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Nebraska, Mississippi colleges start poultry degree program

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture has signed a cooperative agreement with Mississippi State University to train students for poultry-related careers. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the new program includes three semesters at the Nebraska college in Curtis and a semester at MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students enrolled in the program will earn an associate of applied ...

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2 more lawsuits accuse chicken producers of fixing prices

Two major food distributors have filed their own federal lawsuits accusing Tyson Foods and other major chicken producers of fixing prices, but the industry denies any wrongdoing. The lawsuits filed this week in Illinois by Sysco Corp and US Foods Holding Corp. join several other lawsuits pending against the chicken producers. The allegations date back at least to a 2016 ...

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Cal-Maine: mistreatment of hens an aberration

By JACK WEATHERLY An animal rights group has released an undercover video of what it says are laying hens living in deplorable conditions at a Cal-Maine Foods farm in Lake Wales, Fla, Jackson-based Cal-Maine is the largest producer of shell eggs in the United States. According to Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), hens are overcrowded in cages where they are trampled ...

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Cold weather gives blueberry crop a boost

By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com The recent spate of subfreezing weather isn’t all bad. Just ask blueberry farmers. An unusually warm winter last year cut into the state’s fruit crops, including blueberries, the state’s largest. But thus far this winter, subfreezing weather bodes well for fruit crops in Mississippi, according to Dr. Eric Thomas Staphne, an associate professor at the Mississippi ...

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Cal-Maine records $26.1 million loss for quarter after settlement

By JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods suffered a net loss of $26.1 million, or 54 cents per share, for the second fiscal quarter of 2018 in which the Jackson-based egg producer recorded a $52.8 million after-tax antitrust settlement. The settlement stems from a Sept. 25, 2008 consolidated suit case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Excluding ...

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Dr. Yvonne Vizzier-Thaxton Named to Mississippi Poultry Hall of Fame

The 2017 Mississippi Poultry Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Yvonne Vizzier-Thaxton, is the first female member and completes the first husband and wife team in the Hall of Fame. The Mississippi Poultry Hall of Fame was created in 1972 to recognize the contributions of those who built and expanded the poultry industry into Mississippi’s largest agricultural industry. Vizzier-Thaxton, former head ...

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Cal-Maine reports $16 million loss for quarter

By JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods Inc. reported on Monday a net loss of $16 million, or 33 cents per share, for the first fiscal quarter compared with a net loss of $30.9 million, or 64 cents, for the year-earlier period. Net sales were $262.8 million, compared with $239.8 million for the prior-year period. MarketWatch reported that the FactSet Research Systems Inc. ...

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Sorghum yields shine; acreage and prices sag

By LINDA BREAZEALE / Mississippi State Extension Mississippi’s grain sorghum acreage is at an historic low, and market prices are not much better, but yields should be good. Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said when market incentives went away after 2015, so did farmers’ desire to plant grain sorghum, also known as milo. ...

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Sanderson earnings more than double for 3rd quarter

By JACK WEATHERLY Higher product prices and lower feed costs in a stable market enabled Sanderson Farms to record net income of $115.8 million, or $5.09 per share, for the third fiscal quarter, compared with $54.7 million, or $2.42 per share, a year earlier. Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive said in its report that retail grocery prices, ...

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Turnout big for forum on redband bug

By JACK WEATHERLY The attendance at a forum last week on the redbanded stink bug in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas soybean crops was commensurate with the scope of the infestation. In other words, big. That’s according to Dr. Fred Musser, professor of entomology at Mississippi State University. There were 130 at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, ...

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