News Filed Under Agricultural Economics
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A date has been added to the free Mississippi Market Ready training series to help food producers learn how to sell their products directly to restaurant chefs and retail managers.
On July 19 in Biloxi, Mississippi State University Extension Service experts will discuss current food policy legislation, building relationships with restaurant managers and chefs, proper packaging and labeling, marketing strategies, pricing structures and regulatory concerns.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crop rotation benefits and market prices remain the driving forces behind farmers’ planting decisions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prospective plantings report, released March 30, forecasts 4.67 million acres planted in nine Mississippi crops, an increase of 3 percent from total acreage in 2011.
John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said farmers probably are making their decisions to plant or not to plant soybeans and corn based on rotational needs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A free Mississippi Market Ready training will be held in three locations to help food producers learn how to sell their products directly to restaurant chefs and retail managers.
Mississippi State University Extension Service experts will discuss current food policy legislation, building relationships with restaurant managers and chefs, proper packaging and labeling, marketing strategies, pricing structures and regulatory concerns.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Local products have great appeal as holiday gifts because of their uniqueness, and finding new ideas and new sources has never been easier than with the online tool Mississippi MarketMaker.
MarketMaker is a free online service that exists to connect “willing markets and quality sources of food from farm and fisheries to fork in Mississippi.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s talented cooks who want to turn their passion into a business can improve their chances of success with tips from the experts.
Anna Hood, Extension professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, has coordinated the Food as a Business conference since 1996.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tropical Storm Lee brought rain across the state Labor Day weekend with mixed results -- mostly good -- for the state’s soybean crop.
Rain that weekend ranged from a few hundredths of an inch in northwest Mississippi to as many as 10 inches in some soybean-growing areas. Whether it brought much-needed moisture to dry fields at an ideal time or halted harvest depended on when the crop was planted.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians who want the freshest blueberries and butterbeans have more options as community-supported agriculture programs increase.
Kimberly Morgan, an agricultural economist and professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippians are participating in a trend that began within the past 20 years.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – New owners of food businesses can take part in an upcoming workshop to help improve their odds of success, even during the current economic challenges.
“Food as a Business” is a day-long video conference Oct. 4 with satellite locations at Mississippi State University, Hattiesburg, Raymond, Verona and Cleveland. The $40 registration fee covers snacks during breaks, lunch and conference materials. The registration deadline is Sept. 23.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi farmers planted another large corn crop, but this year’s corn is suffering from lack of rain.
This season’s plantings are spread over a wide time window because of frequent rainfall north Mississippi. The majority of the crop in the Delta and south Mississippi was planted during late March, but plantings in northern counties were delayed well into May.
STONEVILLE -- Fields along the Mississippi River may be flooded, but the majority of the state’s rice crop is farther inland and needs either more water or time to dry after heavy rains caused other rivers to overflow.
Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said rice fields do not need to be flooded until after the plants are about 6 inches tall. Farmers often will “flush” water over the field to prompt early growth.
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.