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.
COMO, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will cohost a collaborative field day in Panola County Sept. 29 to share information about cover crops and reduced-till farming, soil and water health, and pasture soil and water management.
The Mississippi Land Stewardship field day runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and begins at Buckeye Farms at 3251 Tom Floyd Road in Como. Attendees will then travel to two different fields, one row crop and one pasture. The field day will conclude at Home Place Pastures. A complimentary lunch is included for participants.
Having healthy soil in your garden results in healthy plants. Whether you’re planting vegetables, flowers, grass, trees, shrubs, or anything in between, a soil sample is the first thing to check off the list. Gathering a soil sample from your landscape and having it tested by MSU Extension’s Soil Testing Lab should be the initial step in any gardening adventure. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do!
SHAW, Miss. -- Mississippi State University scientists will cohost a collaborative field day in the Mississippi Delta on July 13 to share information about cover crops, soil and water health, and irrigation automation and efficiency.
The Soil and Water Stewardship in Row-Crop Systems field day runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and begins at Mosco Farm at the southwest of 813 US-61 in Shaw. Attendees will travel to Clements Farm and finish the event at the West F.A.R.M. Pavilion. A complimentary catfish lunch is included for registered participants.
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
Brian Andrus irrigated exactly zero times on his Sunflower County farm in 2021. He didn’t even turn on his well.
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