Mississippians looking for locally grown Christmas trees have several varieties to choose from but should be prepared to shop early for the best selection.
John Kushla, a Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist and research professor who specializes in agroforestry and Christmas trees, said there are several ways to test for freshness when choosing the perfect tree at a tree farm.
Dry fall weather in recent years delayed wheat planting and reduced acreage significantly, but rains in 2018 are creating a different problem for wheat producers.
Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said wet soils have delayed fall harvest in some areas. Harvest of other crops is the foremost priority before effort and acreage are devoted to wheat.
An application of peanut fungicide costs $15-20 per acre, so growers are relieved when they catch a year like 2018 when disease pressure is low.
While statewide peanut acreage is down significantly from last year -- about 25,000 acres compared with 42,000 in 2017 -- the crop benefited from good growing conditions, with average yields of 2 tons per acre.
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.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi growers will produce about 20 percent more rice this year, mostly thanks to additional acres planted over 2017’s total.
Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early forecasts predict national yields near last year’s 7,400 pounds per acre.
“National acreage is up about 20 percent. In Mississippi, the increase is slightly more at 23 percent,” Falconer said. “It helped that, at planting time, prices were slightly better than the previous year.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s roadsides are seeing more farmers markets, produce stands and pickup trucks filled with fruits and vegetables.
Commercial horticultural crops, commonly called truck crops in the agricultural industry, include berries, fruits, melons, nuts, potatoes and vegetables. Last year, they combined with other horticultural crops -- flowers, sod and Christmas trees – for a total production value of $107 million, according to statistics gathered by the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.
Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.
Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.