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News Filed Under Agricultural Economics

Photo shows mature, dried soybean pods hanging against a brown, natural background.
September 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Soybeans

Official numbers show Mississippi’s soybean crop is ahead of schedule and in good shape, but many fields have actually spent a wet month waiting for harvest.

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist, said this delay -- caused by frequent, heavy rains -- impacted a portion of the state’s crop.

Close up of a head of grain sorghum full of tiny brown seeds, along with other plant heads in the field around it.
September 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Grains

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s grain sorghum acreage is at an historic low, and market prices are not much better, but yields should be good.

Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that when market incentives went away after 2015, so did farmers’ desire to plant grain sorghum, also known as milo. State growers may have planted 10,000 acres this year, the fewest since record keeping began in 1929.

A closed boll is seen on a cotton plant growing in a field.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rain, cool weather, more rain and some wind have slowed cotton maturation, but since the crop was a little behind schedule, the damage may be less than if harvest were already underway.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said recent weather is causing some yield loss, but it is hard to estimate how much.

“Being late to a degree helped the crop because rain did not string out open cotton, but given that we are running out of heat, we may have been better off with an earlier crop that had been defoliated and was standing up when the rain came,” Dodds said.

Two black cows in pasture
September 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Beef

The first shipment of U.S. beef to China in more than 13 years reached its destination in June, and Mississippi cattle producers are beginning to see modest rewards of new market access.

Current cattle prices in Mississippi are up from a year ago. Lightweight cattle are $1.67 per pound, while heavyweight feeder cattle are around $1.35 per pound. A year ago, lightweight cattle were $1.55 per pound, and heavyweight cattle were in the range of $1.17 per pound.

“The cattle market has exhibited strong demand through most of 2017 despite the increased supply of cattle in the U.S.,” said Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Prices have generally decreased over the past month, which is due to a combination of seasonal factors and the increased supply.”

Harvesting corn at Simmons Planting Co. in Arcola, Mississippi, on Aug. 22, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Corn

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi producers are optimistic that the remnants of Hurricane Harvey that moved through the state in late August were not enough to stop corn harvests from reaching a new record.

As of Aug. 27, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated 51 percent of the corn crop was harvested. Growers had a few more days to tackle remaining acres before rains came through the state. USDA estimated that 78 percent of the crop was in good or excellent shape.

Erick Larson, grain specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said many early yields exceeded 200 bushels an acre, with dryland acreage producing at almost the same rate as irrigated acres. The state’s record average yield was 185 bushels set in 2014.

August 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host five workshops designed to deliver food science, economic and business expertise to producers.

April 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-business, Agricultural Economics

GREENWOOD, Miss. -- Farmers can learn a variety of useful information about tomatoes and cucumbers during a May 19 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day.

Hosted at Levee Run Farm in Greenwood, the event will cover composting and trellising these crops, as well as ways to control insects and disease. Attendees also will learn about the family farm’s vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, high tunnels and pastured poultry.

February 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University agricultural economist, who has spent his career helping farmers develop management plans, recently earned a lifetime achievement award from his professional organization.

Lawrence Falconer received the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization's highest award for significant and enduring contributions to the agricultural economics profession, at its annual meeting in Mobile on Feb. 7.

January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics, Livestock

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi livestock producers have a new resource for research-based information to help them manage their businesses.

Josh Maples has joined the faculty of the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics as an assistant professor with Extension responsibilities in livestock marketing and agribusiness. Maples, a native of Alabama, received his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from MSU and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Chicks and Forest
December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry remains Mississippi's top agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

Forestry comes in a distant second with total farm-gate value of $1.4 billion, according to 2016 estimates.

Mississippi State University Extension Service economists just released their estimates for the state's agricultural commodity values in 2016. The top commodities remain poultry and forestry. Soybeans remain in the third spot, dropping 1.7 percent to just over $1 billion.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Farming, Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A farm crisis may have silently begun in the United States, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service concluded after careful consideration of commodity prices and farm costs.

