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State's corn crop off to good start

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Favorable early conditions got Mississippi’s corn crop off to a good start, but most parts of the state could use more rain to make this year a successful one.

Corn is in the later stages of maturity, and harvest is slated for early August through September if conditions are right.

“This year’s crop got off to a great start and generally got planted on time, and came up to a good stand,” said Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Drier-than-normal conditions during April and May encouraged good root growth and development for most of the corn crop.”

The planting intentions report prediction for the state corn crop was 800,000 acres. According to the June 30 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s acreage report, Mississippi has planted 750,000 acres.

“It is still too early to tell what prices will be at harvest, but given what appears to be a much tighter supply of corn than was thought to be just a few weeks ago, prices have been moving higher,” said Extension agricultural economist John Michael Riley. “As of July 6, the September futures market price for corn was $3.68 per bushel, and the reported Greenville price for the current crop was $3.51.”

Riley said favorable weather across the Corn Belt was pushing prices lower, but the June report showing national corn acreage at almost 88 million — 926,000 lower than the March estimate and 1.43 million below the pre-report expectation — gave prices a boost.

Riley said the good news for corn producers is that the amount of corn used for ethanol has increased due to favorable price ratios.

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