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Crop Report from 2012

Wheat, such as this growing in Washington County, was pushed ahead of schedule by a warm winter that presented many challenges for the crop to overcome. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Rebekah Ray)
March 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A winter that quit before it got started challenged the state’s wheat crop, resulting in a below-average crop as it enters the homestretch.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said warm winter temperatures pushed the crop’s development ahead of schedule. Harvest could begin a few weeks early, in mid-May.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Mississippi farmers to plant 1.75 million acres of soybeans, down by 70,000 acres in 2011. This will mark the third consecutive year of reduced soybean acreage in the state. Soybeans remain the leader in the state's planted acreage. (2011 Photo by Kat Lawrence)
March 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crop rotation benefits and market prices remain the driving forces behind farmers’ planting decisions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prospective plantings report, released March 30, forecasts 4.67 million acres planted in nine Mississippi crops, an increase of 3 percent from total acreage in 2011.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said farmers probably are making their decisions to plant or not to plant soybeans and corn based on rotational needs.

Mississippi strawberry growers began harvesting this popular fruit two weeks earlier than usual because of warmer temperatures statewide. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An early strawberry season delights consumers, but growers must keep an eye on this spring’s fickle weather to protect their delicate and valuable crop.

Warm temperatures starting in February allowed Mississippi's corn crop to get an early start, and 90 percent of planned acreage was in the ground by mid-April. (Photo by Scott Corey)
April 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A warm spring made early corn planting possible, and despite frequent rains, the statewide crop was about 90 percent planted by mid-April.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn planting should be completed soon if rains don’t halt progress.

Scott Lanford and Sanfrid Shaifer planted rice March 7 at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. (Photo by Rebekah Ray)
April 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

By Dr. Rebekah Ray
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- Dry conditions have allowed Mississippi rice producers to plant earlier this year than in previous years.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said an absence of heavy spring rains put the state’s producers well ahead of schedule. About 80 to 85 percent of the state’s rice was planted by mid-April.

A warm March helped Mississippi growers get an early start planting the soybean crop. By late April, more than a fourth of the crop had emerged. (file photo)
April 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans are usually an early-planted crop, but an unseasonably warm March gave some growers a chance to get in the fields a little ahead of the typical April 1 start date.

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service state soybean specialist, said the crop was on track at the end of April.

“Many parts of the state got planted about two weeks earlier than normal,” Irby said. “Several places remained too wet to plant until mid-April, but overall, we’re slightly ahead of schedule.”

Increased prices for eggs have buoyed the poultry industry, which has been challenged by the high cost of feed and fuel. Egg production in 2011 was valued at $200.82 million, a 12 percent increase over 2010. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
May 4, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s top agricultural commodity weathers economic storms by responding quickly to shifts in demand, and economists at Mississippi State University predict 2012 will be a year of recovery.

In 2011, Mississippi ranked fourth in the nation in broiler production, with more than 765 million birds produced on 1,478 farms. The broiler industry represented over $2.21 billion in value for the year.

Warm spring weather allowed growers to get into the field early, and Mississippi's 2012 cotton crop is off to an early start. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
May 11, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Warm spring weather sent cotton farmers to the fields as early as the first week of April, and cotton stands are ahead of normal and looking good.

IAs of May 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Statistics Service estimated the state’s cotton was 68 percent planted and 45 percent emerged. The five-year average for this same date has the crop just 31 percent planted and only 12 percent emerged.

Mike Howell, state peanut specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service
May 18, 2012 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi peanut producers should have a wonderful feeling about the 2012 crop as almost everything is going their way – including buyers from Oklahoma.

Mike Howell, state peanut specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said many of the factors favoring Mississippi’s crop this year, started last year.

Mississippi's blueberry growers benefitted from ideal weather conditions that resulted in abundant, high-quality fruit, an early harvest and strong market prices. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
May 25, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s blueberry growers have found their thrill this spring as ideal weather conditions resulted in abundant, high quality fruit.

“Right now, berries are coming in fast and furious in the southern half of the state,” said Wayne Porter, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Lauderdale County who specializes in horticulture. “I was at a farm this morning, and they were bringing them in as fast as they could ship them out and make room for more.”

File photo of growing wheat
June 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A rapidly maturing 2012 wheat crop proved to be a timing challenge for Mississippi growers.

The state’s growers planted 480,000 acres, up from 360,000 acres the previous season. They were inspired by strong market prices and the record-average yields of 64 bushels per acre grown last year.