"2013 was the last year of relatively high commodity prices. At that same time, during the run-up of commodity prices from the mid-2000s to 2013, input costs went up," said Bryon Parman, Extension agricultural economist. "Now, commodity prices have come down, but input costs have not come down nearly as fast."

August 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A national and international expert on agricultural risk management and crop insurance has been named head of Mississippi State’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

-More-

Mississippi State University plant and soil sciences associate professor Guihong Bi, right, shows tomatoes being grown at a Shandong Shouguang Vegetable Industry Group greenhouse to MSU Extension agents, from left, Emily Carter, Lanette Crocker and Lisa Stewart on June 20, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Nathan Gregory)
June 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics

BEIJING, China -- Expanding Mississippi agriculture requires getting to know potential markets, and a group of Mississippi State University Extension agents is seeing one of the largest in the world firsthand.

June 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Agricultural Economics

GOODMAN, Miss. -- Farmers and producers can learn about the relationship between risk management and insurance during a July 17 field day at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.

Participants also will receive training in legal and contractual issues. The National Center for Appropriate Technology Gulf States Office and the University of Mississippi Transactional Law Clinic will team up to deliver these sessions.

Soybeans remain Mississippi's largest crop with 2.3 million acres expected, according to a March 31 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (MSU Ag Communications file photo/Kevin Hudson)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Current crop prices do not clearly favor any one specific commodity, leaving growers to rely on budgets, risk management and crop rotations to guide their 2015 planting decisions.

Mississippi’s grain sorghum fields experienced a new insect pest in 2014 that could have caused significant yield losses to a large percentage of the crop.

Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Extension specialists and agents acted quickly to alert growers of the new threat, heading off almost certain yield losses.

February 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University Extension Service agricultural economists will hold a series of workshops related to the Agricultural Act of 2014 in February.

“Farm Bill Summary, Analysis and Decision Aids” will address six topics related to the new farm bill. Workshops will cover the fine points of the legislation and how the state’s crop producers will be affected. Topics include agricultural risk coverage, price-loss coverage, supplemental coverage option, stacked-income protection plan, farm bill analysis and decision aids.

Mississippi 2014 Estimated Value of Ag Production
December 19, 2014 - Filed Under: Catfish, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Agricultural Economics, Forages, Beef, Poultry, Swine, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite low prices for many commodities, the overall projected totals for Mississippi’s crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year and essentially match the record set in 2013.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014’s agricultural production values, excluding government payments, is over $7.7 billion.

On Nov. 6, 2014, Austin Edwards, a Mississippi State University senior graphic design major from Gulfport, explains his concept in class for a new brand image for Earp Farms in Houlka. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
November 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Community, Family, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Jamie Earp operates a successful sweet potato farm in Chickasaw County, but he chose to work with a graphic design class at Mississippi State University to develop a new brand image.

Fifteen graphic art students in Suzanne Powney’s advanced print production class got to work with an actual client as they learned their craft. They completed the service-learning project with Earp.

Wheat acreage is expected to be down this year, but about half of the state's expected crop had been planted by early November. Blake Garrard was planting wheat Nov. 4, 2014, at the Mississippi State University Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
November 7, 2014 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Excellent summer crop harvests in recent years is partly responsible for a significant decrease in the amount of wheat being planted in the state this fall.

Official estimates are not yet available, but Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said he expects state farmers to plant less than 150,000 acres of wheat in 2014. Wheat planted in the fall is harvested early the following summer.

Krysta Harden
October 3, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics

TUNICA -- The nation’s farmers and agricultural landowners have some important decisions to make in the next six months.

Krysta Harden, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, met with farmers and others at the Tunica Museum on Sept. 29 to answer questions about programs available in the new farm bill.

While the delay in passage of the farm bill created some deadline challenges, Harden said USDA is working with the Extension Service in each state to help farmers and landowners understand the process, which is managed through the Farm Service Agency.

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