8/21/2013 at 12:00 a.m.
From the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture:
Arkansas’ row crops are still a little behind the five-year average for this time of year, but are largely in “good-to-excellent” condition, according to the weekly update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
- Corn — 97 percent has reached dough stage, compared to the five-year average of 99 percent and last year’s 100 percent. Five percent of the crop has been harvested, compared with a five-year average of 21 percent. Sixty-one percent of the crop is rated in “good” or “excellent” condition.
- Cotton — 100 percent of the plants have set bolls, in line with last year and the five-year average. Four percent are opening bolls, well behind last year’s 28 percent and the 13 percent five-year average. Sixty percent of the crop is in “good” or “excellent” condition.
- Rice — 80 percent is headed, off last year’s 98-percent and the 84-percent five-year average. Six percent is ripe, compared with 47 percent last year and 22 percent over the five-year average. Sixty-three percent is in “good” or “excellent” condition.
- Sorghum — 100 percent is headed, in line with last year and the five-year average. Twelve percent of the crop is mature, compared to 83 percent last year and the 46-percent five-year average. Sixty-four percent is in “good” or “excellent” condition.
- Soybeans — 79 percent are setting pods, compared to 96 percent last year and the 85-percent five-year average. Fifty-four percent of the crop is rated “good” or “excellent.”
Farmers in Randolph County are taking a wait-and-see approach to crops that were submerged last week
by flooding. Mike Andrews, Randolph County Extension agent, revisited some of the flooded fields on Tuesday and Wednesday. “The rivers are back in their banks, and most of the water is off the fields. However, to really know how much damage there is, we will have to wait until harvest,” he said. “I don't even want to speculate. I hope things turn around and things are not as bad in those fields as it looks right now.”
In Chicot County: “We are in full harvest of corn,” said Gus Wilson, county Extension agent. “Irrigated yields have been good — not as good as last year, but better than we were expecting due to the tough, wet spring we had.” Wilson said rice and cotton are looking good, but soybeans are looking really good. “I think we will have a good to great yield on beans.”
In Lonoke County: “We are just bouncing along with no major bumps at this point,” said Keith Perkins, Extension agent. He advised farmers to “keep scouting rice and soybean fields for disease and insects.”