Introduction to Mississippi Soils
Perhaps no other state with so few total residents has the grassroots popular culture impact of Mississippi. The impact of native state soil on individual contributors to the social-cultural fabric may be unknowable, but one thing is known: Mississippi soils are unique and support our current social, economic, and environment conditions.
Mississippi soils are diverse, reflecting:
- the diversity of their parent materials (the raw material for soil),
- a conducive environment (warm, humid) for rapid pedogenesis (the process of soil formation),
- active biological activity (note the warm and humid climate), and
- the unique topography (the lay of the land).
Mississippi has three general land regions:
- The Delta, a river floodplain in western Mississippi,
- The Brown Loam loess region (a band of soils formed in windblown material that adjoins the Delta), and
- The Coastal Plain (the rest of the state).
As land management transitioned after 1492 until now, the surface soils of each region led to the economic activity on them.
In the early 21st century, more than 80 percent of the state’s row-crop production, including cotton, corn, and soybeans, is on Delta soils. These relatively flat and deep soils are derived from alluvium (deposits left by flowing streams). They are very fertile and often formed into large fields conducive to mechanized agriculture.
Animal production and forestry dominate in the shallower soils of the hills of east and south Mississippi that are derived from loess (windblown materials) or Coastal Plain materials (deposited by “stationary” water).
The loess and Coastal Plain regions are subdivided into smaller units based on common soils, geology, climate, water resources, and land use. These subunits, plus the Delta, are known as Major Land Resource Areas.
More information on the individual areas, visit our Mississippi Land Resource Areas page.
A new online platform can help farmers learn about and implement management practices to improve profitability, soil health and land stewardship. Created by a multistate team of university Extension professionals and farmers, One Good Idea provides farmers across the U.S. an online classroom to learn through videos and podcasts. Topics include cover crops, conservation tillage, rotational grazing and nutrient management.
Autumn is officially here! It’s not hard to love this time of year. Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing, and there will be more branches than foliage soon. It’s hard not to love this time of year! As we close out this calendar year, it’s easy to convince yourself there’s not much to do in the yard. Take a break, but also take time to check off these tasks
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Far too often in Mississippi, soil management after major weather events must be considered, but landowners affected by Hurricane Ida now have a guide on how to approach this task.
“Soil Management After Hurricane Ida” is available online on the Mississippi Crop Situation blog at https://www.mississippi-crops.com/2021/09/02/soil-management-after-hurricane-ida/.
Mississippi agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in carbon sequestration can test their soil’s carbon content through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Video by Michaela Parker
We’ve finally made it to fall! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and I can’t wait to purchase pumpkins and mums for my front porch!
If you’re trying to stay on top of what tasks you should be doing in your yard and garden, check out these four for the month of October.
Delta farmer Travis Satterfield reflects on 40+ years in the fields
The price of rice hasn’t increased much since Travis Satterfield of Benoit began growing it in 1974, but nearly everything else in the world of production agriculture has changed.
Couple uses regenerative agriculture principles to raise cattle
It takes a different mindset, a different approach, and different tactics. But regenerative agriculture can work, and it’s working really well at Hunt Hill Cattle Company.
4-H Debuts New Curriculum · Extension Develops Workforce · La-Z-Boy Donates Fabric · Stars Focus On Sustainability · Extension Directs Herbicide Training · Youth Discover Dairy Science · Soil Lab Welcomes New Manager