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Agribusiness

Cold wet spring makes for later cotton blooms this year

STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State University Extension Service says a cold, wet spring has slowed cotton development by about 10 days this year. An extension news release adds that cotton producers also are battling plant bugs, bollworms and dry weather as they work to bring their crops to harvest. Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Extension Service, said bolls on ...

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Shrimp season interruption, low prices make tough year

BILOXI — Mississippi fishermen remain intent on harvesting this year’s shrimp crop in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico despite low prices and a season paused and restarted. Dave Burrage, Mississippi State University Extension professor of marine resources at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, said the shrimp season first opened June 3, closed June 19 when shrimp ...

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Mississippi officials brace for possibilty of carriers of avian flu

Mississippi officials are bracing for the possibility that the state’s poultry industry may be struck by the avian flu later this year, according to a news release from Mississippi State University. Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said no new reports of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza have occurred in the United States since June 17 because ...

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Weatherly has deep roots in Mississippi agriculture

STARKVILLE — Long before Charlie Weatherly earned the state’s 2015 Master Gardener of the Year honor, his family roots were dug deep into the Mississippi soil. Although he retired from Mississippi State University in 1997, Weatherly has not strayed far from the land-grant institution’s campus or mission. How could he? As a child, he frequently came to campus with his father, Ernest, ...

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Heat not helping state’s corn crop

STARKVILLE —  Wet spring weather prevented Mississippi farmers from planting as many corn acres as they intended, but despite the heat, the crop is mostly looking good in fields across the state. “We should have a good crop this year, but it won’t be a record,” said Erick Larson, Mississippi State University Extension Service corn specialist. “The planted acreage is down from ...

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Sanderson exec named to Fed board

MBJ staff Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms Inc., has been appointed to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s New Orleans Branch. Butts’ term ends Dec. 31, 2017. He is filling an unexpired term. Butts has served as president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms since 2004. He has been ...

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Price, numbers are up for beef cattle in state

  STARKVILLE — Record beef cattle prices are making Mississippi producers happy to be in the business this summer. Brian Williams, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agricultural economist, said 400- to 500-pound Mississippi calves are selling for $282.50 per hundredweight, and 700- to 800-pound steers are selling for $200 per hundredweight. “Mississippi feeder cattle prices are higher this year than a ...

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Analysis: Cal-Maine ranks at top of public firms in state

By JACK WEATHERLY  Cal-Maine Foods is the top-ranking public company based in Mississippi, according to an analysis by SmartAsset.com The nation’s largest producer of in-shell eggs registered a 19.82 percent average annual return from 2010 through March 31 of this year, SmartAsset reported. It’s return was actually not as high as Callon Petroleum’s 33.07 percent, but its stock performance index ...

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MSU completes upgrades to cheese production facility

STARKVILLE — Recent upgrades to the Custer Dairy Processing Plant at Mississippi State University mean fewer balls of Edam and other cheese products will be available for 2015. “We lost three months of production this past spring” during the shutdown for renovations, said Troy Weaver, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station sales store manager. “We will produce significantly less ...

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Catfish producers see lower costs, high demand

RAYMOND — High consumer demand and lower input costs have Mississippi catfish farmers filling their ponds to the brim. “Consumer demand has stayed pretty high, and that has farmers stocking at high rates, even though pond acreage is down by almost 8 percent from last year,” said Jimmy Avery, Extension aquaculture professor at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center ...

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