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Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station


Mississippi has unique regions of soil and climate. The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station's 16 branch locations serve all regions of the state. Research addresses issues important and relevant to Mississippi farmers, industry, communities and families. MAFES discoveries improve plant, animal, and food production systems to enhance commodity production and conserve the environment for the benefit of all people.

MAFES Research Priorities

Plant Production Systems

Development of production systems that optimize yield, energy efficiency, profitability, and environmental stewardship

  • Commodity Cropping systems
  • Specialty Cropping systems
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Turf grass and Ornamentals
  • Water Quality and Quantity Management
  • Climate Change Adaptation/Mitigation
  • Agricultural Policy, Economics and Risk Management
  • Biotechnology, Genomics, and Proteomics

Animal Production Systems

Development of efficient, cost-effective, and humane animal production systems that optimize environmental stewardship.

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Herd, Flock, and Pond Management Systems
  • Reproductive and Stress Physiology
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Biotechnology and Genomics
  • Agricultural Policy, Economics, and Risk Management
  • Waste management and Water Quality

Food Safety and Quality

Development of food production, harvesting, processing, packaging, and preparation systems that ensure high quality, nutritious and safe food supplies.

  • Quality Assurance in Production, Processing and Packaging
  • Prevention/Detection of Food-borne Pathogens
  • Extending Shelf-life and Protecting Nutritional Content

Sustainable Energy

Development of enhanced feedstocks, conversion technologies, harvesting and transportation systems and energy conservation practices that increase profitability and contribute to energy independence.

  • Energy Efficient Agricultural Systems
  • Biomass-to-Energy Conversion Technologies
  • Biomass Feedstock Development and Production
  • Biomass Harvesting and Transportation Systems
  • Economics and Life-cycle Analyses of Bio-energy Systems

Human Health and Well-being

Integrative research addressing nutrition, dietetics, and human behaviors that promote physical and mental health; prevent disease, injury, and disability; and enhance quality of life for Mississippi residents.

  • Access to Affordable, Nutritious, and Nutracuetical foods
  • Obesity and Diet-related Diseases Prevention
  • Child, Youth, and Family Development
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Science to Protect Human Health

Sustainable Communities

Management plans and tools to allow communities to develop economic systems for prosperity while protecting the surrounding ecosystem.

  • Water Management Tools and Best Management Practices
  • Natural Resource Enterprises and Agritourism
  • Community Supported Agricultural Enterprises
  • Disaster Preparedness and Management
  • Community Growth Dynamics

Points of Pride

Agricultural Science Research

Each year, about 150 MAFES scientists work on more than 585 projects. This effort has led Mississippi State University to rank number six nationally for agricultural research funding. This funding comes from a variety of sources, including taxpayers, producers, industry and consumers.

Variety Trials

Crops, forages, vegetables, ornamentals, and turf variety trials are conducted in MAFES. The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station has conducted Variety Trials since the early 1900s. The MAFES Official Variety Trials are unique because they provide an annual, open, unbiased, scientifically-based evaluation of genetic performance of an enormous number of seed entries. MAFES Official Variety Trials provide the information producers need to make the best seed selections for their planting decisions. With annual availability of new varieties exhibiting enhanced disease and insect resistance, the MAFES Official Variety Trials undergo continuous improvement each year.

Graduate Research

Training the next generation of scientists is of upmost importance as we prepare to feed and clothe a growing population. Experiment Station scientists mentor about 400 graduate students each semester, training them in the newest technologies and methodologies to lead in agriculture and life sciences.


MAFES scientists are leading the new effort in genomics at Mississippi State. At this point, Mississippi State University is at the cutting edge in this field.


Channel catfish production, with its associated service industries, contributes more than $169 million to Mississippi's economy each year. Its value is expected to increase as per capita consumption of fish continues to grow. MAFES scientists work to make this industry more efficient with the highest quality results.

Farm Production

The value of Mississippi farm production in 2016 was an estimated $7.6 billion. The farm and forestry sector accounts for 29% of the state's employment opportunities.