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Crop Report from 2015

Workers harvest rice on Aug. 24, 2015, at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Bobby Golden)
August 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Rice harvest has begun in Mississippi, but only time will tell how many acres were actually planted and how good yields will be.

“There’s not a lot of yield reports yet, but I think we’re going to have a good crop,” said Bobby Golden, rice agronomist with the MSU Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “It probably won’t be as good as last year, but we set records the last two years running.”

Mississippi State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences senior research associate Wayne Philley, left, and MSU seniors Abram Diaz of D’Iberville and Aaron Tucker of Carthage measure how far a golf ball rolls over different varieties of bermudagrass at the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center Sept. 4, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Nathan Gregory)
September 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sod supply in Mississippi is slowly rebounding in 2015 after a major shortage of the commodity last year.

Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said turfgrass remains in short supply this year due to a decline in acreage and recent harsh winters.

Mississippi State University researcher Jason Sarver, right, examines the condition of peanuts in a Leflore County, Mississippi, field on Sept. 10, 2015. With him, from left, is consultant Bruce Pittman and grower Justin Jeffcoat. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Chad Abbott)
September 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Peanuts

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers planted more peanuts in response to economic factors that made the crop an attractive choice this year, but a lack of rain now has them expecting average yields.

Mississippi has 42,000 acres of peanuts this year, up 45 percent from what was planted in 2014. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 84 percent of the crop is in fair to good condition.

Pigs and hogs feed at Palo Alto Farms in West Point, Mississippi in this file photo. Consumer preference is one reason interest has been growing in people in the state raising pigs on pastureland for their own consumption. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
September 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Swine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Low feed costs and steady demand are keeping the playing field level for Mississippi swine producers, but the bottom line at year’s end will be down from 2014 totals.

Mississippi’s value of production for hogs was $153 million last year. No estimates are available for 2015, but hog prices have been much lower than they were in 2014, while hog numbers were higher at the first of the year.

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.”

Harvest of the state’s soybean crop was about two-thirds complete by the first of October. These soybeans were drying out Sept. 19, 2015 at the Mississippi State University R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
October 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Erratic yields in Mississippi’s early-planted soybean crop reflect the extremes of temperature and rainfall farmers faced during the spring and summer of 2015.

“This season was one of extremes,” said Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We went from cool, wet conditions in early spring to hot and dry during a critical point of the season, and that has taken a toll on yield for some of our acres.”

Libby Beard, co-owner of The Flower Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, left, and Anna McCain, Warren County Extension agent, look over some of the fall bedding flowers available on Oct. 7, 2015. (Submitted photo)
October 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Horticulture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- If inquiries about new or expanded businesses are the heartbeat of Mississippi horticulture, then agricultural economist Alba Collart knows 2015 is a healthy year for the industry.

Collart, assistant professor of agricultural economics with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said horticultural crops are important to Mississippi’s agricultural economy. These specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and products grown for environmental horticulture, also known as the green industry.

This pecan at Pecan Hills Farms in Raymond, Mississippi, is open but not quite ready for harvest on Oct. 8, 2015. The state’s harvest is delayed by a few weeks because of the dry summer. (Photo by MSU Extension/Susan Collins-Smith)
October 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Nuts

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite a wet spring followed by a dry summer and fall, Mississippi should have average pecan yields in 2015.

Large pumpkins just right for jack-o-lanterns await selection at a store in Starkville, Mississippi, on Oct. 23, 2015. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
October 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi pumpkin growers live for conditions like they have seen in 2015.

More than 100 sweet potato growers in Mississippi planted 23,200 acres of the crop this year. That is second only to North Carolina in the U.S. by acreage. (Photo by MSU Extension, Kevin Hudson)
October 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- Untimely dry conditions will likely hurt this year’s sweet potato crop in Mississippi, but increasing demand is keeping prices high enough for growers to remain optimistic.

Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a wet spring delayed planting for one to two weeks. Dry fall conditions limited growing progress and will keep yields from reaching full potential.

Wheat acreage is expected to be up from last year, but the ground across most of the state was too dry to plant through October. Blake Garrard is shown planting wheat last fall at the Mississippi State University Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
November 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Wheat

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers are expected to plant as much as 200,000 acres of wheat this year, but very little had been planted by the end of October because of exceptionally dry weather since August.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said several factors limited wheat acreage last year, but wheat planting intentions are fairly strong this year if weather allows planting to proceed soon.

Expect to pay anywhere from $7 to $10 per foot for a choose-and-cut Christmas tree this year. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
November 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

SAUCIER, Miss. -- Christmas tree growers in Mississippi expect a 7 percent increase in sales this year, but unfavorable spring and fall weather may hurt future supplies.

Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers successfully controlled insect and disease problems this year. However, a wet spring followed by a dry summer and early fall caused some growers to lose up to half of their 1-year-old trees.


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