Soybean harvest in this state appears to have slowed down significantly despite most of the week having ideal conditions for fieldwork. As a result, this state harvested just 2% more of its soybean crop from the previous week.
With 2% more of the soybean crop harvested from the previous week, Mississippi farmers made the least amount of progress with soybean harvest amongst the top soybean growing states.
Although harvest numbers make it appear as if Mississippi farmers are experiencing harvest conditions that are out of the ordinary, Trent Irby, state soybean specialist with the Mississippi State Extension Service, says that isn’t the case.
“At both the beginning and the end things seem slow because operations are limited to those acres either just starting or just finishing,” Irby notes.
Mississippi soybean progress
For the week ending Oct. 29, USDA reported that 97% of the state’s soybeans had been harvested. Compared to the other top soybean growing states, Mississippi made the least amount of progress in harvesting their soybean crop, with only 2% more soybeans harvested from the previous week.
Despite slowing down, soybeans harvested are 4% ahead of last year at this time and 9% ahead of the five-year average. Mississippi is also on track to be the second state to complete soybean harvest. Louisiana harvested the remainder of their soybeans during the week ending Oct. 29, leaving Mississippi trailing just behind.
Recent Mississippi weather
For the week ending Oct. 29, a weather summary generated by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet shows that temperatures ranged from 66° F to 78° F statewide.
In the same time period, precipitation was reported as nearly nonexistent statewide. The northeastern portion of the state received 0.25 inches of rainfall, while some northern counties received 0.32 inches. The majority of counties in the state reported no precipitation. Statewide precipitation was 0.83 to 1.22 inches below average.
For the week ending Oct. 29, USDA reported that 6.8 days were suitable for fieldwork.
Maps generated by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet indicate precipitation departures as high as over 4 inches in the month of October.
The most recent Crop Progress report rated Louisiana topsoil moisture 35% very short, 46% short, 19% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 32% very short, 48% short, 20% adequate, and 0% surplus.
Latest Mississippi drought conditions
A drought map published Oct. 26 shows 31% of the state covered by D4 exceptional drought conditions.
Over 38% of the state reports D3 extreme drought.
D2 severe drought spans 28% of the state.
Another 2% of the state is in D1 moderate drought.
None of the state’s acres are abnormally dry. Additionally, none of Mississippi is free of drought stress. This is a dramatic change from three months ago when nearly three-quarters of the state reported no drought.
Of the state’s 82 counties, 44 have USDA disaster designations.
A look at Mississippi history
The National Integrated Drought Information System reports September 2023 was the 13th driest September on record for the state. Records go back to 1895.
So far, 2023 is shaping up to be the 49th driest year in history for the Magnolia state.