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Crop Report

November 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Christmas tree growers were thinking about the holidays when Hurricane Isaac made landfall Aug. 28, knowing the winds and rains would bring additional work before trees would be ready for the 2012 harvest.

Stephen Dicke, Extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said storm damage should not dampen sales of Mississippi’s Christmas trees.

Nearly one-third of Mississippi's winter wheat crop was planted by Nov. 1. Good prices have increased wheat acres in the state. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications)
November 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Growing winter wheat in Mississippi leaves no rest for the weary, as planting begins just as soon as the summer row crops are out of the field.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted the state’s winter wheat was 29 percent planted by Oct. 31. It is on schedule for the five-year average, but a good bit behind last year’s early start that saw 45 percent of the wheat planted before November.

A grower in Oktibbeha County, Miss., has hay bales in the field and fall grasses already coming up on Oct. 26, 2012. This year's hay crop has the potential to be the fourth most valuable crop in the state, behind soybeans, corn and cotton. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Tim McAlavy)
October 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s hay producers increased acreage and yields this season in spite of variable rainfall across the state.

“Hay production systems in the central part of the state had a really good season,” said Rocky Lemus, Mississippi State University Extension Service forage specialist. “We’ve been blessed with quite a bit of rain in central Mississippi, and the hay crop has been better than average.

After 2011's bumper pecan crop of 5 million pounds, this year's predicted 2.5 million-pound harvest is more in line with historical averages. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
October 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With prices and demand for the state’s pecans high, this year’s predicted average to above-average yield is good news for growers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the 2012 crop will yield 2.5 million pounds of pecans. While this yield is down significantly from the 5 million pounds harvested in 2011, it is more in line with the state’s historical average of 2.42 million pounds.

Although rain halted fieldwork for more than a week in early October, Mississippi's cotton harvest is well underway and yields are high. This machine was picking cotton on Topashaw Farms in Calhoun County, Sept. 28, 2011. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
October 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Early October rains that could have devastated the state’s cotton crop seem only to have delayed harvest of what should be near-record yields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the cotton harvest was a little behind schedule, with just 33 percent of the fields harvested by Oct. 7. However, they rate 67 percent of the crop in good or excellent condition and another 24 percent fair.

The majority of the state's soybeans, such as these at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, were harvested before heavy rains Sept. 30 halted work. (Photo by DREC Communications/ Rebekah Ray)
October 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- This year’s soybean crop is on track to set a state yield record, but much depends on whether recent heavy rains that halted harvest seriously damaged what remains in the field.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the state’s 2.1 million acres of soybeans were 77 percent harvested by Sept. 30. Acreage is up 17 percent from what was planted in 2011.

Mississippi's 2012 sweet potato crop should be slightly above average. These Beauregard sweet potatoes grew at White and Allen Farms in Calhoun County. (Photo by Mississippi Sweet Potato Council/Benny Graves)
September 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s soil and climate are ideally suited to producing sweet potatoes, a crop that gives the state a No. 2 national ranking.

Harvest began about Aug. 20 on Mississippi’s 22,500 acres of sweet potatoes. North Carolina comes in first with 64,000 acres. Acreage in both states varied little from last year. The Mississippi crop was valued at nearly $66.5 million in 2011.

Mississippi's grain sorghum yields are projected to be 77 bushels per acre, an increase of 3 bushels per acre compared to 2011. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
September 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Grains

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Timely rains followed by sunny days provided optimal growing conditions for Mississippi’s grain sorghum crop, and yields may be higher than anticipated.

Mississippi producers planted about 63,000 acres in grain sorghum in 2012, up from 50,000 acres in 2011. The state ranked No. 8 nationally in grain sorghum production in 2011.

Mississippi's rice harvest was nearly complete by mid-September. Yields of close to 160 bushels per acre are near state records. (Photo by DREC Communications/Rebekah Ray)
September 14, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi producers have the bulk of the state’s rice crop safely in storage, and yields may approach the record set in 2007 of 160 bushels an acre.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said September’s weather was nearly ideal for rice harvest.

“Isaac slowed us down and put a little bit of rice on the ground that was ready to harvest, but overall, the harvest season has gone pretty well,” he said.

An inverter flips peanut plants at Atkins Farms in Hamilton on Sept. 5, 2012, exposing the roots to the air for drying. A combine will harvest the peanuts three or four days later. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Charlie Stokes)
September 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Delta fields that once turned white with cotton are now yielding a below-ground crop and helping propel Mississippi up the list of peanut-producing states.

The state has an estimated 47,000 acres of peanuts this year, up more than 200 percent from the 14,000 acres grown in 2011. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the crop is slightly ahead of schedule, with 8 percent of peanuts harvested by Sept. 2. More than 80 percent of the crop is rated in good or excellent condition.

Mississippi State University Extension turf specialist Wayne Wells inspects newly laid sod during the establishment of the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, near the entrance to the R. Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Mississippi sod farmer David Rainey says, “Business is better than last year,” he is not suggesting it is good.

The Alcorn County farmer said he sees greater challenges in turning a profit in 2012 than when he started Rainey Sod Farm about 36 years ago. Rainey said he started downsizing his sod business when the housing market bubble burst in 2007.

The 2012 harvest is under way on Mississippi's 840,000 acres of corn with most growers reporting record or near-record yields. The record, 148 bushels per acre, was set in 2007. (File photo/MSU Ag Communications)
August 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The drought across the nation’s Corn Belt is contributing to record high grain prices and near-record low river levels, both of which are impacting Mississippi’s corn.

Corn prices are at $8 per bushel and have been trading in that range for the past couple of weeks. This is compared to about $5.20 per bushel at the start of June before the drought really took hold.

Caught in a trap of high input costs and low pond bank prices, Mississippi's catfish farmers struggle to break even as the nation's drought tightens feed supplies. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians do not have to look far to see the impact of the Midwest’s historic drought, as the state’s catfish farmers already feel the pinch of sky-high feed costs.

Rice harvest should be fully under way by mid-August. Gant and Sons Farms in Merigold was harvesting fields Aug. 8. (Photo by DREC Communications/Rebekah Ray)
August 10, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The bright spot for Mississippi’s smaller-than-normal rice crop is that it is looking good at harvest, thanks to an early start and a favorable growing season.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the state’s rice was planted by mid-April, putting it about two weeks ahead of schedule.

“Everything so far looks good,” Buehring said. “This is one of the earliest planted crops we have ever had, and we’ll be heavy into harvest by the middle of August.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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