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December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes

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."

Brittany Lipsey, a Mississippi State University graduate student from Louisville, Mississippi, is researching management techniques that can be used to combat sugarcane aphids, helping sorghum farmers have a sustainable future with the crop. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
October 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains, Insects-Crop Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fewer Mississippi producers are looking at grain sorghum as a crop rotation option since an introduced pest became a major problem, a trend Mississippi State University researchers are working to reverse.

The sugarcane aphid is a nonnative pest introduced to the United States in Florida in 1977. By the late 1990s, it had been found in Louisiana. In both states, the pest initially fed on sugarcane. At some point, the aphid began feeding on Johnsongrass, a significant weed found in sugarcane and other crops in the Midsouth.

Grain sorghum acreage was low this year because of low prices and sugarcane aphid problems. Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Erick Larson examined sorghum ready for harvest Sept. 15, 2016, at MSU’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grain sorghum acres are very low in the state, a response to prices returning to their usual range and sugarcane aphids continuing to be a scourge to the crop.

This grain sorghum plant in a Mississippi State University plot at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Mississippi, on Aug. 28, 2015, shows damage from extremely high populations of sugarcane aphids with no treatments applied. (File photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Jeff Gore)
October 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Grains, Insects-Crop Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers have spent the last few years on the front lines protecting a $33 million dollar crop in Mississippi.

As grain sorghum production grew, producers had to fight off a new pest.

Eddie Stevens, supervisor for the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center at Mississippi State University, left, and Erick Larson, an associate research/extension professor, examine grain sorghum in a herbicide study in fields on the north side of campus on Sept. 24, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
September 25, 2015 - Filed Under: Grains

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After causing significant challenges in 2014, sugarcane aphids did not catch Mississippi’s grain sorghum growers by surprise this year.

“We are not sure if sugarcane aphids were not as bad as last year or if we just did a better job using insecticidal seed treatments,” said Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “One big difference was that we were more educated in our control efforts. No one was caught by surprise, and everyone had budgeted for control.”

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