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Agribusiness

Chicken company plans $20M in upgrades to Mississippi plant

A chicken company plans $20 million in upgrades to a central Mississippi plant. The Vicksburg Post reports that Tyson Foods discussed its plans for its Bovina plant recently with Warren County supervisors. The county is considering tax abatements worth $2.2 million for work already done at the plant. Tyson’s Charlie Terrell says the company is upgrading hot water for two manufacturing ...

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National forests brace for next pine beetle onslaught

By JACK WEATHERLY Early signs are that national forests in Mississippi will face a second consecutive year of a severe Southern pine beetle outbreak, threatening to damage tens of thousands of acres, according to the National Forest Service. The national forests were hit harder last year than private stands. Approximately 23,000 acres were affected in the national forests, according to ...

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Soybean crop starting slow across Mississippi

STARKVILLE – At about 2.2 million acres, soybeans are easily the state’s biggest row crop with a flexible planting window that puts them in the clean-up position when farmers cannot plant other crops on time. Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop was about 60 percent planted by early May. This amount was ...

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MIKE ESPY — Ag tariffs: We should be careful what we ask for

Military wars are dangerous, expensive, and as we have seen in the decades old conflict in Afghanistan- can be quite lengthy, but in the end America will win. However, when the conflict concerns international trade, the same cannot be said, because in trade wars the outcome cannot be confidently predicted. As a unified nation, the force of our military, more ...

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Threat and reality of tariffs not yet a factor in Mississippi

By JACK WEATHERLY The United States and China are in a standoff on agricultural trade, with the communist nation threatening to impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans and other crops. “I think there is some hope that [the sides in] this standoff will back down,” said Dr. Keith Coble, head of the agricultural economics department at Mississippi State ...

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Cal-Maine sales increase; income boosted by tax cut

By JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. reported net income of  $96.3 million, or $1.99 per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2018,  compared with $4.1 million, or nine cents per share, for the year  earlier period, thanks in part to a $35 million, or 72 cents per share, boost from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Earnings for ...

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Mapping the Delta’s water — Aquifer the lifebood of irrigation for crops

By NASH NUNNERY There’s no disputing that water is the lifeblood of agriculture in the Mississippi Delta and around the state. In fact, 92 percent of the water footprint in the United States goes to agriculture production, according to the latest government figures. In the Mississippi Delta, home to arguably the world’s richest soil, farmers worry as much about their ...

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Processor recalls 69,000 pounds of catfish

By Jack Weatherly Heartland Catfish Co. of Itta Bena recalled about 69,000 pounds of catfish that may have been exposed to a fungicide that carries a low-level health risk to consumers. The USDA’s Food and Safety Inspection Service announced on Friday the recall was Heartland catfish shipped to retailers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Vermont. None was ...

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Higher yields and lower input costs helping ag

By BECKY GILLETTE Mississippi ag producers are headed into yet another year with low commodity prices that make profitability a challenge. But two things offsetting that are lower input prices and higher yields, said Brian R. Williams, Ph.D., an agricultural economist who is an assistant professor at Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension. “Commodity prices have been fairly low for the ...

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Heartland a catfish giant

By CALLIE DANIELS BRYANT Catfish is an undeniable part of Mississippi’s cuisine, especially fried catfish with hot sauce.  With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that Heartland Catfish Company, a family-owned catfish farm founded in 1995, is the largest single producer of farm-raised catfish in the United States. On March 11 to 13, Heartland will feature vacuum skin-packaged catfish products at ...

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