Feature Story from 2001
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bolstered by increases in poultry and row crops, agricultural economists are predicting Mississippi's 2001 farm production value to remain near $4.8 billion, a 2.6-percent increase over the previous year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton growers may not have battled drought-stress conditions at the levels of recent years, but the 2001 growing season was not without major challenges.
Timely rains throughout the growing season had cotton ginners searching for warehouse space in mid-August to accommodate the bumper crop. Unseasonable rains in late August and early September began impacting early-planted and early-maturing varieties. Seeds began sprouting in the bolls and regrowth was rampant.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Forestry easily maintained its hold as Mississippi's second largest agricultural commodity, despite a 10-percent decline in value.
The 2001 farm value of forestry is estimated at $1.1 billion -- second to poultry's $1.5 billion level. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said 2001 was harder on the forest industry than it was on landowners.
By Bethany Waldrop Keiper
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Increases in exports, acceptance and profitability enabled the poultry and egg industry to hold the top spot in Mississippi's 2001 agricultural commodities.
For 2001, the estimated value of farm production for poultry and eggs was $1.54 billion, a 12-percent increase from 2000's total. The industry's value surpassed forestry's $1.12 billion and cotton's $527 million.