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Crop Report

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.

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.

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