Soybean and cotton acres rise in Mississippi, as corn dips
JACKSON, Miss. - Soybeans are reinforcing their place as Mississippi's king crop, but cotton is at least back to being the prince.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Friday that soybean acreage is expected to rise 10 percent to 2.25 million acres. That's more than half the land that Mississippi farmers expect to plant this spring.
Farmers plan to plant 26 percent more acres in cotton, boosting the total of 550,000 acres to the highest since 2011.
Corn acreage is projected to fall 29 percent to 530,000 acres. Rice acreage is expected to fall 40 percent, while sorghum acreage could be the lowest on record.
Agricultural economists at Mississippi State University say higher prices for soybeans and cotton are driving the shift to those crops and away from corn and rice.