Feature Story from 2009
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE –The overall value of Mississippi’s 2009 timber harvest failed to reach $1 billion for the first time in 16 years, but unlike other crops, extreme weather was not the reason.
The estimated 2009 harvest value for timber is $817 million, down a steep 24 percent from 2008’s value of $1.08 billion. Blame one of the worst years ever for forestry and forest products on the dismal housing market.
MISSISSIPPI STATE –The 2009 growing season was probably the most challenging for soybeans in more than 50 years, and one lesson that emerges is to diversify the crop, both in planting times and maturity groups.
Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state’s soybean crop is valued at an estimated $431.5 million, down 37 percent from the 2008 value of $686 million. However, the crop lost an estimated 38.5 percent of its value before it could be harvested.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s cotton crop hasn’t caught a break in recent years, and reduced acreage and devastating weather at harvest pushed the 2009 crop’s estimated value to just $97.8 million.
In 2008, the crop was valued at $250 million, so the estimated 2009 value is less than half what it was a year ago. Cotton had a recent high of 1.2 million planted acres in 2006, but fewer than 300,000 were planted in 2009 and only 365,000 acres in 2008. In 1930, the state planted a record 4.2 million acres of cotton.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE –Each year for the past decade, poultry has ruled the roost as Mississippi’s top crop, and 2009 is no exception.
Poultry ended the year with a total value of $2.3 billion, a 3 percent drop from the $2.37 billion posted in 2008. The total value is derived from estimates representing broiler, egg and chicken production. Broiler production, the largest segment of the industry, weighed in at $2.15 billion for 2009, while egg production was valued at $140.7 million and chickens at $5 million.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A $400,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is allowing the Mississippi State University Extension Service to expand the fitness and nutrition initiatives of an outreach program launched nearly three years ago.
The grant will be applied to activities within the Mississippi in Motion public campaign that promote nutrition and physical fitness. It also will provide a Web site link to Families, Food and Fitness eXtention, a healthy lifestyles program administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy producers in Mississippi and Louisiana can take advantage of a management conference designed to help them be more profitable in the industry.
The Mississippi-Louisiana Dairy Management Conference will be Jan. 14 at the Southwest Events Center in Tylertown. The 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. event is open to all dairy producers, dairy managers and dairy farm employees.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Charitable gifts to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine offer comfort and hope to those who cherish all kinds of animals.
Susan Kuykendall, an administrative assistant in the CVM’s clinical sciences department, oversees the Fund for CARE, which stands for Companion Animals Require Excellence. The fund was created several years ago to help fill in the gaps between state appropriations and needs at the veterinary college.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi agriculture has changed a great deal in the last 25 years, and the challenges of 2009 reminded many farmers that there is still much to learn.
To address the growing needs of the state’s farmers, the Mississippi State University Extension Service redesigned its 25-year-old annual cotton short course and offered a two-and-a-half day meeting dedicated to all state row crops instead. The expansion to other crops and the recent historic losses helped triple attendance numbers over recent years.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hundreds of growers, crop consultants and scientists meet in Stoneville on Jan. 8 at the 53rd annual Tri-State Soybean Forum.
The event is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Louisiana State University Ag Center, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and the United Soybean Board, among other supporters of the soybean industry.