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Louisiana soybeans off to slow start, needing rain

Rain, then drought hamper Louisiana soybean progress.

Louisiana’s soybean crop got a slow start, caught up some with warm April and May temperatures and by late June needed rain.

Louisiana Extension soybean specialist Todd Spivey, at the recent LSU AgCenter Expo, held at the Scott Research, Extension and Education Center in Winnsboro, said March-planting was sluggish. “March was cold and wet and a lot of beans that would have gone in in March were slow.”

He said even into April, conditions remained wet and cold. “A lot of our beans weren’t planted until the first or second weeks of May. We’ve come along since then, but when the wet weather turned off, it turned really dry, really fast.

“Now, were beginning to catch a little rain and the beans are looking pretty good, considering. It’s one of those things, if we’re going to have a drought, we’d rather have it early in the year.”

He says pest pressure has also been slow to develop. “About 60 to 75 percent of our beans are beginning to bloom across the state, so we are getting into the meat of the season. The goal going forward is to keep the beans stress-free.”

That may be difficult unless the hot, dry conditions that have persisted across the state for the last two months change..

Spivey says only 15 percent to 20 percent of the state’s soybean acreage is irrigated.

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