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Extended wet period ruins soybean crops across Acadiana

Posted at 10:11 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-27 00:33:55-04

In the last two months, Acadiana has received more than thirteen inches of rain.

That extended wet period has ruined soybean crops across the region.

“We had probably a good two to three-week span where at the very beginning of the harvest, the conditions were right, and the farmers that were cutting, the yields were some of the best yields that these farmers have seen in years,” explained LSU AG Center Extension Agent Jeremy Hebert.

Those good yields didn’t last long.

“It started out as a very promising year but quickly turned south once the rains started in early to mid-September, and they have just not let up,” said Hebert.

The prolonged soggy weather caused the soybean fields to produce low-quality beans.

“They had a considerable amount of damage to them, and the mills will only take soybeans with very low damage: five, six, seven-percent damage. And, these beans that have been cut after the rains have started, they may be thirty, forty, fifty-percent damaged. So, these farmers are having to hold onto these soybeans in their grain bins,” explained Hebert.

That poses another challenge as these same farmers are starting to harvest their second crop: rice.

Farmers say they now don’t have room to store their rice because their grain bins are full of damaged soybeans. So, roughly 20 percent of the beans left to harvest are being discarded.

“They’re useless with fifty to sixty-percent damage, so we’re having to plow them in or roll them into the ground,” explained farmer Reece Guillot.

Hebert says the decimated crop will have major impacts for the rest of Acadiana.

”Any time the farmers don’t have additional money in their pocket and they’re losing money, that’s less money they can put back into the economy.”

Hebert says the twenty-five-percent tariffs imposed by China, America’s largest soybean export, adds insult to injury.

KATC covered Acadiana’s farmers’ perspectives on the tariffs earlier this year.

Here are the links for the earlier soybean reports:

Acadiana soybean farmers brace for the worst after China imposes tariffs

New tariffs from China could impact Acadiana soybean industry