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Farmers report fields in good shape for planting

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s 3.7 million acres of cropland were in good shape by late winter despite high snow geese numbers in the Delta and heavy March rains, according to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton fields were generally in good condition.

Much of the state suffered from a lack of rainfall through most of the growing season, and Dodds said this depleted the subsoil moisture.

Erick Larson, Extension grain crops agronomist, said many Delta wheat fields have been visited by a lot of snow geese.

Jerry Singleton, area Extension agronomic crops agent in Leflore County, said snow geese numbers have increased each year because of almost no hunting pressure and limited predators.

“We had more problems with snow geese this year because their numbers were up and we had more wheat planted,” Singleton said.

Larson said most corn fields are wet, but saturated conditions are not unusual in the spring. Dry weather allowed fall corn field preparations to go well, and with herbicide burndown applications mostly complete, the fields are looking good for spring planting if producers can get a few breaks from spring rains. Late March to early April is the optimum corn planting time.

Nathan Buehring, Extension rice specialist, said waterfowl in flooded fields has not been a problem for rice producers. Good fall weather meant rice fields are mostly ready for the spring, but recent windy weather has hampered the aerial application of burndown chemicals needed to kill weeds before rice is planted.

He said rice farmers are waiting for a dry spell so fields will be ready for spring planting.

Source: Mississippi State University Extension Service

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