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Crop Report

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

It takes four years to grow Mississippi Christmas trees to the popular 6 to 8 feet tall size. About 900 trees can be grown per acre, such as these growing in Chunky on the Lazy Acres Plantation. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Freshness is the key to quality Christmas trees, and with choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms scattered across the state, all Mississippians can get a great tree every year.

John Kushla, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said locally grown trees can look great for weeks when they are put in water immediately.

Peanut prices have more than doubled in the past year, and Mississippi's peanut producers are benefitting from timely rains and minimal problems with disease and pests. (file photo)
October 21, 2011 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Timely rains in early September made a smooth harvest for Mississippi peanuts, a crop that is in high demand due to drought in other peanut-growing areas.

As of Oct. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast 2011 crop yields at 3,600 pounds per acre for Mississippi, the highest prediction for any of the peanut-producing states. Harvest began in mid-September and was 70 percent complete by mid-October. Producers were working as fast as they could to get the crop out of the ground after cold temperatures ended peanut maturity.

Catfish that are bringing record high prices consume feed, which is also at its highest levels. Sue Kingsbury, now a retired Mississippi State University researcher, is feeding catfish in a pond at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Catfish feed, which is the biggest production expense, has increased 120 percent in the last decade. (File photo by Rebekah Ray)
October 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Catfish producers who are coping with record-high feed costs know that the strong market prices may not last much longer.

Jimmy Avery, aquaculture leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said years of pond acreage reductions are driving fish prices up. Unfortunately, the cost of producers’ biggest expense, feed, is also setting record highs. The end result could challenge consumers to afford this U.S. farm-raised product.

Most of Mississippi's pumpkins are planted in June and July so they can be harvested in September and October for fall decorations. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 7, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Pumpkins, Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi pumpkin producers have their work cut out for them growing their colorful crop in the heat of summer so pumpkins are ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.

David Nagel, a horticulturist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said producers must plant and grow the crop at the toughest time of the year so it can be harvested in a narrow window of opportunity.

Brad Spencer, of Spencer and Sons Farms in Calhoun County, tests a bed of sweet potatoes near Vardaman Sept. 28 to see if they are ready to harvest. (Photo by Scott Corey)
September 30, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The state’s sweet potato crop appeared to be doomed before it started, but a late soaking allowed this hardy crop to yield average harvests after a tough year.

Bill Burdine, area agronomic specialist in Chickasaw County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said quality may be slightly above average for this crop, which started a little behind schedule.

Tropical Storm Lee's rains saved much of this year's pecan crop and growers are expecting good yields. (file photo)
September 23, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Nuts

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The summer drought could have severely affected this year’s pecan yields, but thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, growers are optimistic about the crop.

The entire Southeast experienced a dry growing season until Tropical Storm Lee hit in early September.

“The rains were very timely and needed,” said David Ingram, plant pathologist with the Mississippi State University Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

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