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Crop Report

Steven Felston, an agricultural assistant at MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center, is flushing a recently flooded rice field on April 16, 2010. (Photo by Rebekah Ray)
April 30, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Rice

STONEVILLE – Mississippi’s 2010 rice crop is ahead of schedule and looking good, even after strong storms swept through the state in April.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center, said growers had about 75 percent of the crop planted by the end of April. In the last two years, the majority of the planting took place well into May.

April 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Having about half of the Mississippi soybean crop planted by late April is allowing producers to breathe a little easier when they look back on the disastrous year they had in 2009.

Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, urged producers not to make decisions for this year based on the anomalies of last year.

A Mississippi State University worker at the Northeast Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Verona takes advantage of the ideal weather for corn planting on April 7. (Photo by Scott Corey)
April 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s 2010 corn crop is off to a promising start after recent sunny skies and favorable soil conditions gave farmers a chance to plant and manage their fields.

The shortened strawberry harvest has not affected the quality of the berries. Growers report that they are harvesting berries of excellent quality. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE --  A cold winter may have delayed strawberry harvesting, but it did not affect the quality or taste of berries.

Mississippi strawberry harvest usually begins in mid-March, but this year, cold weather pushed harvest back to the second week in April.

“Temperatures were about 10 degrees lower than normal, which pushed planting back a week and in turn, delayed harvesting by a few weeks,” said Wayne Porter, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Lauderdale County.

Sunny skies on March 26 provided perfect conditions for planting this corn on George Ray Walker's farm near Stoneville. This 12-row planter is preparing a plot for a nitrogen-rate plant population study for researchers with Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center. (Photo by Rebekah Ray)
April 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

By Linda Breazeale
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton will not be returning to the throne in Mississippi, but growers are slightly more enthusiastic about this former king than they have been in recent years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual prospective plantings report March 31, and Mississippi producers are predicted to plant 340,000 acres of cotton. That is an increase of 11 percent from 2009 but is a far cry from the 1.2 million acres planted in 2005 and 2006.

March 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's winter wheat crop is smaller and later than normal because of fall rains, and a colder-than-normal spring may limit the crop's yield.

Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi's wheat acreage is expected to be well short of the 10-year average of 225,000 acres.

Trees at the Swedenburg Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus appear to be in good shape for the 2009 holiday season. Many Mississippi growers expect sales to increase because of travel cutbacks and plans to stay home. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Christmas tree growers will probably see their sales increase again this year as more people stay home to celebrate the holidays.

Current economic problems have forced many people to tighten their budgets, resulting in less travel. Families who stay home still want a festive celebration, and natural Christmas trees offer a traditional touch.

Many pecan producers, such as Peeples Pecan Orchard in Starkville, are waiting for rains to let up enough for them to harvest in earnest. Mississippi pecan growers are anticipating a better than average crop of more than 2 million pounds. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pecans are one Mississippi crop not taking a beating from excessive fall rains, but until the pecans are out of the orchard, the crop is not out of the woods.

Pecan growers are trying to harvest a better-than-average crop and take advantage of good early-season prices. Experts anticipate a more than 2-million-pound pecan harvest in the state. The national crop is expected to be about 300 million pounds, up 100 million pounds from last year.

Non-stop rains since harvest began have cost Mississippi producers an estimated $371 million. These cotton plants stand wasting in a rain-saturated field on Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (Photo by Scott Corey)
October 23, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Near-constant rains during harvest-time cost Mississippi farmers an estimated $371 million in losses, and producers with crop insurance may be the only ones able to salvage much more from the fields this year.

These pumpkins found at J&A Farms and Nursery in Flora are among the few Mississippi pumpkins to have been harvested early or to have survived the heavy September and October rains. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 16, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Pumpkins

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Heavy rains in Mississippi and nationwide have decreased the number of pumpkins available for harvest, but not the quality of the pumpkins already pulled from the fields.

Pumpkins are popular in the fall for decorating and baking, but they are not a major crop for Mississippi, which only has a few commercial growers.

October 9, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

October 2, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Harvest season rains have robbed soybean growers of strong yields and bean quality, reducing profits in an already challenging year.

“We were harvesting a beautiful crop with outstanding yields before the rains came the last two weeks of September,” said Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Now that farmers are finally back in fields, we are seeing average yield losses of 5 percent to 10 percent.”

In addition to the yield losses, damage estimates average between 5 percent and 20 percent.

September 25, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Nearly 80 percent of the state’s corn crop is safely in storage, and the remaining acres are ready for harvest but stuck in wet fields getting rain-drenched for days.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the corn harvest is largely complete in the southern part of the state, including the south Delta. However, the corn in the northern areas of the state was planted later and most remains in the fields.

September 18, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Heavy rains, limited sunshine and high humidity in mid-September are threatening to damage the state’s major row crops unless dry weather returns soon to allow harvest to finish.

Soybeans are most at risk now because the bulk of the state’s crop was ready or almost ready for harvest when wet weather rolled into the state mid month.

Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop is only about 25 percent harvested.

September 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s timber owners are keeping a close watch on the national housing market with hopes that the worst economic times are behind them.

“Recovery in the U.S. housing market is key to Mississippi’s sawtimber markets, and it appears that the beginnings of a recovery are emerging,” said James Henderson, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Pending home sales and single-family construction have increased most months in 2009.”

September 4, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The weak economy and high costs of production have given poultry companies a strong incentive to curtail production in spite of increased prices.

Feed accounts for about 70 percent of the cost of broiler production. As feed prices have stayed high, production has lowered, reflecting a loss in revenue for the state’s growers.

““Compared to last year, fuel costs are down, but the general cost of doing business is making tight margins even tighter,” said Michael Kidd, head of Mississippi State University’s poultry science department.

August 28, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Though heavy rains this spring delayed some of the state's rice planting, warm, sunny days in June and July helped the crop along, and by late Aug., Mississippi farmers were pleased with the results.

Optimal planting for rice is before May 1, and 75 percent of the state’s crop made it in by that date. The remainder was late because of excessive rains during the first few weeks of May.

August 21, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s small cotton crop was looking good by late August, but with prices below break-even levels, producers will hold their breath until harvests are in.

John Michael Riley, Extension agricultural economist, said cotton harvest cash prices in Mississippi in mid-August were about 53-55 cents a pound. MSU crop budget estimators indicate the “average Mississippi producer” needs prices above 62 cents a pound to be in the black in 2009.

August 14, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Though cool temperatures and excess rain kept many Mississippi row crops from getting a good start this spring, they actually helped sod production.

Extra water allows many growers to cut back on irrigation. Once the sod establishes, there is not much else for growers to do, other than mow at regular intervals and maintain their market base.

August 7, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Catfish pond acreage in Mississippi continues to decline, with the high cost of production and poor prices partly to blame.

Jim Steeby, aquaculture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the entire U.S. catfish industry is downsizing. As of late July, Mississippi had 70,000 acres of catfish ponds, down from the high of 113,000 acres the state had in 2001.

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