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Mississippi '95 Planting Intentions
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Economists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced their crop predictions Friday in the planting intentions report, but Mother Nature and farmers will get the final word.
Dr. Alan Blaine, extension agronomist at Mississippi State University, said although there were no major surprises in the acreage estimates, actual plantings will hinge on the weather.
"Weather always influences crop acreages. Delayed plantings because of rain will force farmers to second choice crops with later planting dates," Blaine said.
The biggest change from 1994 is in cotton acreage. USDA economists expect Mississippi growers to plant 220,000 more cotton acres in 1995. They also expect the national cotton crop to increase by 2.47 million acres.
Dr. Bob Williams, interim state leader of the extension agriculture and natural resources program at MSU, said the cotton acreage increase was expected because of the recent higher prices and the zero acreage reduction provisions. In 1994, cotton growers were eligible for government assistance programs if they set aside 11 percent of their cotton base acres.
Williams said the announcement of the planting intentions report had an initially positive impact on corn and cotton prices. National corn acreage had been expect to be higher than the announced 75.233 million acres.
"We expect to see some corn and soybean land going into cotton acres in 1995," Williams said.
The report predicts Mississippi's soybean growers to plant 1.9 million acres, a 50,000-acre decrease from 1994. About 320,000 acres of corn are expected in 1995 for a decrease of 10,000 acres.
USDA economists also expect 25,000 fewer acres of rice and 10,000 fewer acres of grain sorghum in Mississippi. Mississippi growers may plant about 290,000 acres of rice and 65,000 acres of grain sorghum in 1995.