Feature Story from 2007
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Acreage changes, strong yields and high prices combined to push Mississippi agriculture's value of production to a record $5.9 billion in 2007.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High production cost and better marketing opportunities for grain crops have ended cotton's perennial run in the top three of Mississippi's agricultural commodities.
Cotton's value in 2007 is almost $415 million, which places the commodity behind soybeans ($511 million) and corn ($438 million) in the row-crop category. It is fifth in the overall ranking of agricultural commodities, according to figures released by John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The combined influences of a poor housing market and lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina kept the timber industry down in Mississippi, with the estimated value of forestry falling more than 8 percent to $1.1 billion in 2007.
In 2005, the year Katrina hit, the state posted a record-high forestry value of $1.4 billion. That value dropped to $1.2 billion in 2006 before falling further the next year. Despite the declines, timber retains its place as Mississippi's No. 2 agricultural commodity, behind poultry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans have snatched the No. 3 spot among the state's top agricultural commodities from cotton, long-heralded among the row crops as king in Mississippi.
Poultry remained in first place among all agricultural commodities with a value of $2.3 billion, and forestry was second at $1.9 billion.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn, wheat and grain sorghum in Mississippi posted triple-digit increases in 2007, and corn yielded near a record high as it topped cotton to reach an estimated value of $438 million.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Poultry is expanding its lead as Mississippi's No. 1 agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.3 billion in 2007.
John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, is predicting a 20 percent increase in the state's poultry value over 2006. Forestry, the state's second-biggest agricultural commodity, decreased 8 percent to $1.1 billion.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Jan. 11 conference will help farmers, landowners, accountants and other consultants learn about current policy issues that can impact revenue and wealth management for today’s farmers and future generations.
The Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy at Mississippi State University will present an Agriculture Wealth Management, Accounting and Taxation Conference in the Capps Center at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Consumers are concerned with meat quality at the point of purchase and until use, but those bringing the meat to market must manage numerous factors before it reaches the customer.
“My research is on improving meat quality through pre-harvest intervention,” said Ty Schmidt, a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “This includes animal management, nutrition, nutritional manipulation, health, animal welfare and stress physiology. Each of these factors impacts meat quality and food safety.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Peanuts growers will have the opportunity to learn more about their industry from a range of experts during a daylong event in January.
The Mississippi Peanut Growers’ Association meeting and peanut short course is Jan. 22 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Hattiesburg. Registration is free, but preregistration is requested by Jan. 15. The Extension Service is hosting the event, and lunch will be provided.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- World demand for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium has driven the price of these fertilizers past record levels, and Mississippi producers are trying to make 2008 crop decisions in light of steadily rising costs.
Improved market prices promoted record corn acreage in 2007. Corn acreage in Mississippi went from 340,000 in 2006 to 960,000 in 2007. However, corn generally requires more fertilizer inputs than the other major row crops.