Agriculture experts in Mississippi report big gains in the production value of corn and cotton this year.
Here's MPB's Mark Rigsby.
Cotton. It's the south's traditional cash crop. In 2016, Mississippi's cotton appraisal skyrocketed. Farmers grew nearly half a billion dollars worth. Mississippi State University Extension Service agriculture economist Brian Williams explains.
"That industry had a really big year this year. We had an 87% increase in the value of production for cotton lint. We had a 40% increase in acres, a little bit better yields than a year ago, and we had better prices than a year ago. So, a really good year all around for cotton."
Like cotton, the value of corn grown and harvested in Mississippi is also about a half billion dollars.
"A few more acres this year than a year ago. A little bit lower yield, and a little bit lower prices. But the increase in acres helped to drive about a 27% increase in the value of production of corn."
How did the weather impact the overall agriculture economy?
"As a lot of people are aware, we really had a drought this fall. Fortunately, were able to get most of our crops through the year with plenty of moisture before that drought hit. So, we really weren't affected by the drought. So, we were real fortunate there that the drought held off until most of the crop was already made."
The state's overall agriculture value in 2016 jumped nearly 2% to $7.6 billion.