Soybeans expected to reach 1.3M acres in 2014
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana farmers are likely to plant 1.3 million acres of soybeans this year, up 18 percent from last year’s 1.1 million acres, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist Ronnie Levy said.
Most of that increase will be in acres planted last year in corn, he said. A wet spring kept farmers from planting corn on some fields. In addition, corn prices are lower than last year’s, while soybean prices remain strong.
Both acreage and yields for soybeans have been climbing steadily for a decade, Levy said.
Central and northeast Louisiana have the highest soybean yields in Louisiana. Levy said that in the southwest, soybeans are generally grown in rotation with rice — partly because that helps control weeds in rice.
Levy said less than 1 percent of Louisiana’s soybeans are planted, compared to nearly 25 percent by this time last year.
The best planting time for soybeans is early April to early May, he said. After early May, yields are likely to be lower for several reasons. Those include a shorter growing season, higher temperatures while the beans are developing, and greater chances of insect and disease damage.