Mississippi’s diverse soils, abundant rainfall, and moderate climate allow producers to plant a wide variety of agricultural crops. From iconic cotton to cutting-edge energy crops for biofuels, MSU scientists support the state’s agricultural commodities in a variety of ways.
Extension agents and specialists address growers’ immediate needs and challenges and help producers use university-based research to determine the most efficient production methods, best management practices, and most effective seed varieties for their unique needs.
For the most up-to-date information on the state’s agricultural crops, visit the Mississippi Crop Situation blog.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Watermelon production is on track despite cool weather at planting.
“I’ve been in our watermelon fields a good bit over the past several days,” Heath Steede, Mississippi State University Extension agent in George County, said on June 9. “The crop looks really good. We had a slow start with the cool nights this spring, but they caught up later. The watermelons are stacked in there, and we’ll have a good crop as far as the number of melons.”
Continuous rains, however, have Steede a little concerned.
There’s nothing more satisfying than homegrown tomatoes. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to grow delicious tomatoes in your backyard. Here are a few tips that will help you grow the best looking (and tasting) tomatoes out there:
Because it is the first crop planted starting in March, Mississippi corn is in much better shape than other row crops struggling with the challenges of wet, cool weather.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi row crop growers are planning to plant more soybeans and corn in 2021 than they did last year but not as much cotton, rice or hay.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, publishes its planting intentions report each year at the end of March. This report provides a state-by-state estimation of how many acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton farmers will plant in the upcoming growing season.
Mississippi’s recent bout of bad weather came at a critical time for producers of blueberries, the state’s largest commercial fruit crop. Blueberries can be easily damaged by cold weather, but the timing of mid-February’s icy weather limited the potential damage.
Variety trials exemplify Extension’s service to growers through pandemic
For 10 years, a small portion of Moody Farms in Tishomingo County has been sectioned off for cotton variety trial plots. That streak continued in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vardaman producer named Farmer of the Year
When Joe Edmondson surveys his farming operation at Topashaw Farms, he thinks about his more than 40 full-time employees and the hundreds of seasonal workers who work the acres.
Rice is one of Mississippi’s only commodities to be grown, milled, packaged, sold, and eaten right here in the state. And, for decades, the annual Rice Tasting Luncheon in Cleveland, Mississippi, has allowed local residents to show off their best rice-based dishes at Delta State University in Bolivar County, which produces more than 1.5 million hundredweight of rice annually.
John McKee refers to the Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course as a “convention of rock stars.”
In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.