Mississippi’s modern commercial rice production began in 1948 when Rex Kimbrell produced about 300 acres just south of Greenville in Washington County. By 1954, about 77,000 acres were harvested. After the 1954 crop, the U.S. government instituted acreage controls, and only 52,000 acres were harvested in 1955. Rice culture in the Mississippi Delta was limited by this government program, not producer interest. After the acreage control program was eliminated in 1973, the harvested acreage increased to 108,000 acres in 1974. In the following years, rice production increased rapidly, reaching a high of 335,000 harvested acres and 14.4 million hundredweight (cwt) in 1981.
Rice production in Mississippi has been almost totally limited to the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, with very little production outside this area. Historically, the central-Delta counties of Bolivar, Sunflower, and Washington have been the leading rice-producing counties. In recent years, Tunica County has increased rice acreage and annually ranks in the top three counties for rice production in Mississippi.
The table below shows United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency certified rice acres planted by county in Mississippi, 2009-2014.
“Snow” appearing on the sides of highways and bare ground visible for miles is a sure indication that row crop harvest in Mississippi is well underway. As of early October, the majority of the 2022 crop was already harvested, although much work remains for certain crops.
Mississippi rice producers and crop specialists are optimistic about the state’s 2022 harvest despite a high population of rice stink bugs that were difficult to treat.
A producer with 40 years’ experience growing high-quality rice using environmentally sustainable practices has been named Mississippi’s 2022 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. Mike Wagner grows top-quality rice while preserving the soil and environment on his Two Brooks Rice farm in Tallahatchie and Leflore counties. He also grows non-genetically modified soybeans.
STONEVILLE, Miss. – Hunter Bowman has been named rice specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than half of the 4.29 million total acres of row crops expected to be planted this year in Mississippi are soybean fields, but the growth in cotton acreage may be the most significant increase over 2021.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released its annual prospective plantings report March 31. Surveys are conducted with farm operators nationwide during the first two weeks of March to collect data on planting intentions for the upcoming season.
On paper, Mike Wagner seems like an ordinary, successful Mississippi producer, but, in person, he defies expectations.
Following its 2020 cancellation, the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Row Crop Short Course hosted 675 people from Mississippi and neighboring states.
Four-generation farm family trusts MSU Extension
Four generations of Steeles have graduated from “our dear ol’ State.” While the university has certainly changed over the years, for the Steele family, one thing remains constant: they trust the land-grant institution’s research and outreach.
Delta farmer Travis Satterfield reflects on 40+ years in the fields
The price of rice hasn’t increased much since Travis Satterfield of Benoit began growing it in 1974, but nearly everything else in the world of production agriculture has changed.
Rice is one of Mississippi’s only commodities to be grown, milled, packaged, sold, and eaten right here in the state. And, for decades, the annual Rice Tasting Luncheon in Cleveland, Mississippi, has allowed local residents to show off their best rice-based dishes at Delta State University in Bolivar County, which produces more than 1.5 million hundredweight of rice annually.