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|Cool temperatures hit farmers|
Temperatures around the region plummeted Tuesday, with overnight lows hovering nearing freezing in some areas.
With temperatures low and frost forming nightly, LSU AgCenter's Sandy Stewart was cautioning farmers against rushing cotton seeds into the fields.
"Forecasts for the next couple of nights show temperatures in the low 30s with frost likely," Stewart said in an email to area producers. "Undoubtedly, this is not the situation in which to be planting cotton."
While the weekend forecast calls for warming, Stewart said meteorologists were not predicting any exceptionally warm days. Also, Stewart said moisture could be a limiting factor.
Fields are moist and that might be tempting producers to put cotton seed in the ground.
The temptation may be to plant where moisture is still good, but this will run the risk of chilling injury from seeds imbibing water less than 58 degrees," Steward said. "Overall, this is a poor forecast and patience will be best over the next few days.
The cold snap did not seem to have much of an affect on wheat crops in the area, according to Franklin parish farmer Buckshot Sims.
"I think we'll be okay on the wheat," Sims said.
Sims expressed concern for the few acres of soybeans already coming up and said he expected those plants to see some ill effects of the frost.
Sims also pointed to nearby Tensas Parish, where some early cotton and soybean was already up.
"It's just going to annihilate that," Sims said.
The current National Weather Service 5-day outlook calls for highs in the mid-70s with overnight lows dropping into the low 50's.
By the weekend, temperatures were expected to climb to highs nearing 80.