Soybean harvest

RAINFALL LAST week halted harvest operations throughout Concordia Parish, but with dry, sunny weather predicted during the next few days, combines will be back in the fields gathering soybeans and other crops. (Concordia Sentinelfile photo)

LSU AgCenter Extension Associate Kylie Miller said this week that the next few days of dry weather will be beneficial to farmers still harvesting crops.

Miller provided the following update on the status of harvest operations in Concordia Parish.

“We were very fortunate to have missed Hurricane Ida, but Tropical Depression Nicholas has not been so kind. A week of no sunshine and on and off rains can cause us a lot of problems.

“We still have several acres of late soybeans out in the fields that will be affected. However, we won’t know what we’ve lost until we start harvesting again.

“The cotton crop is starting to finish out and some growers are starting to put out their first or second shot of defoliation.

“The corn harvest is complete, and yields were good.

“What we need now is a dry Fall to get the rest of the crops out and finish up with our field work.”

Meanwhile, in a crop production report released recently, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported that corn, soybean, and cotton production is up from 2020.

Corn production is up 6% from last year, forecast at 15.0 billion bushels; soybean growers are expected to increase their production 6% from 2020, forecast at 4.37 billion bushels; cotton production is up 27% from 2020 at 18.5 million 480-pound bales.

As is done every year in September, planted and harvested acreage estimates for cotton were reviewed based on all available data, including the latest certified acreage data from the Farm Service Agency. Because of the completeness of the data, corn and soybean acreage were also reviewed for this report, a month earlier than usual.

As a result, area planted to corn is estimated at 93.3 million acres, up 1% from the previous estimate; area planted to soybeans is estimated at 87.2 million acres, down less than 1% from the previous estimate; and area planted to cotton is estimated at 11.2 million acres, down 5% from the previous estimate.

The average U.S. corn yield is forecast at 176.3 bushels per acre, up 1.7 bushels from last month’s forecast and up 4.3 bushels from last year. NASS forecasts record high yields in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Acres planted to corn, at 93.3 million, are up 3% from 2020. Area to be harvested for grain is forecast at 85.1 million acres, up 1% from last month and 3% more than was harvested last year.

As of Aug. 29, 60% of this year’s corn crop was reported in good or excellent condition, 2 percentage points below the same time last year.

Area for soybean harvest is forecast at 86.4 million acres, down less than 1% from last month but 5% more than was harvested last year. Planted area for the nation, estimated at 87.2 million acres, is up 5% from last year. Soybean yields are expected to average 50.6 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from last month’s forecast and up 0.4 bushel from 2020. If realized, the forecasted yields in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will be record high.

NASS forecasts all cotton area to be harvested at 9.92 million acres, 4% below last month’s forecast but 20% more acres than were harvested last season. Yield is expected to average 895 pounds per harvested acre, up 95 pounds from last month’s forecast and up 48 pounds from 2020. Area planted to all cotton is estimated at 11.2 million acres, down 7% from last year.

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