By JACK WEATHERLY
Mississippi has set a record this year for crop acreage that was not planted because of natural causes.
Six hundred and 22 thousand acres were not planted, primarily because of heavy rains and flooding. The previous record was 450,898 in 2016, according to Dr. Josh Maples, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University who tracks data presented to the Farm Service Agency from farmers.
Corn was the largest contributor to the total this year, with 350,569 acres. Corn planting in Mississippi this year is 623,686 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That means that about 36 percent of the intended corn crop was not planted.
While flooding is not necessarily the major cause of the loss of production, 250,000 crop acres were inundated in the south Delta.
Cotton fared much better, losing out on 70,217 acres, FSA figures show. Cotton planting this year in the state was put at 694,127 acres, according to a preliminary USDA report. That means that 9.1 percent of the intended crop was not planted.
With 115,479 acres planned but not planted, soybeans were in third place, according to FSA figures. The USDA reported that 1.6 million acres of soybeans were to be planted in Mississippi. Meaning that 7.2 percent of the crop acreage was not realized.
Nationwide, farmers were not able to plant crops on ore than 19.4 million acres this year, according to Delta Press.
That is 17.49 million acres more than reported a year ago, the most since the Farm Service Agency has been reporting on the matter since 2007.
Southern farmers reported more than 4 million acres of prevented planting, the publication stated.
Between Mississippi’s 622,000 acres, Arkansas’ 1.3 million and Louisiana’s 468,000, that is more than half of the Southern total.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info