Farmers produce record soybean crop
posted Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 @ 9:05 am
BY BRUCE SCHULTZ
Louisiana farmers produced a record soybean crop this year, yielding 44 bushels on 1.11 million acres, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. The previous high was 43 bushels in 2007.
Concordia farm officials estimated the average yield per acre parishwide equaled the state average. Total soybean acreage in the parish was 73,137.
Ron Levy, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, said generally favorable weather, well-adapted varieties and grower willingness to invest in the crop were factors that pushed state soybean production to a record level.
"People were not afraid to manage the crop for high yield potential," Levy said. "They could justify the higher costs of crop protection because of the higher value of the crop."
For example, he said, farmers able to irrigate their crop were willing to spend money to pump water, knowing the expense would be offset by excellent prices.
During much of the growing season, prices topped $15 a bushel and reached $17 in September. They have recently slipped to the $14 range.
The USDA statistics show Louisiana's soybean yield equaled the Iowa soybean harvest and was higher than other Midwestern states such as Illinois (43 bushels) and Missouri (31 bushels), where a severe drought took its toll. Only Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York had better average yields than Louisiana.
Even with the state's record high yields, some farmers left their crop in the field if it wasn't worth harvesting, Levy said, and that happened in cases of not enough rain or too much at the wrong time.
He said some of the highest yields in Louisiana exceeded 90 bushels per acre.