The beginning of October marks the start of the harvest season for sugar cane farmers around Acadiana.
“It’s a busy time of the year right now, we are at the end of September with next week being the beginning of October which in the cane growing area, around here in Acadiana the Teche area that means it’s time for sugarcane harvest,” says Blair Hebert.
Hebert is a county agent for the LSU Ag center. Sugar cane farmers plant their crop right before they harvest, and since July they’ve been trying to plant but rain is delaying the entire process.
He says, “Unfortunately this year we are only about 80% complete, maybe in some other areas of the state we might even be a little bit less complete with the harvest so far so we have farmers who are still waiting on mother nature to get in the fields dry enough so we can finish planting.”
Weather hasn’t been forgiving this years crop. These heavy rains followed a dry spell, and this winter we even saw snow. Taylor Blanchard is a local farmer, he says in the 80s a hard killer most of that years crop.
Blanchard says, “Older farmers you talk to they said they lost a lot of Cain and had to plow it out late planted. I think now with these new varieties The development of culture see the cane can withstand a lot colder tolerance than it could back in the day.”
Last years sugarcane production in Louisiana set a record at 1.82 million tons. It’s too soon to tell if this year will top that, but Hebert says this crop is showing resilience. He says, “Our folks over at USDA, our folks over with the American sugar league, and our folks at the LSU accentor at the research stations have been doing testing and have been monitoring the cane. It’s grown a lot since July 1 and we think we have good sugar content and we think we’re going to have a good crop this year.”