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Crop Report

Mississippi growers will have a good crop of trees to sell this holiday season. Most choose-and-cut farms will open on Thanksgiving Day, and the rest will be open by the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

VERONA -- With less than a month to go, Mississippi’s Christmas tree growers are counting down the days to what may shape up as a great year.

The trees mature enough for sale have good color and have filled out nicely, despite periods of dry weather statewide and too much rain in some areas of the state.  Most species of Christmas trees grown in Mississippi take five years to mature, which makes one-fifth of a grower’s crop marketable each year if new seedlings are planted after the holiday season.

Mississippi pecan growers should see average yields as they begin harvesting the 2010 crop. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Nuts

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Although Mississippi pecan growers’ hopes for high yields were dashed by lack of rain, they still anticipate having a good crop to sell.

Pecans fill out between late August and the end of September. Timely rains are necessary for nutmeat to fully develop, but Mississippi did not get those rains this year, said David Ingram, plant pathologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mississippi lawn and garden centers are providing pumpkins in a variety of sizes for fall displays, such as this one at the Oktibbeha County Co-op on Oct. 15, 2010. Dry conditions this year reduced the size and number of Mississippi's carving pumpkins, but miniature varieties are abundant. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
October 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Pumpkins, Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Halloween is surrounded by mystery, and one of the greatest mysteries to Mississippi farmers is why anyone would want to grow pumpkins.

David Nagel, vegetable specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said pumpkins are hard to grow in Mississippi because of the late-summer weather, but farmers are eternal optimists.

October 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Cotton, Corn, Soybeans, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Intense summer heat did a number on the state’s major row crops, and the crops that did best were those planted early and irrigated.

Cotton and soybeans appear to have come through the year in the best shape, but corn and rice look better than expected.

Freshly harvested peanuts are unloaded from a peanut combine on a farm in the Lackey Community near Aberdeen. (Photo by Scott Corey)
October 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Peanuts

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Demand for Mississippi peanuts could be up because of season-long production problems in Georgia and Alabama.

“Peanut crops in the central areas of Georgia and Alabama are hurting,” said Malcolm Broome, executive director of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association. “If our farmers can get the crop out, they may see some price improvement because of the anticipated decreases in supply.”

September 24, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi’s horticulture hard, but the current economic conditions could be even more devastating to this important green industry.

Mengmeng Gu, assistant professor of ornamental horticulture for Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said nurseries and greenhouse businesses are experiencing different challenges.

The 37th annual Sweet Potato Festival will be held Nov. 6 in Vardaman. This new poster promotes Vardaman sweet potatoes and will be displayed at the festival.
September 17, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 2010 is shaping up to be a sweet year for Mississippi sweet potato growers, a total change from the rains that destroyed 75 percent of last year’s crop at harvest.

Benny Graves, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry, summed the year up by saying the Vardaman sweet potatoes are back.

September 10, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

STONEVILLE – Early planting and higher-than-average temperatures have led to Mississippi’s earliest rice crop harvest to date.

Optimal planting for rice is before May 1, and favorable conditions allowed most of the state’s crop to make it in by that date. Then, hot summer temperatures accelerated the crop’s maturation process, allowing more than half of Mississippi’s rice to be harvested by early September.

September 3, 2010 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE --  Catfish farmers have until Sept. 23 to enroll in a recently approved governmental program to earn educational benefits and cash incentives.

Catfish farmers have struggled as the cost of production, the national economy and competition from foreign products have each taken a toll, pushing Mississippi acreage to its lowest levels in 30 years. In an effort to help farmers continue producing quality fish and remain competitive in the world market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified a Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers program on June 25.

Paul Battle (left), owner of Battle Sod Farm in Tunica, came to Mississippi State University's turf field day at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center on Aug. 24. He spoke to Mike Towles of Atkins Landscaping, Inc. in Germantown, Tenn., while the two men were in the plots of the university's tall fescue cultivar evaluation trial. (Photo by Bonnie Coblentz)
August 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The lingering recession continues to impact Mississippi’s turfgrass industry with total sod acreage down as a portion has been switched to row crop production until the economy improves.

