2009 Mississippi Crop Damage
This Web page was developed in response to the significant crop damage that has occurred throughout the state recently because of heavy rain. Its purpose is to help monitor the situation, provide a location for producers and others to find information, and provide a central location for producers to ask questions and receive feedback. (Please send or call with questions and suggestions. Telephone numbers and e-mail addresses have been provided.)
Links to other Web sites that may be helpful to Mississippi producers in dealing with these difficult situations will be added on an ongoing basis. This site will be a work in progress, so please help make it more useful.
Note: The Crop/Economic Data and the Situation Statements are not calculated and/or written on the same day. Therefore, some discrepancies may exist.
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, Jackson, MS
Source: Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics. Updated 12/4/09
John Michael Riley, (662) 325-7986, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
John D. Anderson, (662) 325-1788, email: email@example.com.
Extension Soybean Agronomist Trey Koger says the USDA/FSA has started its disaster assessment process, but that can't be finalized until the crop is harvested. Leighton Spann, from the Farmweek Television show, talks with Koger. (10-23-09)
The crop progress report lists 82 percent harvested by the week ending November 8th. Approximately 18 percent of the state's crop was harvested in one week. This is extraordinary considering how wet and messy fields were and, in a lot of places, still are. Of the 18 percent harvested last week, yields and quality were excellent for some (40 to 65 bu/A and < 10% damage) and unfortunately very bad for others (11 to >90 percent damage). It will some time to harvest the remaining 18 percent of the states crop as a decision has to be made whether or not to harvest depending on insurance requirements, the ability to sell them, and determining whether a salvage buyer will purchase them if an elevator will not. The weather looks good again this week. Growers should be close to harvesting the acres that are harvestable. A large percentage of this remaining crop will in all likelihood not be harvested due to the inability to find a buyer of very poor quality soybean. (11-09-09)
See previous statements >>
Dr. Trey Koger
MSU agricultural economists calculate Mississippi farmers are suffering an estimated $485 million value loss in 2009. Cotton is expected to lose 48 percent of its potential value and soybeans about 44 percent of their value, with an overall row crops loss of about 30 percent of the potential value.
Cotton harvest progressed from 14 percent the first week of November to 94 percent by November 22. Harvest should have been wrapping up over the past few weeks; however, that’s when the biggest gains were made.
Cotton yields range widely depending on location, rainfall amounts, and variety. Some fields are yielding as low as 200 pounds an acre to some as high as 1,400 pounds.
Damage seems to be less as farther north in the Delta; however, in the southern Delta, cotton was planted a earlier and rainfall appeared to be more prevalent.
Hard lock and boll rot problems are responsible for much of the reduced yields. In addition to reduced yields, problems with fiber quality have also been observed. Reports of high micronaire as well as poor color grades have been common. Some producers are also receiving prep discounts which are less common than other fiber quality discounts. Prep discounts are for smoothness or roughness of the cotton fiber. Harvesting, handling, and ginning can all affect the amount of preparation discount that is received.
See previous statements >>
Dr. Darrin Dodds
Rice is over 95 percent harvested. With another week of favorable weather, rice harvesting will essentially be over. Yields will be down from last year by approximately 5 to10 percent. Quality will be down by approximately 5 to 10 percent as well. (11-11-09)
See previous statements >>
Dr. Nathan Buehring
Things are looking a little better for peanuts. Currently, the southern end of the state is at 95 percent dug and 70 percent combined. The northern part of the state had a better week last week as well. Approximately 40 percent have been dug and 20 percent combined. We are estimating that about 200 acres have been abandoned at this point and others are deteriorating rapidly. At this time it appears that we will have at least a 30-40 percent yield reduction this season. Yields are ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds per acre and will probably average around 3,000 pounds. Grades have been extremely high. (11-12-09)
Sweetpotato harvest is wrapping up for 2009 although 50 percent of the crop remains in the field. Two months of rain caused an above average crop to rot in the field. Most growers have cleaned and returned their equipment to storage sheds. Drying soils now support harvest implements of other crops, but sweetpotatoes are another story. Soils are still too wet for efficient harvesting of the underground crop. Every remaining field has huge numbers of rotten roots that make efforts futile. Growers realize the 2009 crop is a major disaster and are now making plans to locate seed stock for next year. Sweetpotatoes are vegetatively propagated from roots produced the year before and growers were not able to harvest sufficient seed for 2010. Growers are searching for seed stock from North Carolina and Louisiana, but supplies are very limited. Another negative being faced is lending freezes. Lending agencies are concerned with cash flow of this high-input, high-value crop. If producers cannot show lenders a profitable farm plan for 2010, 15–20 percent of Mississippi’s sweetpotato producers may be lost. While there are many hardships, a limited supply of high quality sweetpotatoes are currently for sale. This small crop will demand a premium price and should be depleted by Christmas. (11-10-09)
Dr. Bill Burdine
Links to other areas of interest:
Pending Federal Disaster Assistance Legislation