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Crop Report

Rows of young soybean plants sticking a foot above ground.
July 30, 2019 - Filed Under: Crops, Soybeans, Farming

The process of planting this year’s soybean crop in Mississippi has been anything but normal.

The only consistent variable has been rain, and a lot of it -- from an unusually wet winter and spring to the stormwater the state received from Hurricane Barry. Growers have done their best to plant in tight windows of time when both the clouds and the ground were dry. A long, stop-start planting season has been the result.

A small, white sign on top of a silver stake in the foreground tells what kind of cotton plants are behind it. In the background are rows of cotton plants with green leaves but not yet containing cotton blooms.
July 12, 2019 - Filed Under: Cotton

All of Mississippi’s 2019 cotton crop has emerged, but it’s off to a slow start.

Of approximately 700,000 acres of cotton planted statewide this year, 57% is rated fair or worse by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as of July 8.

Four large, ripe watermelons lie among vines in the field.
June 21, 2019 - Filed Under: Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

Some Mississippi watermelon producers lost crops or got a late start because of wet spring weather. But consumers should find the sweet, summer treats on shelves in time for the July 4 holiday.

Rows of young rice plants sticking several inches above ground.
June 10, 2019 - Filed Under: Crops, Rice, Farming

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- The third week of March is usually the beginning of rice planting season in Mississippi, but fields were not dry enough to hold tractors until May in most locations.

Many growers were still scrambling to get rice in the ground by early June due to unusually high rain amounts in the first quarter of 2019. While more than 90 percent of the crop had been planted as of June 3, only 74 percent had emerged, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is well behind the five-year average of 92 percent emerged by this date.

Two men facing each other in conversation and standing beside a tractor and equipment with a clear, blue sky overhead.
May 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn

Corn producers rushed to finish planting -- or replanting -- as much as sunny weather has allowed so far in May.

Rows of live green Christmas trees on the left and tree with a pre-printed tag close-up on the right.
November 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Christmas Trees

Mississippians looking for locally grown Christmas trees have several varieties to choose from but should be prepared to shop early for the best selection.

John Kushla, a Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist and research professor who specializes in agroforestry and Christmas trees, said there are several ways to test for freshness when choosing the perfect tree at a tree farm.

A man in a jacket and baseball cap kneels down to touch small, grass-like plants that cover a field.
November 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat

Dry fall weather in recent years delayed wheat planting and reduced acreage significantly, but rains in 2018 are creating a different problem for wheat producers.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said wet soils have delayed fall harvest in some areas. Harvest of other crops is the foremost priority before effort and acreage are devoted to wheat.

Man leans over a 5-gallon bucket placed under a large mechanical unit inside a building.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Nuts, Fruit and Nut Diseases

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s pecan yields will be down from last year, but the future looks promising.

Mississippi Pecan Growers Association President Max Draughn of Raymond explained that pecan yields alternate from year to year.

A clump of light-tan peanuts hang on their freshly dug roots just above ground.
October 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Peanuts

An application of peanut fungicide costs $15-20 per acre, so growers are relieved when they catch a year like 2018 when disease pressure is low.

While statewide peanut acreage is down significantly from last year -- about 25,000 acres compared with 42,000 in 2017 -- the crop benefited from good growing conditions, with average yields of 2 tons per acre.

Two large, orange pumpkins grow on the vine in the foreground, with others visible in the background.
October 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Pumpkins

Summer weather allowed Mississippi pumpkin growers to have a good harvest, but there still are not enough pumpkins grown in the state to meet fall demand for this colorful crop.

A covered trailer in a field with six workers sorting sweet potatoes into large, wooden crates along the trailer’s edges.
October 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

Mississippi sweet potato fields that missed needed rains in June and July are experiencing favorable harvest conditions in October.

Jamie Earp, president of the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council, said yields are “fair, at best” at the halfway point in the 2018 harvest season.

Cotton with sprouting plants lies on muddy ground.
October 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans

Most of Mississippi’s corn and rice crops had been harvested when prolonged, late-September rains soaked much of the state, but the wet weather could not have come at a worse time for soybeans and cotton.

Hundreds of reddish-brown heads of grain sorghum rise above green stalks in a field.
September 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Grains, Insects-Crop Pests

Grain sorghum has never been a major agricultural commodity in Mississippi, but it has seen better days: For two years in a row, acreage of the crop has been less than one-tenth of its annual average.

One red and white cow faces the camera while standing in a pasture green with grass and trees.
September 21, 2018 - Filed Under: Livestock, Beef

Mississippi State University experts see a positive outlook for the state’s beef cattle industry, with prices at profitable levels and herd numbers up.

Free-standing blooms in red, orange, yellow and pink fill the frame against a background of green leaves.
September 14, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Commercial Horticulture

What is sometimes called the green industry includes landscape services and greenhouse and nursery production, a wide-ranging, growing agricultural sector worth more than $1 billion to the state.

A golden ear of corn with the husks pulled back is attached to a dried stalk in a cornfield.
September 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn

Tropical Storm Gordon interrupted harvest across Mississippi, but the storm left most of its wind along the coast and does not seem to have damaged the state’s corn crop.

This forest has hundreds of tall, thin pine trees with light-gray bark and green clumps of needles.
August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: 4-H Forestry, Forest Management, Timber Harvest

Housing start fluctuations and an abundance of timber are limiting the ceiling on stumpage prices in Mississippi now, but expect the market to improve when sawmills begin stocking up for winter.

A red baler hitched to the back of an orange tractor drops a new, round bale of hay into a field.
August 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests

Forage growers in Mississippi are trying to keep insects from making meals out of their hayfields and compromising their stockpiles of winter feed.

Very large field of green rice plants bordered by a dirt path on the near side and trees on the far side.
August 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi growers will produce about 20 percent more rice this year, mostly thanks to additional acres planted over 2017’s total.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early forecasts predict national yields near last year’s 7,400 pounds per acre.

“National acreage is up about 20 percent. In Mississippi, the increase is slightly more at 23 percent,” Falconer said. “It helped that, at planting time, prices were slightly better than the previous year.”

A hat rests on the ground next to a man kneeling down to examine grass.
August 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Sod production is a year-round process for Mississippi producers, and demand is up for this valuable commodity.

Jay McCurdy, turf specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state’s producers are having a good year with this grass crop.

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