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Agribusiness

Cal-Maine sets record; sells more than one billion dozen eggs

JACKSON — Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM) has reached annual sales of over one billion dozen eggs for fiscal 2014 with an expected total of 1.014 billion dozen fresh eggs sold. This sets a new record year of sales for Cal-Maine Foods and the first time any domestic or world egg supplier has surpassed annual sales of over one billion ...

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State's first tea garden survives bad weather with some losses

BROOKHAVEN — Mississippi’s cold, wet winter and spring gave the state’s new tea farm its first test. Owner Jason McDonald and business partner Timothy Gipson started the farm in October. Their 250 one-gallon plants and 10 three-gallon plants are thriving this summer, despite some losses. “The plants actually did really well,” said Rebecca Bates, Mississippi State University Extension Service Lincoln ...

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Presley alerts farmers to new sales tax break on energy bills

JACKSON — Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is notifying agricultural businesses in Mississippi of a change in tax law that may lower their utility bills. The change, which went into effect July 1, exempts certain agricultural business from being charged state sales tax on their energy bills, particularly bills for electric and natural gas service. The new exemption applies where ...

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Scientists: Tick bite can cause red meat allergy

STARKVILLE — Steak lovers beware: Scientists have discovered certain tick bites can cause an allergy to red meat. Jerome Goddard, medical entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the lone star tick species carries a sugar that can be transmitted through its bite. The transmission of the sugar may cause people to become allergic to red meat. Goddard ...

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Uncle Ben's Greenville hires director of manufacturing

Jair Cole has accepted the position of Director of Manufacturing for Uncle Ben’s in Greenville. Beginning Monday, Cole will be responsible for directing the overall operations of both Uncle Ben’s Greenville and Bolton sites and ensuring efficient and safe manufacturing practices. The position also has responsibility for associate development and engagement at sites. Cole’s previous experience includes working at PepsiCo ...

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Watermelon, blueberry crop hurt by weather, disease

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Party planners may have a hard time finding Mississippi-grown watermelons and blueberries for July 4th celebrations this year. Unfavorable weather slowed maturity and increased disease pressure for both crops. Much of the state’s blueberry crop is grown in south Mississippi, and most of its watermelons are grown in the southeast quarter of the state. Acreage for both ...

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EPA approves pesticide for grain sorghum producers

JACKSON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved farmers in the state of Mississippi for the use of sulfoxaflor (CAS Reg. No. 946578-00-3) on sorghum. This specific exemption will aid in controlling the sugarcane aphid (Melanaphis sacchari), which is a destructive pest that can cause damage to the grain sorghum crop. The registered product receiving this exemption is Transfor ...

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Georgia-Pacific buying SPG facilities in three states

HATTIESBURG — Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, LP and SPG Holdings, LLC have reached an agreement under which Georgia-Pacific would purchase SPG, a paper goods company that manufactures and converts products for the foodservice industry. SPG has operations in Hattiesburg as well as Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Augusta, Georgia. CIC Partners, a Dallas-based middle market private equity firm, has been lead investor ...

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Cotton acreage expected to soar 40% over 2013

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The state’s cotton producers remain optimistic about a crop that is up significantly in acreage despite frequent planting delays. The state is expected to plant about 400,000 acres of cotton in 2014, about 40 percent more than last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on June 15 that cotton was 98 percent planted. USDA rated 65 ...

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Complaints filed in court on livestock auctions

PONTOTOC and HATTIESBURG — An animal rights group said today that it is filing complaints in courts in Forrest and Pontotoc counties against two livestock auctions sites where it alleges cows, sheep and other animals are being mistreated. Matt Rice, director of investigations for Los Angeles-based Mercy For Animals, said the complaints were being filed in county courts today against ...

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