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News Filed Under Crops

Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, discusses the 2016 MSU Row Crop Short Course with Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith on Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
December 8, 2016 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices, Extension Administration, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More Mississippi producers are getting the word about how much they can learn in three days at the state’s premier row crop conference.

The Mississippi State University 2016 Row Crop Short Course had more than 600 attendees. Attendance at the Row Crop Short Course has steadily increased since 2009. Approximately 60 people attended the event in 2008.

December 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers have a plan to drastically change the way rice farmers grow their crop while cutting water use by one-third and maintaining yields.

The MSU Extension Service is encouraging Mississippi rice growers to consider using alternate wetting and drying -- or AWD -- management in their rice fields.

About 20 percent of Mississippi farmers use some form of AWD today, but Jason Krutz, Extension irrigation specialist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, wants that number to increase.

November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before they prepare for 2017, Mississippi producers will have a chance next month to catch up on recent row crop research being conducted across the Southeast.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers to its annual Row Crop Short Course Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville. Registration is free until Nov. 28 and $40 on site.

Pecan trees at Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond, Mississippi, are loaded on Oct. 11, 2016. Pecan yields are expected to be the best since 2003, when the state produced 4 million pounds of the popular holiday nuts.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Nuts

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite timely rains throughout the summer, late-season drought is pushing back pecan harvest for most Mississippi producers.

"We thought we were going to be early with our harvest this year when our nuts set early this spring," said Max Draughn, owner of Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond and president of the Mississippi Pecan Growers Association. "We had rains every week up until Labor Day. Then we had no rain. We went into slow motion when it got dry."

Harvest was nearly done by the end of October for the state’s 2 million acre soybean crop. Experts expect yields to average 48 bushels per acre across the state, keeping this year’s production in line with that of recent years. This combine was harvesting Leflore County soybeans Sept. 23, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Trent Irby)​
October 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A game-changing insect caused significant problems in many Mississippi soybean acres, but good management allowed growers to finish the year with an average crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that by Oct. 23, Mississippi farmers were 92 percent finished harvesting the state's soybean crop, which covered about 2.03 million acres this year. Insect and disease pressures made the effort challenging, but USDA predicts growers will harvest a state average of 48 bushels an acre.

Brittany Lipsey, a Mississippi State University graduate student from Louisville, Mississippi, is researching management techniques that can be used to combat sugarcane aphids, helping sorghum farmers have a sustainable future with the crop. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
October 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains, Insects-Crop Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fewer Mississippi producers are looking at grain sorghum as a crop rotation option since an introduced pest became a major problem, a trend Mississippi State University researchers are working to reverse.

The sugarcane aphid is a nonnative pest introduced to the United States in Florida in 1977. By the late 1990s, it had been found in Louisiana. In both states, the pest initially fed on sugarcane. At some point, the aphid began feeding on Johnsongrass, a significant weed found in sugarcane and other crops in the Midsouth.

Katy Chen of Louisville, Mississippi, holds the unofficial mascot of May’s Corn Maze in Stewart, Mississippi, in front of the agritourism farm’s pumpkin patch. The state enjoyed a strong pumpkin harvest for the second straight year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
October 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's October weather has offered more than enough of the most vital tonic pumpkins need for growth: full sunlight.

But the state has lacked another key element: water. Fortunately, the majority of the state’s pumpkin fields are irrigated, so the ongoing drought has had little effect on this year’s plentiful harvest.

However, nonirrigated pumpkin acreage has seen better days, said Casey Barickman, an assistant professor at the Mississippi State University North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

The use of succulents is a popular trend in the green industry. These plants with soft, juicy leaves and stems are good choices for low-water-use gardening. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
October 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Increasing markets for local foods and succulent plants are encouraging green industry suppliers to offer new products for horticulture customers.

Mississippi cotton farmers are more than halfway through harvesting what is expected to be the fourth straight year the state has averaged more than 1,000 pounds of cotton per acre. This Coahoma County cotton was waiting for harvest Sept. 29, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
October 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There's no reason for cotton farmers to sing the blues this year.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton harvest was nearly halfway done by the first week of October. Early yields suggest the state will average more than 1,000 pounds of cotton per acre.

