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Agribusiness

Family producing rice ‘a little different’ from any other

By JACK WEATHERLY Broken rice is less desirable than whole. But when it’s broken intentionally it becomes something else. Grits. That’s what the Arant family of Ruleville calls it. And now a lot of other people are buying into grits as something other than corn. The fourth-generation farm has made a specialty out of it, which is catching on. And gaining praise is ...

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Cold start to year pushes large number of ducks into Delta

Mississippi officials say cold weather last week resulted in the highest count of ducks in the state since at least 2005. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks released survey numbers Thursday, part of a nationwide count. The aerial survey estimates there were 1.44 million total ducks and 678,000 mallards in the Mississippi Delta during the counting period. Waterfowl Program Coordinator Houston ...

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Cal-Maine profits take major hit thanks to lingering effects of flu

By JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods dodged the avian flu outbreak that reduced the nation’s egg production in 2015 by 10 percent. Yet the Jackson-based firm, the largest producer of shell eggs in the United States, continues to deal with the ripples caused by the influenza Net sales for the company’s second fiscal quarter, which ended Nov. 26, were $253.5 million, ...

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Agriculture value is part of Mississippi’s economy

The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state’s overall economy. “Agriculture’s reach in the state goes well beyond just the value of the goods produced,” said Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “The ag industry helps support many of ...

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MSU: Rice farmers can get same yield with 1/3 less water

Some rice farmers can use much less water and get the same yield by flooding their fields at the start and end of the season, and letting them dry out a bit in between, Mississippi State University researchers say. That’s a radical change from recommendations across the Rice Belt to keep two to four inches of water in the fields, ...

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Tuesday’s Board of Trade: Grain higher, livestock mixed

Grain futures were higher Tuesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery was 3 cents higher $3.9220 a bushel; December corn was up 2.20 cents at $3.5160 bushel; March oats was 1.60 cents higher at $2.15 a bushel while January soybeans gained 9.40 cents to $10.53 a bushel. Beef lower and pork prices were ...

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Drought threatens planting of Mississippi’s wheat crop

By JACK WEATHERLY Farmers have been waiting out the drought to plant their wheat. And if there is not substantial rain in the next month, there’s a good chance there won’t be a crop this year. That’s according to Dr. Erick Larson, grain crops specialist at Mississippi State University. “If we don’t get the moisture … we can’t grow the ...

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AGRIBUSINESS — Soybean crop battled stink bugs and disease

A game-changing insect caused significant problems in many Mississippi soybean acres, but good management allowed growers to finish the year with an average crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that by Oct. 23, Mississippi farmers were 92 percent finished harvesting the state’s soybean crop, which covered about 2.03 million acres this year. Insect and disease pressures made the effort ...

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Deep South drought kills crops, threatens herds, dries lakes

Six months into a deepening drought, the weather is killing crops, threatening cattle and sinking lakes to their lowest levels in years across much of the South. The very worst conditions — what forecasters call “exceptional drought” — are in the mountains of northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia, a region known for its thick green forests, waterfalls and red clay ...

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Cuba opportunities, pitfalls dominate MDA trade summit

By JACK WEATHERLY The Republic of Cuba was depicted as a land of opportunity for Mississippi businesses, though with a heightened sense of risk. About 150 people attended the “Doing Business in Cuba Summit” on Thursday at the South Warehouse in Jackson. Speakers at the Mississippi Development Authority event told of a country struggling to emerge from more than a half-century ...

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