Mississippi farmers plan to plant less, even though cotton and soybean prices are higher than they were a year ago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Thursday that farmers told the department they plan to plant 100,000 fewer acres statewide, down about 2 percent.

Soybean acres are expected to rise slightly to 2.2 million acres. That’s more than half the land Mississippi farmers expect to plant this year.

They plan 580,000 acres of cotton, down 8 percent, even though cotton plantings are rising nationwide.

Agricultural specialists at Mississippi State University say cotton planting could expand if weather cooperates, considering higher prices and a new federal subsidy program for cottonseed.

Corn acreage is expected to fall 6 percent in Mississippi to 490,000 acres. Rice acreage is expected to rise 4 percent.

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