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Cal-Maine still struggling against market effects of 2015 flu outbreak

By JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods Inc. reported on Monday that net sales for the quarter ending Feb. 25 were $306.5 million – a 31.8 percent decrease compared with $449.8 million for the year-earlier period. That in part is because of the lingering market effects of the outbreak of avian influenza in 2015, which hurt U.S. exports of eggs, including those ...

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Wheat survives fall drought, but faces spring freeze and bleak market

By LINDA BREAZEALE Despite almost everything working against this year’s winter wheat, benefits remain on the fields growers managed to plant after last fall’s drought. Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 2016-17 season makes four consecutive years of reduced wheat acres. “The state’s farmers planted about 60,000 acres of wheat late last ...

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Avian flu confirmed in Alabama near Mississippi line

By Jack Weatherly Avian flu has been confirmed in two commercial poultry flocks in Pickens County, Ala., near the Mississippi line, a week after three commercial breeders had to kill more than 70,000 chickens in Lincoln County, Tenn., near the border with Alabama. The Alabama state veterinarian announced that the Pickens County birds are under quarantine after testing positive for ...

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Sanderson plans to build Texas facilities with 1,700 jobs

By JACK WEATHERLY Sanderson Farms Inc. plans to build a $200 million processing plant, feed mill and hatchery in Smith and Wood counties, Texas. At full capacity, the facilities would employ 1,700 and process 1.25 million birds per week, the Laurel-based company said in a news release on Thursday. Additionally, contract growers are expected to invest $135 million. Operations are expected ...

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Issues are on the table for this year’s Delta Council meeting in May

By NASH NUNNERY Author David Cohn once wrote that “the Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg.” If Cohn’s description is indeed true, then the Delta Council might be considered the storied region’s heartbeat. Based in Washington County, Delta Council is the area’s foremost economic development group representing 18 northwest ...

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Process begins in Congress on 2018 Farm Bill

By BECKY GILLETTE Current Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has announced the committee will begin hearings this year to set the stage for writing a new farm bill.  The current farm bill doesn’t expire until 2018, which gives the House and Senate time to work with the Trump Administration to set new farm bill policies, said Chris Gallegos, ...

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Loans for drought losses available in Alcorn, Tishomingo counties

Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and certain nonprofits in Alcorn and Tishomingo counties are eligible for federal disaster loans because of drought conditions in the area. The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Monday that the entities are eligible for economic injury disaster loans if they suffered financial losses tied to the drought that began in November. The SBA says it can’t ...

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MSU grad student honored

John Boul, a Mississippi State graduate student, is the Southern Weed Science Society’s selection for the Outstanding Graduate Student award for the state. Buol is a master’s student studying agriculture in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. The recognition is given to one master’s student each year across 15 states, and students are only eligible for the award once ...

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Sanderson, other poultry processors wing it after index is discontinued

By JACK WEATHERLY Sanderson Farms Inc. and other poultry processors find themselves without a long-standing index used in establishing a price they charge retailers. The Georgia Dock Index, which was established in 1972, was discontinued in December. The index’s accuracy had been called into question, so the Georgia Department of Agriculture requested that producers provide supporting documentation on pricing. Yet, ...

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