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High commodity prices in 2021 pushed...

High commodity prices in 2021 pushed Mississippi agriculture to a sharp increase in total value

By: Anne Summerhays - December 27, 2021

Agriculture topped $8 billion in Mississippi in 2021 for the first time ever. (Chart by MSU Extension Service/Phil Smith)

Mississippi agriculture reaches a record high, estimated $8.33 billion.

Last week, researchers from the Mississippi State University’s Extension Service stated that agriculture’s estimated value has risen 19% from 2020 and the value is back to the high levels seen in 2012-2014.

Commissioner Andy Gipson posted on Twitter that though MS Agriculture set a record high production value in 2021, these high production values were offset by higher input costs farmers are experiencing due to inflation.

Every year, a variety government payments are awarded through agriculture safety net programs. In 2020, COVID-19 relief drove government payments up sharply to $766 million.

Without considering government payments, commodities reached a record high of $7.88 billion, a 27% increase.

“That relief has mostly ended, though there has been some spillover into 2021,” said Josh Maples, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Government payments dropped 40% to a more typical $456 million in 2021.”

Poultry posted an estimated $2.65 billion value in 2021, up 39% from the previous year, Corn was up 129% from 2020, Forestry saw a modest increase of 5.7%, and Cotton increased an overall 27% from 2020 values. Wheat saw the greatest increase, up 450% to $27 million.

Will Maples, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said high prices were matched by mostly good yields.

“It was a much better year for farmers, but we’re coming off some years with pretty low prices,” Maples said.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne:
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