Healthy Soils and Water
Mississippi’s streams and waterways contribute greatly to the quality of life in our state. The waterscape resources below will help you to better understand the proper care and management of your water resources.
Mississippi growers and those across the Midwest and mid-South still have time to take advantage of two opportunities to improve soil health and water quality while protecting profitability on their farms.
Despite several recognized benefits of growing winter cover crops, this conservation system has limited acceptance, something Mississippi State University researchers are trying to change by identifying and better managing risks.
Among the significant benefits of planting a green crop on farmland otherwise exposed to winter elements are improved soil health, water quality and erosion control. But cover crops grow into the optimal spring planting times for summer crops. This complicates their use and can reduce productivity of the summer crop.
For the last several years, MSU research has addressed various aspects of this issue, primarily focusing on cover crop management and cover crop species.
Sledge Taylor is no stranger to cover crops —he first planted vetch on 100 acres of his Panola County farmland in 1979—but he has ramped up his cover crop usage and added other sustainable agricultural practices over the past 15 years.
Brian Andrus irrigated exactly zero times on his Sunflower County farm in 2021. He didn’t even turn on his well.