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USDA expecting state's farmers to see record yields

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The state’s farmers have been harvesting fields heavy with crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting record yield per acre for Mississippi’s corn, cotton and rice crops. Corn production, which has been increasing in importance in Mississippi, is projected to reach nearly 147 million bushels, surpassing 2007 for the state’s largest corn crop ever.

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The state’s soybean crop is also forecast to be very large, though smaller than 2012. Many farmers planted soybeans, which take less time to mature, after spring rains stalled planting of other crops.

Though cotton yield is strong, overall output will decline as fewer acres were planted.

Agricultural economist Brian Williams of Mississippi State University says 2013 will be profitable for Mississippi farmers, though not as profitable as 2012 because commodity prices are generally lower.

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