Warm, dry spring saves wheat planted in spillway
NEW ORLEANS - Marty Frey harvested 600 acres of wheat from the Morganza Spillway before it was opened, but his rice there had just been planted. He alternates rice and crawfish, and had planned to add 650 acres of rice to the 450 already in the spillway.
Those fields are deep under water because the spillway was opened to keep high water from imperiling Mississippi River levees from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. But Frey and other farmers saved their wheat - a warm, dry spring had ripened it early.
Pointe Coupee Parish grows almost a quarter of Louisiana's winter wheat. LSU AgCenter county agent Miles Brashier says about 3,500 to 4,000 acres - probably 10 percent of the parish's total - were in the floodway.