Louisiana Corn and Soybean Damage


August 29, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Both corn and soybean crops in Louisiana continue to suffer from recent flooding in Louisiana as the harvest continues for corn and approaches for soybeans.

In West Baton Rouge Parish, the Schexnayder Brothers are busy harvesting the last 175 acres of their corn crop. After receiving 16 inches of rain on his farm, Donald Schexnayder is finding a disappointing sight in his fields.

Corn and soybean farmer Donald Schexnayder admits, “This is ugly looking here now. Whoo.”

Here, we get a look at the damage Schexnayder could have been facing after a tropical storm, bringing both wind and rain.

Schexnayder notes that, “this is something we’re lucky it didn’t happen widespread. See, the whole field like that would be ugly, but we’re just really lucky it was just these small areas it happened in.”

The corn that was blown over was not the only damage Schexnayder found. Here is what that sprouting looks like on corn that was not blown to the ground. Not every plant is showing this damage, however, which helps Schexnayder to remain optimistic.

Schexnayder, sounding hopeful, says, “It could be a lot worse. We didn’t have the wind with all this rain. If we would’ve had strong wind, we’d be in a lot worse mess. But luckily it was just the rain — we’ve got some sprouting, and we did had some damage — whether its 15% damage or not. I figure somewhere in that area. I mean, we can live with that.”

The good news for Schexnayder is that this combine is in the field. A few miles down the road, soybean farmers are not as fortunate. The only way to get through these soybeans are wearing knee-high boots.

Soybean and sugarcane farmer Clayton Hurdle gives his input on the situation, as he wades through parts of his field. “That’s all underwater. Yeah, it was probably chest-deep a couple days ago. This is seven days since the rain. You almost forget that it gets this bad at times.”

Hurdle farms around a thousand acres of soybeans in Iberville Parish. Like Schexnayder’s corn, Hurdle has beans that are ready for harvest. However, like many farmers across the south, Hurdle is just looking for dry ground following this historic rainfall.

Hurdle continues, “It’s widespread throughout South Louisiana. I know over in the Lafayette area, I talked to a friend of mine this morning and they’ve got it really hard — 25-30 inches of rain in a 48 hour period. That’s a lot of rain.”

Just like the corn up the road, Hurdle is also seeing his beans begin to sprout from inside their pods, ruining that bean. “You don’t bring that to the elevator,” he explains. “What happened here is the seed got moisture in it, and now it wants to germinate like it would if you planted it in the ground. It thinks it’s time to sprout and start growing another plant because it’s been so wet.”

A painful reality for Hurdle is the money that has gone into producing these soybeans, which he considered to be a bumper-crop.

Financially speaking, Hurdle says, “every expense — every fungicide application, every insecticide — everything’s there. Everything but the actual harvest going through the machine.”

Hurdle also has younger soybeans that he hopes will make up for the significant losses he expects to see in these fields. To keep that hope alive, he’s pumping water around the clock off of these fields here. With these sprouting soybeans losing value daily, Hurdle is now simply hoping to survive this bean harvest and get the beans out of the way in time to move on with planting their sugarcane crop.

Concluding, Hurdle says, “If we can get out of here with a 50% loss, recoup our expenses, and start over next year, you know that’s about the best case scenario right now.”