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Crop Report

A spread-out planting season means the state's soybean crop will be harvested from early September until the end of October. (file photo)
September 16, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tropical Storm Lee brought rain across the state Labor Day weekend with mixed results -- mostly good -- for the state’s soybean crop.

Rain that weekend ranged from a few hundredths of an inch in northwest Mississippi to as many as 10 inches in some soybean-growing areas. Whether it brought much-needed moisture to dry fields at an ideal time or halted harvest depended on when the crop was planted.

September 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tropical Storm Lee brought much-needed rains to Mississippi’s parched fields and pastures but minimal flood and wind damage.

Late-season tropical storms can be costly, even devastating, when winds and pounding rains may whip plants and complicate harvests. When Lee swept through the state over Labor Day weekend, most of Mississippi’s crops either had been harvested or needed one last rain before harvest.

Rainfall amounts…

September 2, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s cotton has overcome one hurdle after another all season, and fall weather is all that stands between respectable yields and the finish line.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said “challenging” is the one word that sums up the 2011 cotton crop.

Yields look good so far for Mississippi's rice harvest, which began in mid-August. Reduced yields are expected on rice that was pollinated in the extreme heat of early August. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Rebekah Ray)
August 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The yield of early-planted rice looks good so far, but only time will tell how seriously the high heat of early August will cut into yields from later-planted fields.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said harvest began in mid-August and will proceed at full speed until completed, probably by the first week of October.

“Those who have a good feel for yield have been pleased with what they’re harvesting so far,” Buehring said. “It won’t be a bumper year, but we should be average.”

August 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The continuing decline of the housing market and the lack of new construction is taking its toll on Mississippi’s turfgrass industry.

Wayne Wells, Mississippi State University Extension turf specialist, said the state’s turf sales are down because of slow home sales and a lack of new construction.

Demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has helped the state's farmers find more market options, such as the Mississippi Farmers' Market, adjacent to the State Fairgrounds in Jackson. (Photo by Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce)
August 12, 2011 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Increased consumer interest is positively impacting producers of Mississippi’s truck crops, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers.

Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the rapid growth of the local foods movement has increased demand for truck crops.

“With farmers’ markets in nearly every county of Mississippi, producers no longer have to travel far to find an outlet for their produce,” Snyder said. “Some growers sell at two, three or more markets each week.

August 5, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forest Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – It’s not the heat or drought but the economy, specifically poor housing starts, that are causing grief for Mississippi’s forestry industry in 2011.

James Henderson, forestry economist and management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the slow economy is hurting the industry.

“There’s no good news for the pulpwood markets, and pine saw timber prices are the lowest they’ve been since the national housing construction downturn started in 2006,” Henderson said.

Poultry remains Mississippi's largest agricultural commodity, producing 10 percent of the nation's poultry supply. (File Photo)
July 29, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As summer heat rolls through Mississippi, poultry growers must keep a watchful eye on their cooling equipment yet begin planning for winter.

“The biggest issues growers face are heat in the summer and cold in the winter,” said Danny Thornton, MSU Extension poultry specialist. “Good management practices are the main strategies for dealing with the weather, from maintaining fans and blowers to making sure back-up generators are ready at all times.”

July 22, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi could join Texas, Oklahoma and other southeastern states in widespread shortages of hay and forages if dry conditions continue.

Rocky Lemus, forage and grazing systems specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said Mississippi cattle producers are seeing about 50 percent losses of pasture and hay production.

“The southwestern part of the state is very dry. Spotty showers have provided some relief, but much more rain is needed statewide,” Lemus said.

July 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi farmers planted another large corn crop, but this year’s corn is suffering from lack of rain.

This season’s plantings are spread over a wide time window because of frequent rainfall north Mississippi. The majority of the crop in the Delta and south Mississippi was planted during late March, but plantings in northern counties were delayed well into May.

