Farmers plant more row crops than originally planned

Mississippi producers planted more of the state’s major row crops than they planned in March, and the majority of them are in good condition.

Every winter, Mississippi producers estimate how many acres they will plant of each crop they intend to grow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture tabulates these in March and issues the planting intentions report. On June 30, USDA released actual planted acre figures for the state.

Mississippi has 2.25 million acres of soybeans, up 12 percent from 2013 acreage and up 100,000 acres from March intentions. The state has 400,000 acres of cotton, up 38 percent from 2013 and up 20,000 acres from the earlier estimate.

Growers planted 170,000 acres of rice for 2014, up 36 percent from last year and unchanged from March planting intentions. Corn was the only major crop to drop acreage from what was expected in March. The state has 540,000 acres of corn, down 37 percent from 2013 and down 40,000 acres from March intentions.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the state’s major crops set yield records over the last few years with favorable growing conditions. This encouraged producers to keep acreage high.

“I think the record yields along with favorable markets this spring encouraged producers to plant even more acres of soybeans and cotton this year,” Williams said. “Although prices have come down since planting, it could still be a very good year for many producers.”


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