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Agriculture secretary speaking to Mississippi business group

The U.S. secretary of agriculture is set to appear at a business gathering in Mississippi. Secretary Sonny Perdue is the main speaker Friday at the 82nd annual meeting of the Delta Council, an economic development group. The meeting is on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. About 1,500 people are expected to attend. The annual meeting typically ...

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Mississippi River mayors: Paris pullout hurts US ag exports

Mayors along the Mississippi River say President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a worldwide climate agreement could severely damage U.S. agricultural exports. The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative says in a news release Friday that nations remaining in the Paris agreement will impose carbon pricing through taxes or trading systems, without any say from the United States. The group ...

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Sanderson income and sales up for quarter

By JACK WEATHERLY Sanderson Farms Inc. reported net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 at $66.9 million, or $2.94 a share, compared with $47.6 milllion, or $2.11 a share a year earlier. Net sales for the quarter were $802 million, compared with $692.1 million for the second quarter of the last fiscal year. Stable feed prices contributed to ...

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Forestry Commission cuts 75 jobs due to budget reduction

By JACK WEATHERLY The Mississippi Forestry Commission will eliminate 75 positions July 1 – two-thirds of which are firefighting jobs – due to a $2.67 million, or 16 percent, cut in its budget. The reduction is because of the state’s drop in revenue, which has forced government cuts across the board. State Forester Charlie Morgan said in a release that “preserving ...

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Soybeans: Mississippi planting early, US could set record

A warm winter and spring have let Mississippi farmers get soybeans into the ground early, and they expect to exceed last year’s planting. About 69 percent of the crop had been planted by the end of April and 74 percent by May 7, compared to an average of 38 percent and 51 percent by those dates over the past five ...

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Keenum elected to lead Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Board

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Board of Directors has elected Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum to chair the board, effective immediately. Keenum was appointed to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research board in August 2014 by then-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Outgoing chair Dan Glickman, former Agriculture Secretary and Executive Director of the Aspen Institute ...

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Stonnington Farm creates fertile ground for grassfed beef in South Mississippi

By BECKY GILLETTE PERKINSTON — When Dr. Michael Stonnington first meets people and talks about his 378-acre grassfed beef operation, he doesn’t usually tell them that in addition to being a grassfed cattle farmer, he is an orthopedic surgeon. That is because people tend to think doctors have farms as a tax write off. Nothing could be farther from the truth for ...

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Lull in spring rains helps corn planting

Fall preparation paid off for many Mississippi corn producers who were able to take advantage of a gap in spring rains to plant much of their crop early. Erick Larson, corn specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said warm weather and a break in typical spring rains has allowed farmers to make considerable corn planting progress this spring. ...

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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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