Farmers in need of rain
The farmers are looking at the skies in search of rain clouds.
It has been a few weeks since they received more than a half inch of rain and based on weather forecasts it could be another week until the wet stuff falls.
Sugar cane and cattle farmers are not pushing the panic button yet, but they are about to put their fingers on it.
The parish saw only about a half inch of rain in April.
Pecan Island and Cow Island did not get any rain in April, while Maurice has seen three inches of rain.
Andrew Granger, of the LSU Ag Center, said farmers are worried.
Sugar cane farmers have been fertilizing their crop, which is at its early stages, but could use the rain for growth.
Granger said April and May are normally wet months, which helps the sugar cane crop grow. But with no rain in the last six weeks, the crop has not been able to grow. He said last year, June was a dry month and stunted the growth of the crop but the yield turned out well. This year, however, if the spring is also dry and June turns out to be dry again, then that may spell bad news for cane farmers.
Cattle farmers are having to purchase hay to feed their cattle because pastures are not producing grass due to no rain. Farmers have to purchase hay, which is also hard to locate because of the dry conditions.
“The longer it goes with no rain, the worse it will be for the farmers,” Granger said.
Rice farmers are having to pump well water to fill their fields because of lack of rain.