As temperatures continue to rise, local cotton growers are keeping their planters busy.

Cotton planting should be finished next week if not interrupted by rains, according to LSU AgCenter Extension Associate Kylie Miller.

“Cotton planting is looks great,” Miller said. “Everything is going along good. We do need rain in some places.”

Nationally, the USDA crop progress report for the week ending May 8 showed 24 percent of 2022 cotton crop has been planted, up eight percentage points in the past week and on the 5-year average for this date.

“Open weather predicted across most of the Cotton Belt in the coming week should allow planting activity to substantially increase by the next report,” according to the USDA report.

Last year, Concordia farmers planted 10,100 acres of cotton, according to USDA reports. Catahoula Parish planted 17,100 acres of cotton while Tensas Parish had 24,700 acres of cotton.

In 2021, Louisiana cotton acreage was down 29 percent at 120,000 acres from the previous year.

Final 2021 production for all cotton is estimated at 17.5 million 480-pound bales, 20 percent higher than the 2020 crop, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). United States yield for all cotton is estimated at 819 pounds per acre, down 34 pounds from the previous year.

Additionally, corn and soybean planting are complete, Miller said. Due to the lack of rain, irrigation has begun.

Last year, corn producers planted 600,000 acres, up 100,000 acres from the previous year.

For 2021 soybeans, farmers planned an estimated 1.10 million acres statewide, up 50,000 acres from 2020.

According to Miller, Concordia’s rice crop was also completely planted. For 2021, an estimated 460,000 acres of rice were planted statewide, according to a USDA report. The amount was down 20,000 from 2020.

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