Many east Mississippi soybeans, such as these growing on Mississippi State University's North Farm, have received timely rains and have the potential to make a good crop. (Photo by Scott Corey)
July 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The status of the state’s soybean crop depends almost entirely on location, with many east Mississippi fields in good shape while half of Delta fields struggle.

Tom Eubank, a soybean weed scientist and agronomist at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said some Delta fields have soybeans setting pods, and others are just being planted.

“In the northern Delta, we have a late crop. In the southern Delta, we have an extremely late crop,” Eubank said. “The more central Delta acres were planted on time.”

Shrimpers landed 901,000 pounds of shrimp in Mississippi during the first two weeks of the season, but most of those being caught in the Mississippi Sound are small. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
July 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Catfish, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – They may be living up to their name in size, but Gulf shrimp are being landed in Mississippi in good numbers, and large ones are selling for high prices.

The state’s shrimp season opened May 25, which was about a week earlier than normal. Dave Burrage, marine resources specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the early opening was due to Mississippi River flooding.

Chickasaw County farmer Doil Moore checks a young watermelon that will be ready before Fourth of July celebrations. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
June 24, 2011 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Fruit, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s sunny skies are producing sweet watermelons and blueberries just in time for Fourth of July tables.

David Nagel, horticulturist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said most of the state’s fruit crops saw very little rain as they approached maturity. Fortunately, many of Mississippi’s commercial watermelon and blueberry plots have irrigation and plastic mulch to help protect plants from droughts.

June 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 40 percent of the state’s peanut acres are under extreme drought, and unless rains come soon, it’s going to be a very bad year for the state’s crop.

Mike Howell, Mississippi State University Extension Service peanut specialist, said drought delayed some planting in early May until a timely rain allowed the rest to be planted.

June 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Dairy

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Despite higher milk prices, the dairy industry struggles to make significant profits because of high production costs and lack of rain.

The current average price for milk is about $19 per hundredweight. In May 2010, the price was $15, up considerably from $11.60 in May 2009.

May 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Catfish, Disaster Response, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

BILOXI – The oyster industry is bracing for extreme losses as freshwater from the Mississippi River flows into the western portion of the Mississippi Sound.

“Oysters are stationary and cannot escape as the freshwater displaces the salt water they need,” said Dave Burrage, professor of marine resources with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Oysters just cannot survive long periods of freshwater, so we are expecting significant mortality, maybe even 100 percent.”

May 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Rice

STONEVILLE -- Fields along the Mississippi River may be flooded, but the majority of the state’s rice crop is farther inland and needs either more water or time to dry after heavy rains caused other rivers to overflow.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said rice fields do not need to be flooded until after the plants are about 6 inches tall. Farmers often will “flush” water over the field to prompt early growth.

May 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Catfish, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With all eyes focused on the Mississippi River’s epic floodwaters, catfish producers contemplate its potential impact on their already stressed industry.

Jimmy Avery, aquaculture leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said if the river crests as high as predicted, several catfish farms in the south Delta, particularly those in Sharkey, Issaquena and Yazoo counties may be affected.

Wheat fields along the Mississippi River and tributaries are under or going under water in the Great Flood of 2011. (File photo by Linda Breazeale)
May 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics, Soybeans, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers were gambling along the Mississippi River long before casinos were built, but as they watch water flood over their fields, all bets are off.

The river is predicted to crest in Vicksburg around May 20 at 57.5 feet, which is 14.5 feet above flood stage and 6 feet above the previous record.

Robert Martin has been watching the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries ebb and flow past Delta fields for 40 years. He is the Sharkey and Issaquena county director for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Timber took a beating from several tornadoes that went across the state April 27. This timber along Highway 403 in Mathiston was in an area among the hardest hit that day. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
April 29, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Grains, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes of April 27 took a toll on Mississippi’s agriculture, with timber, the state’s No. 2 most valuable agricultural commodity, taking the biggest hit.

Massive storms have swept the state all month, bringing hail, torrential rains and tornadoes. Wednesday was the worst day, with the majority of the damage scattered across the northern part of the state.

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