Sid Salter: Ag is livelihood of 1 in 5 Mississippians

Record yields (46 bushels per acre in 2015 compared to 52 bushels per acre in 2014) in the state’s soybean crops for the past four consecutive growing seasons impacted prices, which Williams said fell precipitously this year: “We are expecting a marketing year average of around $8.87 per bushel compared to $11.10 a bushel in 2014.”

What does it all mean? Consider what Mississippi looks like without the $7.4 billion impact of agriculture and forestry, plus the additional $2.7 billion annual economic impact of hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.

The rural farm and timber sites visible from our windshields in Mississippi aren’t really pastoral scenery, they are the livelihoods of one-in-five Mississippians. And a thought for the new year — it is estimated that if everyone in Mississippi bought $5 a week in Mississippi farm produce, the state’s economy would improve by some $774 million in new farm revenue.

Eat local, buy local, indeed.