SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Last year, 2020 was very disappointing for many Shreveport-Bossier farmers with low yields. So far, 2021 is shaping up to be very similar. “We didn’t plant our crop until June and July,” said Bossier Parish Farmer Drew Lefler.
The late start forced Lefler to transition from cotton to soybeans. “We normally raise cotton, but it was too wet to plant and when it finally dried up it was just too late. My friends in Belcher and Gilliam planted cotton and corn earlier and I think some of them will have a good crop,” said Lefler.
In addition to planting soybeans, Lefler wanted to experimented and grow some watermelons. It has been thirty years since he did such a thing. “We planted the watermelons in the greenhouse and they looked really good after a month. With the heavy rains, I wasn’t able to get tractors in the field to get the watermelons in the soil,” said Lefler.
As some farmers had to alter to a backup plan because of the recent heavy rains, LSU Ag Center Bossier Parish Extension Agent says it isn’t a bad idea to change up row crops from year to year. “Soybeans produce nitrogen naturally and that may improve the fertility of the soil for next year,” said Dr. Valerie West.