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Farmers have been busy of late planting and fertilizing crops, County Agent Dennis Burns said this week.

He said “all the corn is up and fertilized” in Concordia, Catahoula and Tensas parishes.

“Some corn is getting a mid-season shot of additional fertilizer to offset nitrogen losses due to excessive rainfall,’ Burns said.

Cotton ‘has been planted and ranges from emerged to just planted. Cotton acres are expected to be down significantly because of price.”

Rice acreage is split, he said, with some fields “planted in mid-April while some rice fields have just got dry enough to do fieldwork.”

Burns said the “majority of soybeans have been planted and by this weekend many people will be finished. There is some land affected by seep/flooded water and this ground will go into soybeans after the water is gone.”

Soybeans are Louisiana’s largest crop in terms of acreage, according to the LSU AgCenter.

Planting intentions for soybeans in Louisiana is 980,000 acres, approximately a 10% increase from last year’s acreage, according to USDA.

Nationally, the USDA is estimating a 10% increase, which would be in line with the increase it is forecasting for Louisiana. Total soybean acreage nationally is expected to be 83.5 million.

A few years ago, Louisiana grew nearly 1.4 million acres. A disastrous harvest season in 2018 and a trade spat with China, the major importer of U.S. grown soybeans, has reduced the appetite for growing soybeans, both in Louisiana and the U.S., according to the AgCenter.

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