News Filed Under Cotton
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton across Mississippi is faring better than most of the other row crops, but it is struggling here and nationwide because of heat and drought.
Tom Barber, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton yields will be down and quality will be lower than normal this year.
“About 32 percent of our crop is in the poor to very poor category because of the droughty conditions,” Barber said.
Much of the state's cotton is shorter than usual, which typically limits yield potential.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In 1946, Harris Barnes Jr. began taking snapshots of his first child, Harris III. Sixty years and three more children later, the Clarksdale resident has a photojournalism legacy that includes three books and hundreds of articles and photos in a variety of farm publications.
Barnes' first book, “Cotton: A 50 Year Pictorial History,” was published in 2002. “The Beauty of Southern Agriculture” followed in 2004, and his latest, “Good Old Days on the Cotton Farm: A History,” is set for release in September.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hot temperatures in April excited cotton growers with the prospect of an early crop, but the return of cool, wet conditions delayed growth and later plantings.
Peggy Thaxton, associate professor at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said her research plots were not planted until mid-May.
By Robert Wells
STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University is using genetically modified plants in its cotton breeding program to create better cotton varieties for producers.
“We hope something great will come out of this to help the farmers,” said Peggy Thaxton, a cotton breeder at MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Boll Weevil Eradication Program and worm-controlling varieties have allowed tarnished plant bugs to skip to the top spot as cotton's No. 1 pest.
Once growers removed boll weevils from their lists of pests, they began planting transgenic Bt cotton to control tobacco budworms and cotton bollworms. Producers reduced sprays for those insects, and this allowed tarnished plant bug numbers to grow.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton farmers could explain Murphy's Law by describing their 2005 growing season, but despite everything going wrong that could have, they managed to produce above-average yields.
Mississippi's total cotton crop has a projected value of $697 million. The total production forecast is 2.1 million bales of cotton. With this crop value, cotton maintains its place as the state's most significant row crop and its third largest agricultural commodity. Mississippi's top two crops are poultry then forestry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers, consultants and distributors can get the latest in production recommendations from top agricultural specialists, economists and researchers Nov. 29-30 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 22nd annual Cotton Short Course.
Cotton is one of the mid-South’s most important industries and keeps hundreds of millions of dollars turning over in the region’s economy. Even after record-producing years, growers need the most current recommendations for planting and managing next year’s crop.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pace Seed Laboratory was one of about 12 buildings damaged when a tornado hit the Mississippi State University campus Sept. 25.
The building, which lost about half of its roof, houses the Life Sciences and Biotechnology Institute and the university’s mini-gin. The section of the roof above the gin was completely blown away by the tornado.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The heat and humidity of August took its toll on cotton, and producers are ready for some relief both for themselves and their crop.
Producers will begin harvesting the bulk of Mississippi's cotton in late September. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a state average of 928 pounds an acre, down from last year's record high of 1,024 pounds. State production is forecast at 2.30 million bales, down 2 percent from the previous year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most cotton in the state looked "pretty good" in late June, but areas in the north Delta have received very little rain since April.
Tom Barber, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said some of the best cotton in the state is in the south Delta, while producers in the north Delta are having to irrigate heavily.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- There's a balance between class work and on-the-job experience in Mississippi State University's gin management and technology program.
The four-year program, called GMT for short, is offered through MSU's Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department and prepares students to operate and manage modern state-of-the-art cotton ginning facilities.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian soybean rust did not cause the dramatic decline in acreage it could have, but its threat may have inspired a 13 percent increase in prospective cotton acreage.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual prospective plantings report March 31, and Mississippi producers indicated they will decrease soybean acreage 4 percent to 1.6 million acres and increase cotton to 1.25 million acres.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Superior varieties, few pests and cooperative weather helped the 2004 cotton crop exceed last year's record-setting yields.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the 2004 state average yield to be 1,000 pounds of lint per acre, up from 932 pounds per acre in 2003. Mississippi producers planted 1.1 million acres of cotton in 2004 and harvested 1.09 million acres.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agricultural producers from across the region will descend on Cleveland Jan. 18 and 19 for the most recent information on soybean rust, international cotton trade issues and other crop concerns during the 32nd annual Delta Ag Expo.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers and consultants can get the latest in production recommendations from top agricultural specialists, economists and researchers Dec. 8-9 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service's 21st annual Cotton Short Course.
Cotton is one of the mid-South's most important industries and keeps hundreds of millions of dollars turning over in the region's economy. Even after record-producing years, growers need the most current recommendations for planting and managing next year's crop.
cMISSISSIPPI STATE -- After a season of unprecedented weather challenges, the biggest uncertainty remaining for Mississippi's cotton growers is whether or not they will top last year's record yields.
2003 went down in the record books with yields averaging 932 pounds per acre. 2004 will go down in the record books for the wettest June and coldest first week in August. Then growers faced a Category IV hurricane as it bore down on the state on the eve of the harvest season. While some fields took a hit from Hurricane Ivan, the bulk of the state's crop was spared.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sometimes good research just backs up what farmers already suspected.
Nine years of research at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville revealed that using the tillage practice known as subsoiling in combination with irrigation does not improve cotton yields enough to cover the expense of these practices.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The cruel irony of the beautiful fall-like weather Mississippians have enjoyed in August is that it's hurting the state's cotton crop.
Cotton needs warm weather, measured as at least 2,150 accumulated heat units, to mature. Tom Barber, Mississippi State University Extension Service cotton specialist, said cotton typically accumulates 20 heat units a day in August. By mid-August this year at Stoneville, cotton had not accumulated 20 heat units in any one day, with most days coming in at six to 11 units.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The new Extension cotton specialist at Mississippi State University is a weed scientist who is no stranger to MSU or agronomic crops.
Before Tom Barber was named the MSU Extension Service cotton specialist on July 1, he spent three and a half years at MSU working with cotton and corn. Most recently, he was responsible for managing 170 acres of remote sensing, site-specific precision agriculture and weed control field and plot research.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some of the state's cotton crop suffered significantly from recent rains, while for other fields it was an easy hurdle to overcome.
In the Delta, one of the least affected areas, some cotton is behind in development but should catch up by the time it reaches maturity.