Rain slows farmers
by Kevin Pearson
Jun 19, 2013 | 633 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cool, rainy weather in May has delayed some of the crop planting in Mississippi by making it difficult for farmers to get out into their fields.

Not only did the rain make it impossible to get equipment into the fields but the cool, saturated ground also affected the growth of crops.

Although the Crop Progress Report for mid-May said that 91 percent of the corn had been planted for the state, it is only down 8 percent from the five-year average of 99 percent according to Extension Ag Agent Craig Hankins with the Bolivar County Division Cooperative Extension Service.

Even though the percentages are not far away from each other, some of the early corn crops grew with thin and weak stalks, causing some farmers to switch a portion of their crops to cotton, soybeans, or rice.

However, rain has had a greater effect on cotton, soybeans, and rice because it kept farmers and equipment out of the fields.

The five-year average for mid-May planting of soybeans is 71 percent, while this year the mid-May percentage of planted soybeans is 17 percent for the state.

The five-year average for rice is 50 percent planted, and this year only 12 percent had been planted in the state by mid-May.

“As far as this county is concerned, a lot of the crops are already planted,” said Hankins.

The rain also affected the wheat crop by delaying harvesting, and creating a low test-weight and yield.

Although Hankins projects that the crop yield for this year will be down from last year, he says that it will not be certain until harvest season, which will also be pushed back due to the late start in planting.

“The few days the farmers could get into the fields, they got a lot done,” said Hankins.

“So that’s been the silver lining.

“It’s not the most optimum year but we’ll bounce back.”

Due to the warmer weather, recent and coming rain should not affect the crops any further.