Arkansas corn, sorghum, rice planting nearly complete; cotton hits halfway mark

LITTLE ROCK – Corn, sorghum and rice planting are nearly complete and cotton planting has hit the halfway mark in Arkansas, according to Monday’s crop progress report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Cotton was 50 percent planted, up from 20 percent the previous week and well above the 15 percent five-year average. Last year, only 6 percent of the crop was planted on April 29.

“We’d be 80 percent planted if we had enough moisture,” said Tom Barber, extension cotton agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We ran out of moisture and a lot of people stopped planting.

“We need a little rain. That’ll help us out,” he said.

Help may be on the way. The National Weather Service was forecasting a 60 percent chance of rain Monday night. Meanwhile, Arkansas shed its last bit of drought, according to the April 24 U.S. Drought Monitor map. The previous week’s map had .04 percent of the state – all in Miller County – as having the mildest drought classification.

Among the other crops:

Corn was 99 percent planted, up from 97 percent the previous week and ahead of the 88 percent five-year average.

• Rice was 92 percent planted, up from 86 percent the previous week and ahead of the 58 percent five-year average.

• Sorghum was 93 percent planted, up from 89 percent the previous week and well ahead of the 57 percent five-year average.

• Soybeans were 45 percent planted, up from 28 percent the previous week and well ahead of the 17 percent five-year average.

• Winter wheat was 100 percent planted and well ahead of the 75 percent five-year average.

Pastures are 52 percent good, 34 percent fair and 6 percent excellent. Hay is 53 percent good, 38 percent fair and 3 percent excellent. Some Arkansas growers are baling their first cutting.

To learn more about crop production contact your county extension office, or visit or

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.

Mary Hightower is with the Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the U of A System Division of Agriculture