It is Fall 2015! Corn, sweet potatoes and soybeans are just some of the crops you can look forward to here in Louisiana. However, Kurt Guidry of the LSU AG Center said it hasn’t been an easy year for farmers.
“Our 2015 yield will be down, for most crops, anywhere from about 7% to 10%,” Guidry said. “We even have some, in the case of soybeans, right now the projection is down more than 20% from last year.”
Guidry said you can blame the weather for that.
“You remember we had high levels of rainfall in most of the spring, that really devastated our wheat crop this year,” Guidry explained. “As much as 50% of the value of the crop was lost.”
Right now, Guidry said too much rain is not the problem. We are actually going through a drought, and it doesn’t just affect the crops.
“The thing that we’re going to continue to monitor as we move through the remainder of 2015 is how that lack of rainfall, and therefore lack of forage availabilty is going to affect our cow herd here in Louisiana,” Guidry stated. “Does that mean producers are going to have to get rid of some of their cattle because they just don’t have the resources?”
What does this mean for consumers?
“When you look at commodity prices, farm level prices, those have very little impact on the ultimate retail consumer prices,” Guidry explained. “In most cases, less than 3% to 4% of that retail consumer price is a function of this farm prices.”
All in all, crop production is down across the board this Fall, but Guidry said he is hopeful.
“From a financial standpoint, we’ll have several of our producers where 2015 is going to be a difficult year for them,” Guidry said. “Hopefully, when we’re looking at 2016, we’ll see some improved situations, both in terms of price and for our producers moving forward.”
According to the AG Center, right now,.most of the corn and rice for the year have already been harvested. More than 60% of Louisiana’s soybean product has been sent to buyers. While sweet potatoes, cotton and sugarcane have a long way to go. Sugarcane will begin harvest in October.