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News Filed Under Cotton

A small, white sign on top of a silver stake in the foreground tells what kind of cotton plants are behind it. In the background are rows of cotton plants with green leaves but not yet containing cotton blooms.
July 12, 2019 - Filed Under: Cotton

All of Mississippi’s 2019 cotton crop has emerged, but it’s off to a slow start.

Of approximately 700,000 acres of cotton planted statewide this year, 57% is rated fair or worse by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as of July 8.

The rusty poles of an overhead, pivot irrigation system and a thin row of trees rise from the waves and gray floodwaters under a bleak sky.
June 20, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Farming, Community, Disaster Response

Although numbers on paper look about right for Mississippi row crops, the reality is actually quite grim in places.

Man wearing a reflective safety vest looks at a white drone he is holding at shoulder height. A toppled pine tree and empty agricultural field are in the background.
April 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Farming, Disaster Response

HAMILTON, Miss. -- Determining the extent of tornado damage to farms in Monroe County will take weeks, but video shot from flying drones will speed up the process.

Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel have been assisting in relief efforts since the morning after an EF-2 tornado on April 13 damaged more than 140 homes in Hamilton, claiming one life and injuring 19 others.

A man in work clothes, baseball cap and wading boots stands in water outside his boat holding a paddle.
April 11, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Farming, Community, Disaster Response

Near a bridge that connects Issaquena and Sharkey counties, Waye Windham leaned toward the side of his boat and dipped a paddle down into flood water to gauge its depth.

The water was too deep for the paddle to reach the ground. Riding with Windham was Lacey Little, who tried a much longer wooden post.

March 21, 2019 - Filed Under: Cotton

A Mississippi State cotton agronomist is the new head of the university's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Darrin Dodds, a 12-year veteran of the department, takes the helm April 1.

October 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Rice, Soybeans, Farming

The 2018 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course will feature speakers from seven states covering topics ranging from nematode management in cotton and soybeans to the potential effects of new tariffs on the state's agricultural industry.

Cotton with sprouting plants lies on muddy ground.
October 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans

Most of Mississippi’s corn and rice crops had been harvested when prolonged, late-September rains soaked much of the state, but the wet weather could not have come at a worse time for soybeans and cotton.

A pink cotton bloom sits among green leaves.
July 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Cotton

As most cotton across Mississippi is setting bolls ahead of schedule this year, some fields look fantastic and others are struggling, depending on the weather and irrigation.

A wife and husband stand in a field with cotton rows.
July 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Soybeans

Lonnie Fortner has been named the Mississippi winner of the 2018 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.

Green baby cotton plants poke through soil.
May 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growers may be on their way to planting more cotton in Mississippi soil than they have in 11 years, despite a late start.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, estimated that growers will plant 700,000 acres of cotton this year. If that much gets harvested, it will be the best total since 2006, when the state produced 1.2 million acres of cotton. Last year, Mississippi cotton producers harvested 625,000 acres.

March 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Green Industry, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Other Vegetables, Corn, Cotton, Nuts, Peanuts, Soybeans, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Poultry, Lawn and Garden, Forestry, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

ELLISVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University representatives met with agricultural clients in Ellisville recently to discuss research and education needs for 2018. More than 115 individuals attended this year's event.

March 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Cotton, Soybeans, Weed Control for Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Two highly anticipated online training modules are now available for those who plan to purchase or apply dicamba and similar herbicides.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce Bureau of Plant Industry, developed these new online training courses related to herbicides labeled for use with dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans in response to label changes from the Environmental Protection Agency.

February 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Cotton, Soybeans, Weed Control for Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In response to new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the use of the herbicide dicamba, the Mississippi State University Extension Service is developing two online training courses to help cotton and soybean farmers follow the new rules.

Picked cotton sits in large green and red bales.
December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The 2017 production value of Mississippi’s four largest row crops is forecasted to outperform the previous year by more than 7 percent.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, predicted the combined value of soybeans, cotton, corn and rice will be nearly $2.1 billion this year. The total projected value for all agronomic crops is $2.5 billion, which would be a 6.4 percent increase over the $2.4 billion value reached in 2016.

November 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cover crop usage is gaining momentum on Midsouth farms and will be a major focus of the 2017 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course.

The MSU Extension Service will host the course at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville Dec. 4-6.

A cotton baler drops a yellow-wrapped, round cotton bale in a cotton field.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Cotton

On one of my first visits to Mississippi, I bought a postcard featuring the iconic “Ski Mississippi” image of someone decked out in winter wear in the middle of a field of white that was obviously not snow.

A closed boll is seen on a cotton plant growing in a field.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rain, cool weather, more rain and some wind have slowed cotton maturation, but since the crop was a little behind schedule, the damage may be less than if harvest were already underway.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said recent weather is causing some yield loss, but it is hard to estimate how much.

“Being late to a degree helped the crop because rain did not string out open cotton, but given that we are running out of heat, we may have been better off with an earlier crop that had been defoliated and was standing up when the rain came,” Dodds said.

Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corp. representative Mike Mullendore checks one of the cone-shaped traps located near a Mississippi State University research field on June 27, 2017. The traps evolved from U.S. Department of Agriculture research at the Robey Wentworth Harned Laboratory, commonly known as the Boll Weevil Research Lab at MSU. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
August 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cotton will always have challenges, but few of them will ever compare to the boll weevils that thrived in Mississippi from 1904 until 2009.

“It is nearly impossible for this younger generation of consultants, scouts and growers to understand how hard boll weevils were to control and how much boll weevil control hurt beneficial insects and complicated cotton management,” said Will McCarty, who served as the Mississippi State University Extension Service cotton specialist during “the boll weevil wars.”

Award-winning farmer Paul Good examines cotton growing in Noxubee County during a Mississippi State University field tour on July 12, 2017. Good said he remembers a time when farmers did not grow cotton in the area, mostly because of boll weevils. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
August 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests

MACON, Miss. -- Farmers' independent natures make them strong, but when agricultural producers join forces, they can take success to the next level.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, commended Mississippi farmers for their efforts to unite in the battle to eradicate boll weevils from the state.

“Historically, boll weevils were the prime pest in cotton fields. To control them, it took numerous pesticide applications,” he said. “Those treatments were costly and ate into the growers’ profit margins.”

Dark clouds move toward Mississippi State University soybean and corn plots at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi, on Aug. 17, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
August 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Cotton, Grains, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s row crops have had enough rain, and most fields just need sunshine.

Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn is mature and will gain no benefit from additional moisture. In the first couple of weeks of August, skies were overcast or rain was falling across most of the state.

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