Wayne Wells, Mississippi State University Extension Service turf specialist, said the state has about 4,500 acres of turf and about 50 sod producers. The largest producers each have about 300 to 500 acres of turf production.

Phat Le, captain of the Mississippi III, discusses cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with Extension Fisheries Technician Peter Nguyen. Many fishermen and shrimpers are working as oil spill cleanup contractors for BP. (Photo by Scott Corey)
August 20, 2010 - Filed Under: Catfish, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

BILOXI – Shrimp landings may be way below average this season, but the quality of Gulf shrimp is still good.

Shrimping began on time when state waters opened on June 3. Because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, partial closures were implemented beginning on June 8. By July 1, state waters had completely closed.

August 13, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Irrigation, Crops, Cotton, Corn, Soybeans, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Record-breaking heat is forcing Mississippi producers to manage crops more carefully than normal to bring what looks like successful yields to harvest.

Temperatures in the Delta, which is home to the majority of the state’s row crops, have set as many as five record highs during the first week of August.

Nancy Lopez, a physical scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Stoneville, said some daily records from Greenville to Vicksburg were broken consecutively in August. July also was unusually hot across most of the state.

August 6, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Insects-Crop Pests, Cotton

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Successful planting got Mississippi cotton off to a strong start, and prospects look good for the crop as long as growing conditions and demand remain favorable.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said 2010 has been one of the state’s most successful cotton plantings yet.

“It all went off without a hitch for the most part and wrapped up the first week of June,” Dodds said.

July 30, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Swine, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Today’s economy means people are eating out and purchasing meat products less often, but cattle and hog producers have learned to make the most of tough times.

Livestock producers reduce their cattle herd sizes and hog numbers to reduce the amount of meat on the market and bolster the product prices, which remain at the mercy of the economy.

John Michael Riley, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agricultural economist, said producers work hard to keep their product affordable when money is tight.

July 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages, Insects-Forage Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi forage producers are experiencing a major invasion of fall armyworms for the second consecutive year in pastures and hay fields across the state.

Blake Layton, a Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said fall armyworm populations were unusually heavy last year with treatable populations reaching north Mississippi relatively early in the year and eventually extending into Tennessee. In 2010, the southern part of Mississippi needed treatments starting in early June.

July 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Delayed planting and high summer heat have not kept Mississippi’s soybean crop from looking good as of mid-July, though fields ranged from just planted to nearly ready to harvest.

Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop was planted a little later than usual statewide, but many acres in northeast Mississippi were not planted until almost July.

July 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Favorable early conditions got Mississippi’s corn crop off to a good start, but most parts of the state could use more rain to make this year a successful one.

Corn is in the later stages of maturity, and harvest is slated for early August through September if conditions are right.

Watermelons at a roadside fruit stand in south Mississippi shed the heavy afternoon rains last Wednesday. Weather conditions during most of the growing season helped the state's fields develop large, flavorful melons this year. (Photo by Scott Corey)
July 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Good growing conditions are contributing to a bumper crop of tasty watermelons for Mississippians.

David Nagel, a Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulturist, said rains and cool temperatures delayed plantings but warm temperatures later contributed to rapid development. Harvests began in mid-June and peak each year around the Fourth of July.

“We’ve had plenty of warm temperatures and sunshine to produce large and sweet watermelons this year,” Nagel said. “The more sunny days we have, the sweeter the melons.”

June 25, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Dairy

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE  – Many Mississippi dairy farmers are wary about 2010 after the past 18 months proved to be one of the most financially challenging periods ever for the industry.

“2009 is a year most Mississippi dairy farmers would like to forget because of the huge financial hit they suffered as the price they were paid for milk plummeted about 40 percent,” said dairy specialist Lamar Adams of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Farmers lost about $1,000 per cow last year.”

June 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Fruit

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

BILOXI – Despite high yields and good-quality berries, a delayed harvest and low prices are impacting blueberry growers.

Blueberry growers started harvesting in late May and early June, about two weeks behind schedule.


Crop Report Archive