“Harvest is two or three weeks ahead of schedule, but we aren’t seeing exceptional yields like last year,” said Erick Larson, small grains specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dairy cattle, such as these Holsteins, are becoming a rare sight in Mississippi as high production costs and low milk prices push dairy farmers out of the business. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
June 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A mild winter and unusually productive spring means Mississippi dairy farmers are enjoying good milk yield from their cows, but low prices and high input costs are making profits scarce.

Lamar Adams, dairy cattle specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said production costs are at or near record highs and milk prices are down about 21 percent from last year primarily due to high levels of domestic and global milk production.

High winds, such as the ones that accompanied recent severe weather, can snap young corn stalks in two. These plants on Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Research Center near Starkville experienced greensnap from a June 1 storm but were rebounding by June 6, when the photo was taken. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Erick Larson)
June 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE – June’s frequent rains and cool nighttime temperatures seem custom-made for corn, and the result is optimistic farmers looking at a great crop with tremendous yield potential.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop is as much as 10 days early and looking good.

“We’ve had a lot of favorable conditions lately that should be very beneficial and will hopefully lead to a more productive crop than we’ve seen in the last few years,” Larson said.

The bulk of the 1.137 million pounds of shrimp landed in Biloxi during the first two weeks of the season have been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 22, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The shrimp are slightly bigger, but prices are down, making this year’s season-opening in Biloxi comparable to last year’s start.

During the first two weeks of the 2012 season, 1.137 million pounds of shrimp were landed in Biloxi. In the same time in 2011, 1.124 million pounds were landed at the same port.

Shrimp season began May 30, and 210 boats went out for the opening day. To date, the bulk of the production has been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp, a reference to the number of shrimp needed to make a pound.

Mississippi's watermelon growers have harvested more than 40 percent of their crop already, a 22 percent increase from the same period last year. The crop's good quality and popularity has consumers buying up the harvest quickly at farmers' markets and farm stands across the state. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Keri Collins Lewis)
June 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As summer temperatures soar into the triple digits, Mississippi’s sweet watermelon crop is satisfying both growers and consumers.

Southern pine beetles, such as the one in this file photo, are causing damage in the Homochitto National Forest in southwest Mississippi. Unlike small areas lost annually to Ips beetles, Southern pine beetle damage can encompass thousands of acres. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/file photo)
July 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Landowners debating the timing for their next timber sale should send trees to the market sooner, rather than later.

Southern pine beetle threat…

Prevention program helps landowners

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Southern pine beetle prevention program is available to forest landowners to encourage the thinning of timber stands to promote healthier, more insect-resistant trees.

Recent high temperatures and a lack of rain have been harder on crops without irrigation than those with it. Many Mississippi farms are watered through pivot irrigation systems. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Marco Nicovich)
July 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An ideal growing season through mid-June turned into a hot and dry situation that stressed the state’s crops until widespread rains came after the Fourth of July.

The state has experienced very hot and dry weather in the last several weeks, but Mississippi State University experts remain optimistic about the overall potential.

Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said 90 percent of the state’s soybean crop was in the reproductive growth phase by the second week of July.

July rains have helped Mississippi forages rebound from the June drought, but now producers need to watch for invasions of army worms, like this one working on new growth in an Oktibbeha County pasture on July 20, 2012. (Photo by MSU Plant and Soil Sciences/Rocky Lemus)
July 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Livestock, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pictures of wilting corn in the Midwest may dominate the evening news, but the 2012 drought is also shrinking livestock’s profit potential nationwide.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the drought means livestock, dairy and aquaculture producers will continue to see higher feed prices.

Kudzu bugs, an invasive soybean pest from Asia, were discovered mid-July in Vicksburg. Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologists are monitoring the state's soybean fields and say the insect can be controlled. (Photo by USDA-ARS /Richard Evans)
July 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recent rains and irrigation have helped portions of Mississippi’s soybeans recover from June’s dry spell, but more moisture is needed to complete the season.

“We are thankful for the rain that we’ve received this growing season, and we all know it is a blessing,” said Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist. “But we still have several weeks to go in many areas, and additional moisture certainly will be needed to finish making the crop.”

Irby said the state’s soybean crop looks good.

Mississippi's cotton crop is looking good two to three weeks ahead of schedule, with 91 percent of the fields setting bolls. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Despite high heat and long periods without rain, the state’s cotton is looking pretty good, although dealing with reduced acres.

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