2016 - A good year for Mississippi agriculture. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the estimated value of the state's agriculture economy is growing.
Mississippi State University Extension Service evaluates the value of Mississippi agriculture at $7.6 billion. That's an increase of nearly 2%. Brian Williams is an agriculture economist at MSU. He says poultry production was strong.
"We had a real good year for broilers. Our production was up, as was poultry prices. Some of our other commodities, cotton had a real good year, with both production and prices being quite higher than a year ago."
Williams says poultry remains the state's number one agriculture product. Forestry, soybeans, corn, and cotton round out the top five. Soybeans are the most lucrative row crop, with $1 billion in value. Despite having 250,000 fewer acres farmed, Williams says soybeans had a big year.
"We had improved yields than a year ago, about 50 bushels per acre, which would put us at the second highest yield on record. Prices were about 10 cents higher than a year ago on soybeans as well."
Williams says Mississippi farmers are doing a good job at consistently increasing crop yields. He predicts growth next year for poultry, cotton, soybeans.