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Corn Production in Mississippi

Mississippi corn growers planted an estimated 750,000 acres of corn and produced an estimated 134 bushels per acre yield level and about 97.82 million bushels in 2010. This crop virtually ties 2008 for the second largest corn crop in Mississippi history. Mississippi corn growers produced a good crop, despite experiencing the driest season in recent history this year.

A healthy field of corn.The 2010 corn growing will be remembered as one of the hottest and definitely driest in recent history. Dry spring weather promoted corn root growth and vegetative development, providing an excellent foundation for optimal productivity. However, as the drought extended through the summer, during the crop’s reproductive stages, and temperatures escalated, this increased plant respiration rate and compounded stress, making productivity extremely dependent upon rainfall or irrigation timing.

Due to the fact that corn grown in the Delta region received only about 25 percent of normal rainfall during the entire reproductive period, even irrigated corn yields suffered. The duration of this season’s drought distinguishes 2010 from other dry seasons, such as 2007, when July Delta rainfall was 150-300 percent of normal. Thus, we produced phenomenal corn in the Delta during 2007, because the July rainfall mitigated accumulated irrigation imprecision and management decisions associated with irrigation termination. Fortunately, dryland growers in the eastern region of Mississippi did receive more rainfall during critical periods in June and July, so dryland productivity was relatively fair, despite considerable seasonal drought.

In spite of these challenges, statewide corn yields averaged about only about 8 percent lower than the record 2007 crop. Irrigated corn yields were likely about 10-15 percent lower, while dryland yields were extremely variable, but actually better than the last several years overall, particularly in the eastern part of the state.

Mississippi growers have grown about 694,000 acres of corn and produced 131 bushels per acre or 91 million bushels over the last five years. In fact, corn yields have more than doubled in the past 20 years and are increasing faster than any other crop grown in Mississippi.

Corn acreage should be sustained in Mississippi due to many significant agronomic benefits it produces in rotation systems and advantages of the regional corn market.

Corn grown in crop rotation significantly increases productivity of all crops in the long run. Reports consistently indicate 10-25 percent yield advantages for cotton or soybeans grown in rotation with corn on Mississippi farms.

Crop rotations normally improve yields because many weed, insect, nematode and disease problems build up when using the same management program every year in continuous cropping. Crop rotation systems effectively disrupt many of these cumulative effects, preventing problems and reducing input costs.

Crop rotation allows the producer to attack the predominant weed problems by altering tillage systems, changing herbicide chemistry, and disrupting weed life cycles.

Corn rotations can also improve soil physical structure by recycling more organic matter and changing from a tap-rooted crop to a fibrous root system.

Numerous other beneficial effects of rotation have been reported, including improvements in soil fertility, soil moisture, soil microbes, and phytotoxic compounds and/or growth promoting substances originating from crop residues. Growers can maintain these benefits by continuing to rotate crops on a yearly basis. A crop rotation system also spreads risk in case of unpredictable problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some management tips for hurricane-damaged corn fields?
What are some good corn hybrids for grain?
Can corn survive flooded or saturated conditions?
How does nitrogen loss occur during wet, saturated conditions?
Is starter fertilizer advantageous to corn?
What are the refuge requirements for YieldGard Bt corn?
Should I plant Bt corn?
When is the optimum time to plant corn?
How deep should I plant corn seed?
Scheduling split applications of nitrogen
How can corn be used to reduce gas prices?
What does Roundup/Touchdown injury look like?
How does Roundup "purpling" differ from P deficiency?
How much yield loss should I expect from hail damage?
When do corn borers reduce corn grain yield?
Should I be concerned about corn borers?
What is causing silvery-colored areas on the leaves?
When should irrigation of corn be terminated?
What does the "milk-line" look like?
What is the black layer and why is it important?
How can I estimate corn yield?
How can I reduce aflatoxin level during harvest?
What level of aflatoxin is harmful?
What should I do about Common rust?
Will center-pivot irrigation hurt pollination?
Why is my young corn falling down?
When should I begin irrigating corn?
Why is my young corn stunted and purple?

Publications

MSUcares Corn publications
IS864 Corn Fertilization
IS1563 Minimizing Aflatoxin in Corn
IS1547Corn Hybrid Selection
IS1548 Corn Plant Population
IS866 Corn Planting Dates
P2471 Insect Control Guide for Agronomic Crops
P475 Corn Weed Control Recommendations

Other Corn Information

Mississippi Crop Situation Newsletter

Facts About Ethanol
Delta Research and Extension Center Weather/GIS Center
Diseases of Corn
Weeds in Corn
"CornCam" - Watch a field of Iowa corn grow
National Corn Growers Association Home Page
Purdue University "Corn Growers Guidebook"
"How a Corn Plant Develops" - publication from Iowa State University
High Oil Corn Production and Marketing Guide - Ohio State University
Council for Biotechnology Information
Transgenic Crops Resource Guide-Colorado State
University of Arkansas Variety Tests
Managing Corn and Grain Sorghum Insect Pests (LSU)
AgriGold Seed
Belle Southern Hybrids
Croplan Genetics
Crows Hybrids
DEKALB and Asgrow Genetics
Dyna Gro Seed
NK Seed Company.
Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l. USA
Terral Seed Inc.