Report: Mississippi corn crop in decent shape despite floods

Published 5:40 am Monday, September 30, 2019

Agriculture experts say most of this year’s corn crop in Mississippi is in fair to good condition.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service says in a news release that the state’s farmers planted 35% more acres in corn this year compared to 2018.

Corn planting was delayed by two to three weeks because of heavy rains during the spring. The extension service said when corn can’t be planted at the usual time, farmers often switch to soybeans. But, this year’s market outlook was stronger for corn.

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An extension service agricultural economist, Will Maples, said the trade negotiations had a negative effect on soybean prices.

“Mississippi saw about a 35% increase in corn acreage planted this year as compared to last year,” Maples said.

The news release said the state’s corn harvest was slow in August because of a later-maturing crop, but it has gone quickly in September.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates most of Mississippi’s corn crop is in fair to good condition. Just 7% is considered excellent, and 12% is either poor or very poor.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the extension service, said there have been few instances of lodged corn, or corn knocked over by weather.

Corn fields historically produce about 185 bushels an acre in Mississippi. He said the range this year was about 125 to 250 bushels an acre, depending on drainage, soil texture, seedbed preparation and management.

Frequent, heavy rains caused problems during the growing season. Areas with poor drainage or heavy clay soils retain water longer, and those fields are producing less corn this year.