News Filed Under Agricultural Economics
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With all eyes focused on the Mississippi River’s epic floodwaters, catfish producers contemplate its potential impact on their already stressed industry.
Jimmy Avery, aquaculture leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said if the river crests as high as predicted, several catfish farms in the south Delta, particularly those in Sharkey, Issaquena and Yazoo counties may be affected.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers were gambling along the Mississippi River long before casinos were built, but as they watch water flood over their fields, all bets are off.
The river is predicted to crest in Vicksburg around May 20 at 57.5 feet, which is 14.5 feet above flood stage and 6 feet above the previous record.
Robert Martin has been watching the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries ebb and flow past Delta fields for 40 years. He is the Sharkey and Issaquena county director for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes of April 27 took a toll on Mississippi’s agriculture, with timber, the state’s No. 2 most valuable agricultural commodity, taking the biggest hit.
Massive storms have swept the state all month, bringing hail, torrential rains and tornadoes. Wednesday was the worst day, with the majority of the damage scattered across the northern part of the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi soybean farmers have started planting in spite of unpredictable spring weather that has brought strong wind and heavy rains to some areas while leaving other regions dry.
About 10 percent to 20 percent of the soybean crop is planted.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With the excitement of drivers at a NASCAR start, farmers are ready to begin the 2011 growing season.
The first fields out of the starting gate are corn fields.
Erick Larson, small grains specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said growers were approaching the halfway point in planting this year’s corn crop by the end of March. They should complete planting by the end of April.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A drier-than-normal winter has put this year’s winter wheat crop in good shape as it heads into the heavy growth stages of spring.
Erick Larson, grain agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state has about 300,000 acres of wheat. This figure is up from the meager 125,000 acres harvested in 2010, but down from the recent high of 520,000 acres planted in 2008.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s agricultural economics department head was recently honored for his significant contributions to his field.
Steve Turner received the 2011 Southern Agricultural Economics Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s annual meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Turner was chosen for the award because he has contributed to Southern agricultural economics for the past 25 years through teaching, research and public service.
By Cheree Franco
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite a bleak economy, career outlooks are promising for agricultural students.
Ag business is big business in the state of Mississippi and according to experts, it’s only getting bigger. Increased diversity and enrollment numbers at Mississippi State’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine indicate that young adults recognize this potential and are thinking far beyond the family farm.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s poultry industry remains the state’s top agricultural commodity by responding to export market changes and meeting the needs of consumers.
Poultry ended the year with an estimated $2.5 billion production value, an 8 percent increase from 2009. That figure includes a broiler value of $2.3 billion, eggs at $178 million and chickens at $5 million.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The estimate for this year’s forestry year-end harvest value is better than last year’s dismal showing, and if the forecasted improvement in the overall economy is accurate, this trend could continue for the next few years.
The preliminary estimate for forestry’s overall harvest value is $1.078 billion, which is comparable to 2008’s value of $1.079 billion. The harvest value for 2009 was $864 million, the first time in 16 years the value dipped below the billion-dollar mark.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Soybeans remained the state’s most valuable row crop in 2010, bringing an estimated $821 million to growers, a 16 percent increase over the previous year.
The increase came despite a somewhat late start and a very hot, dry summer. The Mississippi Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 1.95 million acres of soybeans were harvested, yielding a state average of 39 bushels per acre. The average market year price is estimated to be $11.45 a bushel.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers are finding out not only what a difference a year makes, but also what a difference a decade makes.
Agricultural economists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service predict a record $6.9 billion production value for the state’s farm enterprises. The figure represents a 19 percent increase, or $1.09 billion, from 2009’s disastrous bottom line. After adjusting for inflation of agricultural prices, it is 45 percent, or $1.55 billion, better than in the year 2000. The previous record of $6.4 billion was set in 2005.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Dec. 9 workshop at Mississippi State University will delve into the increasingly important world of risk management in agriculture.
The event is free to those who preregister and $20 per person for those who register at the door. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in MSU’s Bost Conference Center and is being coordinated by John Michael Riley, MSU Extension Service agricultural economist.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s specialty businesses are finding a quick and easy virtual connection to consumers through a newly expanded computer mapping tool.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Intense summer heat did a number on the state’s major row crops, and the crops that did best were those planted early and irrigated.
Cotton and soybeans appear to have come through the year in the best shape, but corn and rice look better than expected.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi’s horticulture hard, but the current economic conditions could be even more devastating to this important green industry.
Mengmeng Gu, assistant professor of ornamental horticulture for Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said nurseries and greenhouse businesses are experiencing different challenges.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A passion for the environment is drawing students to a recently redesigned economics-based degree program at Mississippi State University.
The Environmental Economics and Management degree combines courses in environmental economics, natural resource economics, environmental policy, ecology and environmental law. The EEM major was formerly an environmental and resource economics concentration under the umbrella degree Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Today’s economy means people are eating out and purchasing meat products less often, but cattle and hog producers have learned to make the most of tough times.
Livestock producers reduce their cattle herd sizes and hog numbers to reduce the amount of meat on the market and bolster the product prices, which remain at the mercy of the economy.
John Michael Riley, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agricultural economist, said producers work hard to keep their product affordable when money is tight.
STONEVILLE – Mississippi’s 2010 rice crop is ahead of schedule and looking good, even after strong storms swept through the state in April.
Nathan Buehring, rice specialist at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center, said growers had about 75 percent of the crop planted by the end of April. In the last two years, the majority of the planting took place well into May.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two one-day workshops will provide the tools for farmers and landowners to start and manage a natural resource enterprise.
Fee fishing, fee hunting, agritourism, and wildlife watching are examples of enterprises based on the natural resources commonly found on Mississippi’s private lands.