Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mercer, Andrew E.

Committee Member

Dixon, P. Grady

Committee Member

Henry, W. Brien

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Professional Meteorology/Climatology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


In central Mississippi, corn exposed to extreme temperatures and drought in summer months may result in reduced yields while corn planted early in the season may be susceptible to frost damage. This study performs an analysis and modeling of ideal planting dates using air and soil temperatures, daily precipitation, and January teleconnection indices to determine if early planting procedures may benefit corn grown in Mississippi. Resulting ideal planting dates vary annually, with early planting dates experiencing moderate harm and late planting dates experiencing severe harm. Additionally, models predicting ideal planting dates produce consistent R2 values, but contain errors of 20–30 days. This research concludes that early planting dates are beneficial to production, as they are less likely to result in crop loss. Furthermore, January teleconnection patterns have an influence on ideal planting dates in Mississippi, indicating that long-term climate patterns may be responsible for changes in the growing season.