Cotton is a major crop in Mississippi. In 2014, it ranked fourth behind poultry, forestry and soybeans in state commodities with $403 million dollars of revenue.
Mississippi producers planted approximately 420,000 acres of cotton last year. This number seems to fluctuates depending on weather, price of production and current commodity markets.
The highest acreage recorded in Mississippi was in 1930 when 4.163 million acres were planted to cotton. The highest production year was 1937 when 2.692 million bales were produced over 3.421 million acres. The highest cotton yields were received in 2004 with 1034 pounds of lint produced per acre. This same year there were 2.346 million bales produced almost as much as in 1937 with one third of the acreage. This yield beat the previous yield of 934 lbs in 2003.
Many changes have occurred over the last few years in cotton production:
- Boll Weevil Eradication efforts have been successful and the Boll Weevil is no longer a problem pest in Mississippi.
- Transgenic Cotton Varieties containing the following Genes: Roundup Ready, BollGard I & II, WideStrike and Liberty Link have become very popular and the majority of the cotton acres in Mississippi are planted in some type of transgenic variety.
- Growers are realizing the benefits of reduced tillage programs to increase yields and profit margins.
The major insect pests in cotton have also shifted. The Boll Weevil used to be the main pest, followed by Tobacco Budworms and Cotton Bollworms. However, with the introduction of the new technologies and success of the Boll Weevil Eradication program, the Tarnished Plant Bug has now become the number one pest in Mississippi cotton production.
Cotton is and will continue to be a major crop in the state of Mississippi. With the current varieties and technology available average cotton yields in Mississippi may have risen to a higher plateau than in years past. Technological advances in transgenic cotton varieties have allowed cotton to be managed and produced easier than ever before and these advances continue to be major reasons that yields have continued to increase over the past few years.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Questions following a hurricane
- How do you estimate yield by boll counting? PDF
- How do you estimate potential yield loss? PDF
- Will foliar feeding seedling cotton increase yield?
- What are Mississippi's freeze dates?
- Can you tell me about sprayer calibration?
- What is the recommended seeding rate for cotton?
- What should be the soil temperature at planting time?
- What percentage of my crop should I plant in Bt?
- What final live plant population should I target?
- What variety, or varieties should I plant?
- Should I replant?
- What should I do about hail damage?
Cotton Disease and Damages
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.
Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.
"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There's no reason for cotton farmers to sing the blues this year.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton harvest was nearly halfway done by the first week of October. Early yields suggest the state will average more than 1,000 pounds of cotton per acre.
Good prices provided the icing on the cake.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wet, cloudy weather has put a lot of cotton bolls on the ground, but experts still expect an above average crop from Mississippi’s cotton acreage.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said experts knew boll loss was coming after all the recent rain.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cotton producers made rapid planting progress in mid-May on increased acreage, hoping the recent trend of high yields will continue in a year of low prices for all crops.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said dry weather during the second week of May allowed farmers to kick planting into high gear.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Neither crop yields nor prices were particularly bad in 2015, but Mississippi’s estimated state agricultural production value still dropped to $7.2 billion, a 4.9 percent decrease from the previous year.
Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the decline in agricultural value has two causes.