Southwest Louisiana crops suffering - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Southwest Louisiana crops suffering

By Charlie Bartlett - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lack of rain is taking its toll on Southwest Louisiana crops.

"We're pretty much at a critical stage but from a crop standpoint we are definitely past time for rain and we have a lot of our crops showing some symptoms," said Jerry Whatley.

The lack of rain is hurting farmers in their wallet.  The dry weather means an acre of land may only produce half the crops it normally would.

"We are definitely going to lose some production potential like in our soy beans and long term affects in our sugar cane," said Whatley.

"I'm probably going to lose a bunch of money. If it doesn't rain, I'm sure the beans are going to struggle and we'll probably lose most of them," said Jamie Leonards.

Jamie Leonards is a farmer outside Lake Charles. To maintain his crops, he has to spend more money pumping water into his fields.

"We just can keep up and we can't catch up. We're trying to catch up and we don't have it flooded deep like we would like to but we're trying to keep it wet where it will survive," said Leonards.

If it doesn't rain soon the crops won't reach their full potential, but it's not just the crops that are in danger.

"It can hurt our cattle on rebreeding and they will be in bad shape to rebreed," said Leonards.

"We may not see these cows suffering right now but when nutrition goes down, it's going to affect their rates and their body end line," said Whatley.

All the farmers can do is take care of their crops and wait for the rain to come.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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