STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Based on the MSU Extension Service, Mississippi farmers generated an estimated agricultural worth of $7.35 billion in 2020, a 5% enhance from 2019 that noticed soybeans high forestry for the No. 2 spot behind poultry.
The anticipated complete ag worth exceeds 2019’s manufacturing worth of $7.01 billion, marking the ninth consecutive 12 months that agriculture topped $7 billion within the state.
Keith Coble, head of the Mississippi State College Division of Agricultural Economics, stated the 12 months didn’t begin out trying good.
“We did some midyear evaluation on June 1, and the financial image for farm merchandise appeared fairly bleak,” Coble stated. “We went via unprecedented losses early to midyear, however markets have typically improved within the latter portion of the 12 months.”
Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the MSU Extension Service, stated poultry took successful from COVID-19-related points and dropped 16% in worth. However row crops have been robust, posting a mixed $2.6 billion estimated worth.
“This was a turbulent 12 months for all agricultural producers as a result of market upheaval attributable to the pandemic,” he stated. “Poultry manufacturing was particularly impacted throughout the spring by demand disruptions. Row crop markets additionally confronted low costs and uncertainty early within the 12 months earlier than stronger costs within the fall helped increase the worth of manufacturing.”
Though rebounding markets and costs helped the 12 months finish stronger than anticipated for some commodities, larger than regular authorities funds of an estimated $930 million helped make up a number of the hole attributable to early market devastation. In 2019, Mississippi growers obtained $599 million in numerous types of authorities funds.
Maples stated coronavirus response applications made up a good portion of the federal government funds.
“The Coronavirus Meals Help Applications 1 and a pair of have been the first reduction applications for farmers who confronted value declines and extra advertising prices as a consequence of COVID-19,” Josh Maples stated. “The opposite applications included the standard farm invoice applications like Agriculture Threat Protection, Worth Loss Protection and conservation applications.”
At an estimated worth of $2.16 billion, poultry continues to be the state’s main ag commodity, regardless of declining from the $2.57 billion worth it posted in 2019.
“The estimated 2020 Mississippi broiler worth of manufacturing is $1.9 billion, which is down 19.5% due primarily to stock disruptions throughout the spring and weaker costs,” Maples stated. “The variety of broiler chicks hatched in Mississippi from April to June was 12% decrease in 2020 than in 2019, and costs throughout these months have been exceptionally low.”
Whereas broilers have been down, eggs have been up 21%. Eggs make up about one-tenth of the general worth of poultry to Mississippi. Eggs elevated to an estimated worth of $260 million.
“This enhance is pushed by stronger costs, particularly throughout the spring months,” Maples stated. “Eggs confronted vital manufacturing challenges throughout the COVID-19 shutdowns whereas additionally experiencing a pointy demand enhance as a consequence of grocery retailer demand. Sharply larger costs have been the results of provide challenges concurrently a requirement enhance.”
A big a part of the availability problem centered on the totally different calls for of grocery shops and eating places, in addition to the availability chains that exist to fulfill every of those calls for.
Forestry holds the No. 2 ag spot most years, however COVID-19 induced many sawmills to reduce manufacturing or quickly shut. When mills weren’t in operation, timber was not being reduce and offered, so forestry declined an estimated 2.6% to an general worth of $1.12 billion.
That decline opened the door for soybeans to surge into second place general with an estimated manufacturing worth of $1.21 billion in 2020. Soybeans helped propel row crops to an general enhance of an estimated 21% over 2019 values.
Will Maples, an Extension row crop economist, stated the crop’s worth grew an estimated 67% over 2019 based mostly totally on an improved soybean market. Soybeans additionally reclaimed acreage misplaced the earlier 12 months.
Market elements additionally helped the rise. Soybean exports to China elevated within the fall of 2020, which led to a soar in costs that translated into an general worth enhance.
Regardless of a decline of greater than 9% from 2019 ranges, cotton is available in because the No. 4 agricultural commodity with an estimated worth of $491 million for cotton lint and cottonseed.
Whereas the pandemic put a brand new twist into ag markets, climate is all the time an element. Will Maples stated the moist spring prevented many producers from getting corn planted, which resulted in decrease acreage. Corn’s worth was down 10% to an estimated $387 million.
Rice was up 44% to an estimated worth of $138 million. Peanuts posted a 34% estimated enhance to $19 million. However, given the small quantity of peanut acreage planted yearly in Mississippi, Will Maples stated a small change provides as much as a giant proportion shift.
Cattle and calves skilled slight progress in 2020 with an estimated worth of $261 million, up about 5% from 2019 ranges. Milk declined 1% and hogs 7% in 2020 to estimated values of $24 million and $38 million, respectively.
Catfish additionally confronted a turbulent 12 months as a consequence of restaurant demand disruptions amongst different elements. Its worth of manufacturing stayed flat in 2020, with an estimated worth of $226 million.
Specialty crops remained at 2019 ranges and collectively introduced an estimated $106 million in manufacturing worth to Mississippi. Candy potatoes posted an estimated 1.8% enhance for a 2020 worth of $96.7 million.
Different crops and their estimated values are hay, up 3% to $140 million, and wheat, down 17% to an estimated $4 million.