Flooding Affects Louisiana Crops

Flooding Affects Louisiana Crops

Historic Louisiana Flooding. Historic Louisiana Flooding.

August 3, 2016

USDA experts expected corn acres across the country to increase this year by at least seven percent. Despite the optimistic prediction, corn growers in Louisiana were hit hard by spring flooding.

According to the USDA's June 30th "World Agriculture Supply and Demand Report," soybean acres increased by 100,000 acres in Louisiana. That goes against a predicted national rise in corn acres.

LSU AgCenter Professor of Ag Economics, Mike Deliberto, explains that in March the USDA expected nearly 730,000 acres of corn to be planted across the state. However, historic flooding in March swept away a large portion of corn fields in north-central and eastern Louisiana.  

Deliberto further explains, “As that corn planting window closed, a lot of producers could not get into their fields, so alternative crops were going to be planted there, in particular, soybeans. As of early April, only about half of Louisiana’s corn crop was planted. If you look at a five year trend, that mid-April number should push 75%–85% being planted at the time. If you fast-forward to the June 30th acreage report that USDA put out, the corn acres in Louisiana were 630,000 acres: a 100,000 acre decrease [from the original projection]. Now, we cannot say with a high degree of certainty that that was a result of the flood, but certainly the floods were a major contributing factor to the corn reduction in the state.”

Even though ag economists have seen an uptick in export sales as U.S. corn becomes more competitive because of the wet conditions in Brazil, it's still not enough to increase the production numbers that the USDA has estimated for the U.S.

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