Hurricane Laura damages some Louisiana soybeans, other row crops

Agriculture

Soybean fields in Louisiana have some degree of leaning, which is called lodging. Photo by David Moseley/LSU AgCenter

BATON ROUGE, La. (LSU AgCenter) – Most Louisiana soybean fields are in decent shape following Hurricane Laura, but there are pockets of serious damage in areas that received strong winds and rain.

“Statewide, the crop fared pretty well,” said LSU AgCenter soybean specialist David Moseley, who is based at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria. “In some places, the soybean is still standing upright and still looks pretty good. But a lot of soybean across the state has some degree of leaning, which is called lodging.”

Most of the lodging is minor, and Moseley doesn’t predict any big problems in those fields. It’s possible that upcoming harvest operations will be a little slower than usual, he said.

Prospects for badly lodged fields are less encouraging.

“If the plants lean on the ground and touch the soil, you’re going to have some moisture issues,” Moseley said. “You’re going to have quality issues if it’s close to the ground and you happen to have flooding.”

Louisiana has roughly 1 million acres of soybeans, 61% of which had been harvested as of Aug. 30, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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