodity acreage in the report included rice at 10,427 acres, sweet potatoes at 2,534 acres, pecans at 770 acres, wheat at 222 acres and grain sorghum at 78 acres.
Additionally, Franklin Parish landowners had 28,563 acres tied up in Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and 651 acres in the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) program.