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Crop Report

May 30, 2008 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy farmers would like to celebrate June as dairy month by toasting near-record prices with a glass of cold milk, but they can't afford it.

Bill Herndon, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said skyrocketing production costs have more than narrowed the gap between profit and loss; they have eliminated it. At the same time, the price of milk at the grocery story has climbed steadily, averaging near $4.50 per gallon, up from about $2.80 per gallon in 2003, and is expected to remain high through 2009.

May 23, 2008 - Filed Under: Forages

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather has been kind to Mississippi's hay and forage producers, but the economy has not.

An unusually cool spring, buffered by adequate rainfall, has increased growth in cool-season forages. Spring is the optimum period for nutrient and sugar content to develop in forages grown for hay, and Mother Nature's timing was good.

May 16, 2008 - Filed Under: Poultry

May is National Egg Month

By Courtney Coufal
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Demand for poultry products remains strong, but high production costs continue to put a strain on producers' pocketbooks.

John Anderson, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said production costs have soared to historic levels because of high feed prices and climbing diesel fuel prices.

May 9, 2008 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton offers strong profit potential for growers even though it no longer rules as king among the state's row crops.

In 2008, two crops are posting more acreage in Mississippi than cotton's predicted 420,000 acres: soybeans, with 2.05 million acres, and corn, with 670,000 acres. Exceptionally strong markets have lured growers away from their reliable favorite and over to grain crops.

Cotton offers strong profit potential for growers even though it no longer rules as king among the state’s row crops.

May 2, 2008 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi growers are looking forward to the 2008 rice crop because of news of a potential world rice shortage.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said the state's rice acreage has been expanding in recent weeks.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's initial planting intentions report released March 31 forecast Mississippi's rice acreage to decline about 5 percent from last year.

April 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Few growers remain in the strawberry business in Mississippi, but consumers still like to buy local produce because of its fresh taste.

“It tastes like a strawberry,” said Allen Eubanks, who with his wife, Janice, owns Eubanks Produce in Greene County. “All our strawberries are handpicked, and they are packed, cooled and shipped out the same night. From the time we pick to the time they are in stores is about two days maximum.”

April 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Freezing temperatures, slugs and crawfish sound more like biblical plagues than problems for Mississippi's early corn. Nevertheless, those are among the challenges growers are reporting to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Erick Larson, Extension small grains specialist, said although a mid-April frost likely will cause little damage across much of the state, many other problems are being reported.

Doug Jeter needs a boat to visit his 150 acres of wheat near the Yazoo River. He holds a wheat head that grew on one of the higher spots in his flooded wheat field in Warren County.  (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
April 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Wheat

VICKSBURG -- Gambling on the river takes on a different meaning every spring for a handful of farmers.

Warren County Extension director John Coccaro said hundreds of acres, some of the county's best cropland, are 10-12 feet under water because of heavy rains well north of Mississippi. Most of the fields were planted in winter wheat last fall when the state was in a seemingly endless drought. Still, the fields have a history of flooding, which makes them too risky for insurance coverage.

April 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's soybean growers are not alone in their enthusiasm for planting a large crop this year, and the market knows it.

Soybean growers are expected to plant more than 2 million acres in soybeans, the largest state soybean crop since 1998. The national crop, once expected to be near 71 million acres, is now forecast closer to 75 million acres.

March 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi winter wheat growers should be feeling pretty smart about their planting decisions last fall.

Market prices near $6 per bushel encouraged growers to increase acreage from 370,000 in 2006-2007 to a record 400,000 for this year. Late March prices are near $8 per bushel, but they have been as high as $12.50 per bushel since planting time.

Steve Martin, agricultural economist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said several factors are working in favor of strong wheat prices.

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