The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Louisiana farmers are planting more soybeans than they have in 14 years but may tie a record low for cotton.
Changing weather patterns appeared to be a factor as the wet early spring gave way to a drier pattern. So farmers are planting more soybeans and less rice than originally expected.
The USDA's July crop report says Louisiana farmers are planting 1.14 million acres of soybeans, the highest since 1.2 million acres in 1998 and 70,000 acres more than projected in March.
The LSU AgCenter says a sugarcane fungus new to Louisiana has been identified in two fields. It's called orange rust.
Plant pathologist Jeff Hoy says sugarcane experts had expected the wind-borne fungus earlier since it was first identified in the United States five years ago in Florida.
Researchers and extension agents are checking other fields to see if they are infected.
Orange rust is native to Asia.
This time of year, all eyes are on watermelons, and for good reason: local farmers grow stars and stripe melons just in time for the July 4th weekend.