Good prices provided the icing on the cake.

October 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets

TUPELO, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing and selling produce directly to the consumer during an on-farm field day organized by the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.

This tractor creeps across a Vardaman, Mississippi, field Sept. 20, 2016, digging sweet potatoes while workers sort them based on size and quality. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- After two challenging years in Mississippi sweet potato fields, farmers are hoping for a problem-free harvest over the next few weeks.

Stephen Meyers, Extension sweet potato specialist based at the Mississippi State University Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, said growers are cautiously optimistic as harvest begins.

September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host a winemaking tutorial next month.

The Growing, Making and Improving Wines Workshop will be held Oct. 21 at the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Laboratory in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park across from the MSU campus in Starkville.

Grain sorghum acreage was low this year because of low prices and sugarcane aphid problems. Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Erick Larson examined sorghum ready for harvest Sept. 15, 2016, at MSU’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grain sorghum acres are very low in the state, a response to prices returning to their usual range and sugarcane aphids continuing to be a scourge to the crop.

September 8, 2016 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dry September weather has Mississippi soybean producers on opposite ends of the irrigation spectrum: Some are done, while others want to water one more time.

Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, has a question for them: What do the soil moisture sensors say?

September 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MOUNT OLIVE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing hydroponic produce and selling their crops to institutions during the upcoming Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day Sept. 16.

The on-farm field day will be at Triple Eaton Farm, located at 953 Mt. Olive Road in Mt. Olive.

Farm owner Leon Eaton will share his experience of growing hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables, as well as marketing produce to specialty food stores and restaurants. Attendees will get a tour of Eaton’s hydroponic growing system.

Mississippi State University field personnel begin the rice harvest on test plots at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Mississippi. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Bobby Golden)
September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Cue the song “Anticipation” for Mississippi’s rice growers because that title and chorus perfectly describe this point in the season.

“The majority of our rice fields are drained, and we are just waiting for conditions to stay dry long enough for harvests,” said Bobby Golden, Extension rice specialist based at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “The weather has made us about 10 days later than normal. Harvest activity should increase rapidly in the first days of September as long as we stay dry.”

Despite rain delays, corn harvest is in full swing across Mississippi on fields such as this one on a Leflore County farm in Morgan City on Aug. 24, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Erick Larson)
August 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Corn

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wet, cloudy weather through much of August has prevented corn from drying as it should before harvest, possibly cutting into farmers’ profit margins.

Erick Larson, corn specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn matures at 30 percent moisture. Prices are docked if growers deliver corn with a moisture content above 15.5 percent, which is the standard suitable for corn grain storage.

Most cotton bolls lost to rainy, wet weather in early August were the younger ones in the middle to upper part of the plant. Cotton, such as this growing Aug. 18, 2016, on the Mississippi State University R.R. Foil Plant Research Center in Starkville, is expected to yield a better than average harvest. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
August 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wet, cloudy weather has put a lot of cotton bolls on the ground, but experts still expect an above average crop from Mississippi’s cotton acreage.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said experts knew boll loss was coming after all the recent rain.

Peanuts in this Monroe County field look good on Aug. 10, 2016. Harvest is expected to begin around Sept. 10, and yield may average more than 4,000 pounds per acre, up from the average of 3,400 pounds per acre last year.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
August 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Peanuts

RAYMOND, Miss. -- With few problems this year, Mississippi’s peanut growers should see a good crop.

“Overall, peanuts are doing very well,” said Jason Sarver, Mississippi State University Extension Service peanut specialist. “Peanuts in south Mississippi received consistent rain throughout the season. We were really dry for a while across northeast Mississippi and the Delta. But between days 70 and 80, we started catching some rains across both regions that helped make a nice crop.”

August 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Mississippi State University faculty and specialists will update producers at a field day in Pontotoc Aug. 24 on recent sweet potato research.

Sweet potato producers, researchers, agriculture industry representatives and crop consultants can view research plots and variety trials at the MSU-Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station during the program.

Personnel with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will present information on weed management, crop fertility and sweet potato varieties.

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