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|Good weather puts farmers in the fields|
Franklin Parish farmers are in the fields this week to plant corn crops following a break in the weather over the past few days that has given them a run of dry, sunny days.
LSU AgCenter's Carol Pinnell-Alison said a number of area farmers made it back into their fields last weekend following several days of cold weather and rain.
Over the last week, however, corn producers succeeded in planting a majority of the corn crop, according to Pinnel-Alison.
"It didn't take our producers very long to get it in the ground because the conditions were right," Pinnell-Alison said."
Pinnell-Alison noted that corn producers who still have unplanted fields still have a chance to get their crops in the fields.
"We still have a lot of opportunity," Pinnell-Alison said. "Our normal planting date for corn goes until April 1."
With corn futures running high, many area producers are turning to the crop in hopes of a repeat of 2007's record corn harvest. However, Pinnell-Alison said a number of area producers are banking on soybeans because of high demand for the bean.
While some area producers were beginning to look at planting soybeans, Pinnell-Alison said her recommendation was to wait until early April for both soybeans and cotton.
"Soil temperature is critical for cotton because it has a smaller seed," PA said. "For cotton, you want soil temperature to be somewhere around 65 degrees."
Pinnell-Alison said the most recent soil temperature measurements she had seen were around 56 degrees. For soybeans, day length is more important than soil temperature.
"They've done some recent work with a number of soybean varieties and have determined that yields come out better if you wait to plant until a little later," Pinnell-Alison said.
Also, a run of cold weather two weeks ago seemed to have little affect on Franklin Parish wheat crops.
Pinnell-Alison said area farmers haven't reported any damage to crops due to the cold snap, and said wheat seemed to be thriving.
"It was kind of amazing," said Pinnell-Alison. "One week, we had snow and then today, it's 70 degrees."
Pinnell-Alison had expressed concern that a sudden cold snap could injure wheat crops in Franklin Parish. However, the wheat crop is still on track for the May harvest, Pinnell-Alison said.