By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent crop progress and condition report echoed area farmers’ accounts of poor conditions in the region for planting.
According to the report, 54 percent of the forecasted acreage of corn crops were planted as of April 14, compared to 90 percent the same day last year.
The five-year average for planted corn on the date is 82 percent.
Mississippi farmers expect to plant more than 1 million acres in corn this year, the largest acreage in 53 years. The acreage this year is about 230,000 acres more than last year.
Also, 37 percent of planted corn had emerged, according to the report, half the rate reported a year ago.
No cotton had been planted according to the report, and only 4 percent of total acreage had been planted on the same date last year. Cotton planting usually begins in early May.
Soybeans and rice were planted at a rate of 4 and 5 percent, respectively, of planned acreage, compared to 57 and 29 percent for the same time last year.
State farmers will plant 1.95 million acres of soybeans and about 120,000 acres in rice – a 36-year low.
Cool, rainy weather has hindered farmers in the state from planting.