News Filed Under Soybeans
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Increased use of biodiesel may not end the national dependence on foreign oil, but the short-term benefits to Mississippi's farm economy should give soybean growers reasons for hope.
Gregg Ibendahl, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said increased use of biodiesel should bolster soybean prices and provide farmers with a beneficial alternative to petroleum.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian soybean rust has made its first 2006 appearance in Mississippi soybean fields, but it's probably arrived too late to have much, if any, impact on the crop.
Rust was found in south Mississippi on Aug. 1, said Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist Alan Blaine.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Scattered rainfall brought relief to crops in some areas of Mississippi during late June, but drought conditions continue to grip most of the state.
“The crop statewide needs a good rain,” said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “The potential for this crop in general is still better than many may think, but fields that have not caught some of the scattered showers and are not under irrigation are just a few days away from the point of no return for reaching anywhere near normal yields.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers trying to stay ahead of the Asian soybean rust threat to their Mississippi crop have a new information resource.
Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said as of late May, the disease had not been detected in any of Mississippi or Alabama’s sentinel plots, although it has been detected in five patches of kudzu in Alabama. Those monitoring the disease have not seen it move yet to any soybeans this year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's agricultural industry is poised to minimize the second year of soybean rust after the disease overwintered in Florida and northeast Mexico.
“As of late April, we haven't seen any rust in the state this year,” said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Winter weather beat it back to where it overwintered in south Florida.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers are expected to plant the same number of acres as they did in 2000, but the outcome should be drastically different.
The year 2000 was the last time the state's farmers planted as much as 1.7 million acres of soybeans. That year, the average yield was 22 bushels. In the last three years, growers have averaged 37 to 39 bushels per acre.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It wasn't long ago that spotting the word “soy” on a food label meant a shopper had drifted into the health food section of the grocery store, but the ingredient shows up in mainstream products throughout those same stores today.
The humble soybean is grown mostly for its protein and oil. Mississippi producers plant more than 1.5 million acres of farmland to soybeans each year, and the crop is used in everything from catfish feed to biodiesel and ham.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian rust began demanding the attention of soybean growers across the South last year, but it is not the only disease producers must consider when growing the crop.
Soybeans began to receive more attention in the late 1980s when average yields finally rose above the low 20 bushels an acre mark. Mississippi State University research and support of the industry, funded in part by the Soybean Promotion Board, was largely responsible.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Before new soybean technologies arrived, soybeans were losing ground in the state, so Mississippi State University researchers looked for opportunities to improve this crop's potential.
In the 1970s and 1980s, state average soybean yields were 22 bushels an acre. Most producers kept this crop on heavy soil and grew it alone or rotated it with rice. Soybean irrigation was limited, and producers made few inputs due to marginal profits.
Today, soybeans are a viable crop in Mississippi. Last year, the state averaged a record 39 bushels an acre.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wheat farmers weighing their options for fall plantings are finding the scales tipping less and less toward double-cropping methods.
In June, Mississippi wheat growers harvested a slightly below-average yield after battling stripe rust and water-logged soils much of the growing season. Fields averaged 48 bushels per acre, five fewer than last year. The state's growers planted 110,000 acres of wheat and harvested 95,000 acres for the fifth consecutive year of declining acreage.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite the arrival of rust in the state, Mississippi's soybean crop needs only a couple of well-timed rains to finish off what could be one of the best crops.
On July 18, rust was confirmed in a sentinel plot of soybeans in George County. Mississippi State University Extension Service plant pathologist Billy Moore collected 15 leaves from this quarter-acre plot that were exhibiting vague symptoms of rust. The fungus was found on one leaf.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian soybean rust came to Zimbabwe in 1998, and researcher Clive Levy was on the front line battling the disease in commercial fields in that African nation.
Levy was in Mississippi in mid-June, searching for the disease in the state's fields with Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel. As of June 30, rust has not been found in Mississippi this year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Twenty-three sentinel plots circle the state, standing watch for the anticipated reappearance of soybean rust in Mississippi.
Soybean rust is a devastating fungal disease spread by spores. It can be carried by wind for hundreds of miles, transported on people or machinery, or spread by infected plant material. Left untreated, it completely defoliates and often kills a plant, reducing yields by as much as 80 percent. It was identified in the state Nov. 17, and already has been spotted this year in Florida and Georgia.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean growers will not be deterred by the threat of Asian rust or spring rains as they work to plant the 2005 crop as soon as possible.
Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers have been running later than last year, but not significantly off the five-year average.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian soybean rust did not cause the dramatic decline in acreage it could have, but its threat may have inspired a 13 percent increase in prospective cotton acreage.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual prospective plantings report March 31, and Mississippi producers indicated they will decrease soybean acreage 4 percent to 1.6 million acres and increase cotton to 1.25 million acres.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist with almost 20 years' experience working with the state's soybean producers has received the Mississippi Society of Agronomy's top honor.
Extension soybean specialist Alan Blaine was named the organization's Agronomist of the Year during the Feb. 15-17 Mississippi Crop College at MSU.
A native of McCool, Blaine earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's and doctorate in agronomy at Mississippi State.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agricultural producers from across the region will descend on Cleveland Jan. 18 and 19 for the most recent information on soybean rust, international cotton trade issues and other crop concerns during the 32nd annual Delta Ag Expo.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- East and east central Mississippi soybean and corn growers will gather on Dec. 16 at Mississippi State University to take part in the first production meeting since the recent discovery of soybean rust in the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agriculture officials confirmed the existence of soybean rust in Mississippi Nov. 16 after the fungus was found in one field in Adams County.
Rust was confirmed in Louisiana Nov. 10, and officials immediately increased systematic efforts to search for the soybean disease in Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce announced its finding Nov. 17. Florida also confirmed rust on Nov. 17.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean rust, a devastating fungal disease, was discovered Nov. 7 in the United States, but officials have not yet detected it in Mississippi.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Wednesday that it had confirmed Asian soybean rust in two Louisiana State University research plots near Baton Rouge. The disease was spotted Sunday and officially confirmed three days later. This is the first appearance of rust in the United States, which previously had not been found closer than Central America.