News Filed Under Crops
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- After taking a break from rice last year, Mississippi producers who typically grow the crop have returned to it this year. Hunter Bowman, Mississippi State University Extension Service rice specialist, said growers in the state have planted 119,000 acres of rice. That’s well over the 84,500 acres planted in 2022.
Mississippi corn producers got off to an early start and have enjoyed mild spring weather in 2023, advantages that gave this year’s crop a good start.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that as of May 21, 98% of Mississippi’s corn was planted. To date, 69% is in good or excellent condition, with another 27% listed as fair.
There’s nothing as divine as a homegrown tomato. I’m a sucker for a tomato sandwich or a BLT during summer.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- If the newest Mississippi planting forecast holds, more corn and rice will be produced in 2023 compared to recent years, while demand will drive down cotton acreage.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released its annual prospective plantings report March 31. According to the report, intended cotton acreage is at 400,000 acres, down 25% from the 530,000 acres planted in 2022. Growers also plan to plant 700,000 acres of corn, which is 21% more than the 580,000 acres harvested last year.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi blueberry producers expect to see substantial yield losses in the state’s largest commercial fruit crop after the hard freeze that hit the state on the weekend of March 18. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said growers will see significant losses. The condition of the crop is poor based on what commercial growers are reporting to him and his observation of damage to blueberry plants at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, where he is based.
Sweet potato growers in Mississippi can get free nematode testing of soil samples they send to Mississippi State University from now until Dec. 31, 2024. The samples can be submitted in nematode bags available at local county MSU Extension Service offices; samples are also accepted in quart-sized, sealed plastic bags.
The tarnished plant bug is Mississippi’s No. 1 most economically damaging insect in cotton, costing an estimated $42 million in yield losses plus millions more spent to control the pest.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural producers hoping for some relief from recent high fertilizer prices are not likely to find it in 2023.
Brian Mills, Mississippi State University Extension Service ag economist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said fertilizer prices are expected to remain at 2022 levels.
“We do have good, high crop prices, and with high crop prices, you usually see input costs stay high and go up,” Mills said.
VERONA, Miss. -- Producers come across issues each season that need to be addressed, whether they require new research on a problem or a commodity specialist who can help identify timely solutions.
For those people, February is the month to speak up. Specialists and scientists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are available specifically for them at three different MSU Research and Extension Center locations throughout the state during annual Producer Advisory Council meetings.
When managing insects and diseases in row crops, growers typically act after a problem appears, but there are no reactive treatments for some pests, including soil insects that attack seeds and developing seedlings.
Management such as seed treatments or in-furrow insecticides for these pests has to be applied at the time of planting. Mississippi State University researchers say seed treatments make good sense for many crops.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Producers in Mississippi can provide feedback and input on the agricultural research and educational programs offered by Mississippi State University during the upcoming producer advisory council meetings. Hosted by MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station personnel, the Producer Advisory Council meetings will be held in February. These meetings allow producers to learn about current research and educational opportunities, as well as to communicate their needs in these areas.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host two free educational workshops for blueberry growers in January -- one in person and another online.
The in-person workshop will be held Jan. 24 at the MSU Extension Forrest County office at 952 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg from 1-4 p.m. The virtual workshop will be Jan. 26 from 2-4 p.m.
VERONA, Miss. -- Current and prospective greenhouse vegetable producers are invited to attend the Mississippi State University Greenhouse Vegetable Short Course March 7 and 8, 2023, in Verona, Mississippi. The short course, formerly known as the Greenhouse Tomato Short Course, will be offered at the MSU North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Time is running out to preregister for the 2022 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course.
The course, scheduled for Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville, is hosted by the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
Online registration is available at http://extension.msstate.edu/row-crop-short-course. Preregister by Nov. 27 for free admission to the conference, which includes all meals. Registration on or after Nov. 28, including at the door, is $40.
Mississippi pecan producers faced a particularly challenging year with drought and then rain at the wrong time, but irrigated orchards are making a good crop.
Eric Stafne, fruit and nut crop specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the dry summer did one very good thing: It helped control pecan scab, a disease that is often a problem for the state’s pecan trees.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Larry Haley is expecting a busy year at his Christmas tree farm in Saucier. Haley said he sells about 500 trees per year. That may sound like a lot, but they go fast. Families who want to be sure to get the perfect tree should visit their local tree farm as early as possible.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Lorin Harvey has heard from several Mississippi sweet potato growers that the quality of this year’s crop is the best they have seen in 20 years.
“The high quality of the crop is what stands out to me this year,” said Harvey, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We have to see how things hold up in storage, but I have high hopes.”
“Snow” appearing on the sides of highways and bare ground visible for miles is a sure indication that row crop harvest in Mississippi is well underway. As of early October, the majority of the 2022 crop was already harvested, although much work remains for certain crops.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi peanut producers should see an average year in terms of crop quality and yield. Mississippi producers planted about 14,500 acres of peanuts. That number is down about 20% from 2021 acreage because of higher commodity prices for other crops at planting time. Yield is expected to be between 4,000 and 4,200 pounds per acre.
As you travel Mississippi roads, it’s common to spot a corn field or two during your travels. Corn is the fourth ranked crop in the state, bringing in over $700 million each year!