News Filed Under Grains
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s row crops have had enough rain, and most fields just need sunshine.
Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn is mature and will gain no benefit from additional moisture. In the first couple of weeks of August, skies were overcast or rain was falling across most of the state.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Insect pressure and a stagnant market are pushing Mississippi growers away from planting grain sorghum.
Compared with 2015, when the state had 120,000 acres of sorghum, producers harvested only about 11,000 acres of the crop in 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasted they would plant only 10,000 acres this year. If that prediction holds, 2017 will mark an 88-year low for sorghum production.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.
Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.
"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."
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.
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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers have spent the last few years on the front lines protecting a $33 million dollar crop in Mississippi.
As grain sorghum production grew, producers had to fight off a new pest.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After causing significant challenges in 2014, sugarcane aphids did not catch Mississippi’s grain sorghum growers by surprise this year.
“We are not sure if sugarcane aphids were not as bad as last year or if we just did a better job using insecticidal seed treatments,” said Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “One big difference was that we were more educated in our control efforts. No one was caught by surprise, and everyone had budgeted for control.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sorghum midges have been an issue for Mississippi grain sorghum producers for as long as they have been growing the crop, but early plantings across the state have been affected more than usual this year.
Jeff Gore, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said he has fielded calls from farmers who report increasing problems with the crop-compromising insect across the state -- an indication that the issue is not isolated to a specific area.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grain sorghum acreage seemed likely to decrease dramatically in Mississippi in 2015 when sugarcane aphids damaged the state’s 2014 crop, but excellent prices kept acreage strong.
Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi growers are expecting to plant about 90,000 acres of grain sorghum, or milo, this year. This is slightly lower than the number of acres planted in 2014.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A professor at Mississippi State University wanted his students to gain a real-world perspective about grain crops, so he challenged them to head straight to the news.
Brien Henry, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, used the weekly Delta Farm Press to educate students about the current climate of the grain crops industry. He also incorporated the principles of the social media tool Twitter to help students sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crops almost never go from potentially record yields one year to drastic acre reductions the next, but catastrophic aphid infestations coupled with low prices may force grain sorghum growers into that situation.
Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said if not for the white sugarcane aphid, the state would have one of the largest grain sorghum crops in recent history.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s farmers showed their ability to adapt when wet spring weather forced many of them to change their planting intentions from corn, cotton and soybeans to late-planted grain sorghum.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Significant production levels and high market prices combined to give Mississippi’s agricultural commodities over $7 billion in total value.
Mississippi State University agricultural economists gathered preliminary data from crop production reports, world agricultural supply and demand estimates, industry resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture outlook reports. They predict a $7.3 billion annual value of the state’s top crops, excluding government payments. Final figures will be available in the spring of 2013.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Timely rains followed by sunny days provided optimal growing conditions for Mississippi’s grain sorghum crop, and yields may be higher than anticipated.
Mississippi producers planted about 63,000 acres in grain sorghum in 2012, up from 50,000 acres in 2011. The state ranked No. 8 nationally in grain sorghum production in 2011.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – April’s heavy rains have been devastating Mississippi’s agriculture, as they delay planting, postpone management and flood fields.
Heavy rains that accompanied the late-April storms added to already soggy soils and are pushing some planting dates dangerously late.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes of April 27 took a toll on Mississippi’s agriculture, with timber, the state’s No. 2 most valuable agricultural commodity, taking the biggest hit.
Massive storms have swept the state all month, bringing hail, torrential rains and tornadoes. Wednesday was the worst day, with the majority of the damage scattered across the northern part of the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With the excitement of drivers at a NASCAR start, farmers are ready to begin the 2011 growing season.
The first fields out of the starting gate are corn fields.
Erick Larson, small grains specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said growers were approaching the halfway point in planting this year’s corn crop by the end of March. They should complete planting by the end of April.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A drier-than-normal winter has put this year’s winter wheat crop in good shape as it heads into the heavy growth stages of spring.
Erick Larson, grain agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state has about 300,000 acres of wheat. This figure is up from the meager 125,000 acres harvested in 2010, but down from the recent high of 520,000 acres planted in 2008.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s 3.7 million acres of cropland were in good shape by late winter despite high snow geese numbers in the Delta and heavy March rains.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton fields were generally in good condition.
“A favorable harvest season in 2010 allowed many growers to complete fall operations in a timely manner and prepare the land for the 2011 growing season,” Dodds said. “Although some weed species are proving tough to control, fields are generally in good shape.”