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Crop Report

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.

Green soybean plants set pods in a field.
August 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Soybeans

Mississippi’s soybean crop is in good or excellent condition, but growers are losing access to some foreign markets due to circumstances beyond their control.

A pink cotton bloom sits among green leaves.
July 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Cotton

As most cotton across Mississippi is setting bolls ahead of schedule this year, some fields look fantastic and others are struggling, depending on the weather and irrigation.

Two men in a boat on a pond draw in a large net full of active fish.
July 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Catfish

An abundance of U.S. farm-raised catfish has driven prices down and delayed independent growers from getting their fish to the processors.

Light green lettuce, dark purple eggplant and cucumbers sit on black shelves.
July 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Local Flavor

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s roadsides are seeing more farmers markets, produce stands and pickup trucks filled with fruits and vegetables.

Commercial horticultural crops, commonly called truck crops in the agricultural industry, include berries, fruits, melons, nuts, potatoes and vegetables. Last year, they combined with other horticultural crops -- flowers, sod and Christmas trees – for a total production value of $107 million, according to statistics gathered by the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Large field of mature, golden wheat with green trees on the far side.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.

Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.

A watermelon with a dark green outer shell and light green stripes rests in a field.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Watermelons, Farmers Markets, Food

TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- Before the first batch was picked on June 22, two fields at Ford Farms were covered with red and yellow watermelons. That wasn’t the case a year ago.

Any kind of melon crop at the Smith County farm is an improvement over 2017.

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