I sent out a poll question on Tuesday (March 8) to get an idea about how much rice was planted in the state. Two questions were asked.
- How much rice have you planted?
- What percentage (of the planted rice) does that represent for your rice intentions for 2016?
The response from the text message group was very good. I had a total of 54 responses from farmers and crop consultants. Some responses contained answers to only one of the questions, either the acres planted or the percent of acres planted. So, there will obviously be some error in the reporting of the results. Nonetheless, here is what we found out…
The poll reported approximately 39,000 acres planted by those responding to the text. That alone is 9% of the total planted acres in 2015. Remember, this is all rice that was planted before the March 10 recommended planting window and only from a small subset of responding rice farmers!
The largest amount of acres planted by one farming operation was 3,000. Of the 54 responses, 19 farming operations (35%) have not started. One producer told me that they wanted to use all of their resources to work and level ground during the dry period before the rains and then worry about planting when it dries again.
Several producers mentioned that all of the planted acres were drill-seeded and that they planned to water-seed some rice after the rains. Therefore, we may even see a significant increase in acres in southwest Louisiana next week, even if the soils do not dry out completely.
The average number of acres planted by all those reporting was 743 acres, while the average number of acres planted by only those who had some rice in the ground was 1,175 acres. The average number of rice acres per farming operation planned for 2016 (only by those that reported percentage of acres planted) was 1,592 acres.