Corn, rice and sorghum planting are surging in Arkansas, according to Monday’s report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The weekly crop progress and condition report said:

  • Corn was 84 percent planted compared with 59 percent in last week’s report and the 50 percent five-year average. Forty-eight percent the crop was emerged.
  • Rice was 49 percent planted, compared to 18 percent the previous week and the 13 percent five-year average. Rice was 11 percent emerged, compared with just 1 percent for the previous week, last year and the five-year average.
  • Sorghum was 58 percent planted, up from 26 percent the previous week and the 16 percent five-year average. Sorghum we 15 percent emerged, well ahead of the 2 percent five-year average.
  • Soybeans were gaining ground, with 10 percent in the ground, compared with 4 percent last week and the 2 percent five-year average.
  • Winter wheat was 73 percent headed, up from 35 percent the previous week and the 15 percent five-year average.
  • Cotton made the report this week, with 1 percent planted.

“Dry, warm weather has made for excellent planting conditions and producers have taken advantage of it,” said Keith Perkins, Lonoke County Extension agent. “Producers know that generally the earliest planted crops yield the best.”

“We are not going to slow down until done planting or we get rained out,” he said.

“It’s ‘Hammer Time’,” Prairie County Extension Staff Chairman Brent Griffin said as he reached back into the pop music archives. “If this weather pattern holds through the weekend, all the rice will be planted, all the corn and sorghum will be up.

“We even have a few people replanting rice because of birds pulling the new plants out of the soil and eating the exposed seed,” he said. “The true armyworms are still feeding in the wheat and starting to reach out into the rice and corn fields.”

The good news continues for Arkansas’ livestock and forage growers. Pasture and range were 71 percent in good shape and 8 percent in excellent shape.

The April 3 U.S. Drought Monitor map shows drought area in Arkansas has shrunk to just 0.04 percent of the state, compared with 99.2 percent last year.  The last bit of abnormally dry ground was confined to Miller County.

For more information about crop production, visit www.uaex.edu, www.arkansascrops.com or contact your county Extension agent.