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.