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Crop Report from 2009

August 14, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Though cool temperatures and excess rain kept many Mississippi row crops from getting a good start this spring, they actually helped sod production.

Extra water allows many growers to cut back on irrigation. Once the sod establishes, there is not much else for growers to do, other than mow at regular intervals and maintain their market base.

August 21, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s small cotton crop was looking good by late August, but with prices below break-even levels, producers will hold their breath until harvests are in.

John Michael Riley, Extension agricultural economist, said cotton harvest cash prices in Mississippi in mid-August were about 53-55 cents a pound. MSU crop budget estimators indicate the “average Mississippi producer” needs prices above 62 cents a pound to be in the black in 2009.

August 28, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Though heavy rains this spring delayed some of the state's rice planting, warm, sunny days in June and July helped the crop along, and by late Aug., Mississippi farmers were pleased with the results.

Optimal planting for rice is before May 1, and 75 percent of the state’s crop made it in by that date. The remainder was late because of excessive rains during the first few weeks of May.

September 4, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The weak economy and high costs of production have given poultry companies a strong incentive to curtail production in spite of increased prices.

Feed accounts for about 70 percent of the cost of broiler production. As feed prices have stayed high, production has lowered, reflecting a loss in revenue for the state’s growers.

““Compared to last year, fuel costs are down, but the general cost of doing business is making tight margins even tighter,” said Michael Kidd, head of Mississippi State University’s poultry science department.

September 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s timber owners are keeping a close watch on the national housing market with hopes that the worst economic times are behind them.

“Recovery in the U.S. housing market is key to Mississippi’s sawtimber markets, and it appears that the beginnings of a recovery are emerging,” said James Henderson, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Pending home sales and single-family construction have increased most months in 2009.”

September 18, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Heavy rains, limited sunshine and high humidity in mid-September are threatening to damage the state’s major row crops unless dry weather returns soon to allow harvest to finish.

Soybeans are most at risk now because the bulk of the state’s crop was ready or almost ready for harvest when wet weather rolled into the state mid month.

Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop is only about 25 percent harvested.

September 25, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Nearly 80 percent of the state’s corn crop is safely in storage, and the remaining acres are ready for harvest but stuck in wet fields getting rain-drenched for days.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the corn harvest is largely complete in the southern part of the state, including the south Delta. However, the corn in the northern areas of the state was planted later and most remains in the fields.

October 2, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Harvest season rains have robbed soybean growers of strong yields and bean quality, reducing profits in an already challenging year.

“We were harvesting a beautiful crop with outstanding yields before the rains came the last two weeks of September,” said Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Now that farmers are finally back in fields, we are seeing average yield losses of 5 percent to 10 percent.”

In addition to the yield losses, damage estimates average between 5 percent and 20 percent.

October 9, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

These pumpkins found at J&A Farms and Nursery in Flora are among the few Mississippi pumpkins to have been harvested early or to have survived the heavy September and October rains. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 16, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Pumpkins

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Heavy rains in Mississippi and nationwide have decreased the number of pumpkins available for harvest, but not the quality of the pumpkins already pulled from the fields.

Pumpkins are popular in the fall for decorating and baking, but they are not a major crop for Mississippi, which only has a few commercial growers.

Non-stop rains since harvest began have cost Mississippi producers an estimated $371 million. These cotton plants stand wasting in a rain-saturated field on Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (Photo by Scott Corey)
October 23, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Near-constant rains during harvest-time cost Mississippi farmers an estimated $371 million in losses, and producers with crop insurance may be the only ones able to salvage much more from the fields this year.

Many pecan producers, such as Peeples Pecan Orchard in Starkville, are waiting for rains to let up enough for them to harvest in earnest. Mississippi pecan growers are anticipating a better than average crop of more than 2 million pounds. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pecans are one Mississippi crop not taking a beating from excessive fall rains, but until the pecans are out of the orchard, the crop is not out of the woods.

Pecan growers are trying to harvest a better-than-average crop and take advantage of good early-season prices. Experts anticipate a more than 2-million-pound pecan harvest in the state. The national crop is expected to be about 300 million pounds, up 100 million pounds from last year.

Trees at the Swedenburg Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus appear to be in good shape for the 2009 holiday season. Many Mississippi growers expect sales to increase because of travel cutbacks and plans to stay home. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Christmas tree growers will probably see their sales increase again this year as more people stay home to celebrate the holidays.

Current economic problems have forced many people to tighten their budgets, resulting in less travel. Families who stay home still want a festive celebration, and natural Christmas trees offer a traditional touch.


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