Ag in Mississippi hits $8.33B value
STARKVILLE — Excellent commodity prices propelled Mississippi agriculture to its highest level: an estimated $8.33 billion value in 2021.
This figure is a 19% increase over 2020. Poultry, soybeans and forestry continue to rank first, second and third, respectively, in the state’s agricultural economy.
Will Maples, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said high prices were matched by mostly good yields. Strong exports added to the positive picture.
“It was a much better year for farmers, but we’re coming off some years with pretty low prices,” Maples said.
Poultry increased 39% to an estimated $2.65 billion value in 2021. Sharply higher feed and energy prices in 2021 were key concerns for the poultry industry.
Soybeans increased 25% to an estimated value of $1.49 billion. “Soybean prices were strong throughout 2021, helped by good exports and strong domestic demand,” Will Maples said.
Forestry increased 6% to an estimated value of $1.29 billion.
While soybeans single-handedly topped the $1 billion mark, corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat and specialty crops also saw increases. Hay, peanuts, rice and sweet potatoes achieved lower estimated values.
Corn increased 129% to an estimated value of $748 million based mostly on planted acreage increasing 43% in 2021. Strong exports to China also helped keep prices strong.
Wheat saw the greatest increase, a whopping 450%, to $27 million. State producers almost tripled the amount of wheat grown in 2021, but strong prices also contributed to the value increase.
Cotton increased 27% to $558 million based solely on strong prices, as growers planted 18% fewer acres in the state in 2021.
Livestock, which includes cattle, calves, milk and hogs, saw an overall 13% increase to $399 million. Catfish added another $232 million, a 3.5% increase.