Mississippi pecan producers faced a particularly challenging year with drought and then rain at the wrong time, but irrigated orchards are making a good crop.
Eric Stafne, fruit and nut crop specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the dry summer did one very good thing: It helped control pecan scab, a disease that is often a problem for the state’s pecan trees.
“Snow” appearing on the sides of highways and bare ground visible for miles is a sure indication that row crop harvest in Mississippi is well underway. As of early October, the majority of the 2022 crop was already harvested, although much work remains for certain crops.
The state’s corn crop suffered through a very hot and dry summer after a later-than-usual planting season, so yields will be lower this year -- but not much lower overall. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the crop was 71% harvested as of Sept. 11. Frequent rains in late August and early September slowed harvest considerably, but growers have been making tremendous progress when sunny weather allows.
Most cotton in Mississippi got off to an excellent start in May, received the heat needed in June and July, and now is ready for sunny skies so growers can harvest a potentially above-average crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 56% of the crop is in good or excellent shape, with another 38% estimated at fair. As of Aug. 28, bolls were opening on an estimated 25% of the crop.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The condition of Mississippi’s soybean crop in early August literally depends on where you stand.
“We have some really good-looking irrigated soybeans that were planted in the optimum planting window and have made it to this point of the season with very few issues, other than extreme heat,” said Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We even have some nonirrigated soybeans that could fall into that same description after catching several timely rains.
Catfish producers in Mississippi are receiving good prices for their products, but their continued profitability faces challenges from high heat and high costs for feed and fuel. Mississippi has 34,100 acres of catfish ponds found mostly in the Delta, with some scattered in Noxubee, Lowndes and Chickasaw counties in east Mississippi.
Mississippi’s anticipated soybean acreage -- 2.35 million acres -- is higher than in recent years, and it may grow even larger by the end of planting season. Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi growers have already exceeded the 2.22 million planted in 2021. The anticipated soybean acreage this year will be the largest planted since 1988.
High input costs and low milk prices have made it hard to be a dairy farmer anywhere in the U.S., but Mississippi producers have it harder than most. Amanda Stone, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the number of dairy farms in the state continues to dwindle.
With rising prices everywhere, families may expect to pay more for their choose-and-cut Christmas trees this year. But that may not be the case. Mississippi Christmas tree growers faced some challenges in 2021 with weather conditions and price hikes for many of their inputs. However, many growers may decide not to pass those costs on to consumers of their choose-and-cut Christmas trees.
Mississippi’s nationally significant sweet potato harvest is shaping up to be below average because of flooding both early and late in the growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the sweet potato crop to be 37% harvested as of Oct. 10. USDA estimates 38% is in fair condition and 48% in good condition
Mississippi’s corn crop faced challenges ranging from a midseason flood to an early-September hurricane, but yields and quality look positive on the nearly complete harvest. On Sept. 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the crop was 75% harvested
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When the calendar turns to September, many who call Mississippi home long for cooler temperatures to relieve the summer’s heat, but the state’s cotton growers want high temperatures and dry weather to drag into October.
CHUNKY, Miss. -- The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted countless traditions in 2020, but it will not keep living rooms across Mississippi from featuring Christmas decor, nor will it deter customer demand for fresh trees.
In fact, business is booming at farms that have opened for the season, said Southern Christmas Tree Association President Michael May.