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The information presented on this page was originally released on April 21, 1995. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Timely Rains Help Crops in Early '95
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Planting season is well underway, and Mississippi's weather conditions in 1995 have been among the best in recent years.
"The best thing this year is that the river hasn't been the problem it was in the last couple of years," said Don Bales, Wilkinson County agent. "The bottomland (near the river) is in good shape except for some cotton acres that had to be replanted after a heavy rain around April 11."
In 1994, the Mississippi River reached it highest level in 11 years. Some growers were forced to select other crops for late plantings or look to government programs for relief. Spring floods near the river also were a problem in 1993.
"Basically, Wilkinson County has never been dry this spring. We've gotten several timely rains that North Mississippi has missed," Bales said.
Rains that arrived April 20 and in the early morning hours the next day were a welcome sight for most Mississippi farmers.
"We were pretty dry so the rain was a blessing, especially for pastures and hay," said Gale Chrestman, Pontotoc County agent.
Rankin County agent Barney Tanner said the cattle producers were the main farmers looking for rain. Most had taken advantage of the drier days for fertilizer applications on pastures and hay fields and were ready for rain to boost growth.
Dr. Alan Blaine, extension soybean specialist at Mississippi State University, said a drier than normal early April put most farmers ahead of past years in field preparation.
"The main problem some fields might have had with the recent rains would be the intensity and amount," Blaine said. "Hard and fast rains may cause some farmers to have to replant."
Blaine said if the state receives drying weather in the next few weeks, farmers will be going strong, trying to get as much planted as possible.
Corn plantings are almost complete in Mississippi. Some cotton and soybeans already are in the ground. State farmers are expected to plant 320,000 acres of corn, 1.5 million acres of cotton and 1.9 million acres of soybeans.
With cotton planting season beginning, growers should place boll weevil traps as soon as possible, no later than May 1. Data from the traps is useful for growers and the Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corp. Traps are available from the county extension offices.