News Filed Under Cotton
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton is an expensive crop to grow, but experts warn that planting fewer seeds per acre is not the way to reduce costs.
As with most crops, cotton varieties have been modified to develop or enhance desirable traits. Depending on the technology, fees to cover the research and development can account for two-thirds of the total cost of seed, or as much as a few hundred dollars per bag of seed.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean prices are the highest they've been in years, rice and corn are looking good, and cotton has improved, giving Mississippi farmers much to consider as they decide what to plant this year.
Charlie Forrest, professor of agricultural economics with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said nationwide soybean production was down last year while demand stayed strong.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton farmers have reason to celebrate 2003 as prices made a long-anticipated rebound and growers harvested the highest average yield in Mississippi history.
Cotton has an estimated 2003 value of production of $780 million, a 78 percent increase from the previous year. It continues to hold its own as the state's largest row crop and the third-most valuable agricultural product behind poultry and forestry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers can get the latest in production recommendations from top agricultural specialists, researchers and fellow farmers Dec. 3-5 at the 20th annual Mississippi State University Extension Service's Cotton Production 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 -- Mississippi State University Extension Service agents are not finding jubilant growers beside every cotton field, but the state still should be on target for a new record average yield.
Mississippi's cotton growers harvested a record 901 pounds per acre in 1997, followed by four years between 737 and 642 pounds. Last year, growers were anticipating a new record when a hurricane and a tropical storm hit during harvest and dropped average yields to 808 pounds per acre.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The possibility of a quarantine on cotton produced in five North Delta counties motivated growers to continue in the regionwide boll weevil eradication program by 89 percent, the largest percentage recorded on a Mississippi referendum of this kind.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- North Delta cotton growers are hoping that the third time is the charm as they prepare another referendum this season to continue their participation in the regionwide boll weevil eradication program.
The grower-requested third referendum will take place from Sept. 29 through Oct. 10. The local Farm Service Agency offices will count the results on Oct. 17.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A closer look at the Aug. 22 results of the boll weevil referendum in the north Delta has changed the outcome from passing in both regions to passing only in Region IB.
A miscalculation of invalid ballots changed the percentage in Leflore, Quitman, Sunflower, Tunica and west Tallahatchie counties (Region 1A) from a 69 percent favorable vote to 65.95 percent, which is below the 66.667 percent required for passage. Votes from Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties (Region IB) supported the program with 68 percent of the vote.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It took two referendums, but the majority of cotton growers in the north Mississippi Delta finally received enough votes to continue in regionwide efforts to eradicate boll weevils in their fields.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton is looking fairly good across the state despite a faltering start, but the message to growers is that their job is not over yet.
"We can't walk off and leave the crop," said Will McCarty, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- North Delta farmers did not pass the referendum to continue a maintenance program battling boll weevils on the first vote, but a cotton insect expert wants growers to consider the alternative before the second referendum begins the first of August.
Blake Layton, an entomologist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said it would not take boll weevils as long to infest the entire state in this century as it did in the early 1900s when they first arrived from Mexico.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The majority of cotton growers in the north Mississippi Delta want to take part in region-wide efforts to eradicate boll weevils in their fields, but another referendum will be necessary if the Southeastern program will continue locally after 2003.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wet weather through most of spring doubled the time it takes to get cotton planted, and the crop was in widely varying stages of development by the end of June.
Will McCarty, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the statewide crop is non-uniform because of excessive rains that delayed cotton plantings, drowned out emerging stands and stunted other areas. Some crops had to be replanted.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers in the north Mississippi Delta are preparing for a vote to decide continued participation in the Southeastern efforts to eliminate boll weevils across the Cotton Belt.
Growers in boll weevil eradication regions 1A and 1B will be voting on a 10-year continuation of organized efforts to rid their fields of history's most destructive cotton pest. Eradication efforts during the last five years have reduced yield losses from boll weevils to zero.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers and students from many educational levels are gaining information at Mississippi State University from a fully functional cotton mini-gin, the only operational gin on a college campus.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton-planting season is arriving, and experts say no major problems are expected -- as long as producers avoid rushing the planting process.
Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomists recommend planting cotton during the last two weeks of April and the first two weeks of May.
“People who like to plant early will start at the end of this week,” said Mississippi Extension cotton specialist Will McCarty. “But be patient, and don’t get in too much of a hurry. We’re on the extreme leading edge of the planting window.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton grown under tanning bed lights may lead to the development of new varieties that tolerate increased ultraviolet radiation.
Raja Reddy, a research professor of plant and soil sciences with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment at Mississippi State University, is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on two projects dealing with the depletion of the Earth's ozone layer.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton farmers had what looked like the best crop in the history of the state until fall rains reduced yields and quality.
Will McCarty, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 2002 crop still promises to be above average, but the harvest was the wettest it has been in years. Rains destroyed some cotton on the plant and delayed farmers getting the rest out of the fields on time.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers can get the latest in production recommendations and technology application from top agricultural specialists, researchers and fellow farmers at the annual Mississippi State University Extension Service's Cotton Short Course, Dec. 4 through 6.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With cotton harvest just getting underway in Mississippi, farmers are expecting yields that should exceed the five-year yield average.
High temperatures and generally dry weather since the end of August matured the cotton quickly. According to the Sept. 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report, 86 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition. The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated in August that state growers would harvest 759 pounds of cotton per acre from 1.17 million acres.