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News Filed Under Crops

May 4, 1998 - Filed Under: Organic Fruit and Vegetables

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Gardeners may want to consider the organic gardening trend this year when deciding how to care for gardens and the environment at the same time.

Organic gardening means growing and marketing healthy foods that have not been treated with synthetic chemicals, only natural fertilizers and pest control measures.

Dr. David Nagel, a horticulturalist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said many people choose to garden organically because they want to be environmentally friendly. Others have different reasons.

May 1, 1998 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some Mississippi farmers are banking on early soybean varieties to produce the yields of recent years because the markets are not going to be much help.

Dr. Tom Jones, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said there is more potential for soybean prices to go down than there is for them to increase.

"U.S. soybean acreage is up slightly, South American crops are strong and the forecast is for good growing conditions this year," Jones said. "There is just no reason for prices to come up anytime soon."

April 24, 1998 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rains have slowed field work for Northeast Mississippi corn growers, but the state remains on schedule for more corn acres in 1998.

Dr. Erick Larson, corn specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said he expects the state to plant near the 1996 level of 630,000 acres, compared to 490,000 planted last year when growers harvested a record yield of 107 bushels per acre.

April 10, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

By Linda Breazeale

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton growers are keenly aware of insect control every year because it is one of their most costly issues, but after this year's mild winter, they are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

The Mid-South region has the highest costs to produce cotton. To be competitive with state's that have eradicated boll weevils, Mississippi needs 3 to 5 cents per pound more at the market. The 1997-98 winter was one of Mississippi's mildest winters in 20 years, which is a major concern for 1998 boll weevil control.

April 3, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton growers are expected to plant less than 1 million acres for the second consecutive year -- a trend that could hurt cotton's support industries in the state.

"We have significant concerns about cotton's infrastructure as acres are converted to crops that generate less economic activity," said Dr. O.A. Cleveland, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Cotton is a high cost crop with a large support industry surrounding it."

April 2, 1998 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

An audience gathered at the courthouse in New Jersey to watch Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson die from eating a basketful of tomatoes. Colonel Johnson's physician warned he would, "Foam and froth at the mouth ...double over with appendicitis ... and expose himself to brain fever." Johnson didn't die that day in 1820, and a new era for tomatoes slowly began.

March 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some Mississippi wheat fields experienced minimal damage from the freezing temperatures the second week of March, but for a few, the damage was beyond recovery.

"Severe damage has been found from as far south as Natchez to throughout North Mississippi," said Dr. Erick Larson, agronomist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Growers need to closely inspect their fields to evaluate the extent of the freeze injury."

March 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- No-till cotton farming has gained in popularity in recent years as farmers are learning it can be a successful practice when managed correctly.

Dr. Jac Varco, agronomist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said no-tillage cotton increased from 1,183 acres in 1989 to 52,146 acres in 1997. Starting with the 1985 Farm Bill, farmers are required to put highly erodible land in either the Conservation Reserve Program or use conservation practices on that land.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops

By Russell Hood and Bob Ratliff

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Choice is usually a good thing, but sometimes a person doesn't have the time or information to make the right decision, whether it be choosing a flavor of ice cream or the best weed-control method.

February 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Sweet potato vines are becoming all the rage as landscape plants. It is not too hard to believe when you realize that many of us grow their close relatives, the morning glories or moon flowers.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's rich soil has a reputation for producing impressive cotton crops, but Georgia's boll weevil-free fields have rapidly become the top Southeast producers.

"When the market is not strong, growers need all the breaks they can get to make a profit," said Dr. Michael Ouart, extension state program leader for agriculture and natural resources at Mississippi State University. "If boll weevils are not a control factor, growers can invest that money in other ways to produce higher yields."

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather and Mississippi State University played major roles in the record yields state farmers have produced in recent years among Mississippi's top row crops.

In 1997, cotton farmers saw their highest production with 896 pounds harvested per acre. Soybeans matched 1996's second highest production with 31 bushels an acre, while corn set a new record at 107 bushels per acre. Rice and wheat also set yield records in the past two years.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Technology

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean farmers have relied on variety testing results for many years, and now they can view the latest results on the Internet.

Since 1982, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, in cooperation with Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, has tested various soybean varieties. Farmers receive the results through MAFES and extension publications and by word of mouth.

December 19, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- How can Mississippi cotton growers harvest a record 900 pound average and not be enthusiastic about the crop?

1997 was the first year since 1983 that Mississippi cotton growers planted less than 1 million acres, and only the third time since record keeping began in 1866. Growers had governmental incentive to reduce acres in 1983 due to abundant supplies. In 1997, the incentives not to plant cotton came from market prices.

December 19, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Soybeans, Agricultural Economics, Poultry, Forestry, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's total value of production posted an new record of $4.9 billion, an increase of 3 percent from 1996. Casual observers might think a 3 percent change means little happened in Mississippi's 1997 farm economy.

"Several row crops had significant changes in their total value this year, but that was largely because of planted acreage changes," said Dr. John Robinson, extension agricultural economist at Mississippi State University.

November 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton, Soybeans, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Like a real roller coaster ride, 1997 left some farmers saying, "Let's go again," and others saying, "No way."

Cold, wet conditions at planting time had row-crop growers struggling to plant fields. As the conditions persisted, the young plants struggled to mature.

"Early season conditions resulted in about 30,000 acres of cotton being destroyed -- mainly in Northeast Mississippi," said Dr. Will McCarty, extension cotton specialist at Mississippi State University.

Growers planted much of the state's cotton later than ideal.

October 30, 1997 - Filed Under: Nuts, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Hernando Desoto discovered pecans' wonderful taste in 1541 in what became Mississippi, and Jean Penicaut wrote about them in Natchez in 1704.

The most widely planted variety, the Stuart, originated here, as did Desirable, Success and Schley. Despite criticism over irregular crops and insect problems, the pecan is a survivor and worthy of a place in the landscape as a shade tree.

October 24, 1997 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Delta pecan growers have more reason to celebrate than they have had in recent years as the state prepares for its largest harvest since the 1994 ice storm.

Dr. Freddie Rasberry, extension horticulturist at Mississippi State University, said the state has about a dozen commercial orchards, primarily in the Delta. This year's crop will be the largest Delta crop since the February '94 ice storm.

October 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Pumpkins

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pumpkin producers have battled the weather, bugs and disease this season but still expect to harvest a decent crop this fall.

Pumpkins grow best in dry and warm (but not hot) conditions, said Dr. David Nagel, extension horticulturist at Mississippi State University.

"Weather conditions this year were not exceptionally good or bad, so the crop that resulted is only average," Nagel said.

A typical crop produces about 1,000 basketball-size pumpkins per acre.

October 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather delayed planting the 1997 sweetpotato crop by three-weeks, making growers scramble now to get it out of the ground as quickly as possible.

Mississippi has 8,200 acres planted in sweetpotatoes this year, an increase of 400 acres more than last year. Harvest began Sept. 15 and is about 35 percent complete. The state usually sells 1.5 million 40-pound boxes of sweetpotatoes.