Mississippi crops post record values in 2010

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal and Linda Breazeale/Mississippi State University Ag Communications

Crop values may have been up in 2010, but it doesn’t mean growers are putting more money in their pockets.
Agricultural economists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service predict a record $6.9 billion production value for the state’s farm enterprises. The figure is up 19 percent, or $1.09 billion, from 2009.
After adjusting for inflation of agricultural prices, 2010’s production value is up 45 percent from the year 2000.
Mooreville farmer Herman Hussey Jr. said the 45 percent increase in value is misleading.
“Prices are good, but the input prices are really bad,” he said.
Input costs include fuel, seed, fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide. Hussey, who farms about 7,000 acres of corn and soybeans with this father, estimates input costs are double what they were in 2000.
The higher input costs make farming even riskier, he said, because if your crop fails or yields are down, the growers stand to lose twice as much money.
But he is happy with the increase in value from 2009 to 2010, deeming it a “light and dark difference.”
“We made a real good crop in ’09, but with all the rain, we had a tremendous quality issue,” he said.

Daily Journal business reporter Carlie Kollath and Linda Breazeale of Mississippi State University Ag Communications contributed to this report.