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Agribusiness

Cochran pushing USDA for livestock warranty program

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cooperate with livestock industry officials in Mississippi to create and implement a warranty program that would help protect livestock producers after their herds are affected by disease. Cochran, along with fellow senators from Alabama and Georgia, has written Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to encourage him to ...

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DREC expanding with new 220-acre farm

STONEVILLE — Mississippi State University is expanding its Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville with plans to demonstrate ongoing agricultural research on the additional acreage. According to a piece written by rice specialist Nathan Buehrig in the 2010 Rice Research Report, the 220-acre farm, which is located southwest of DREC’s headquarters, was obtained through a long-term l6th Section lease. ...

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Mississippi State gets buzz for its insects

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University has one of the largest populations of insects in the world, and the university couldn’t be prouder. In 1999, professor emeritus Frank Davis and a handful of his colleagues in the MSU entomology department recognized a lack of mass insect-rearing facilities at universities. They approached Vance Watson, then Vice President of Agriculture, with a proposal. ...

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Monsanto opens new corn breeding facility

FLORA — Monsanto Company has an expressed goal of doubling agriculture yields over the next 20 years, and officials say the company’s new corn-breeding facility in Central Mississippi will play an important role in meeting that objective. More than 100 people gathered at the new Monsanto facility in the Flora Industrial Park Jan. 11 for the official grand opening of ...

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State files civil suit in timber theft case

PEARL RIVER COUNTY — The State of Mississippi has filed a civil lawsuit against timber theft suspect, Harold Edwin Simmons of Saucier, seeking $246,747 in alleged missing timber funds. “This is money which should have gone to the Pearl River County and Poplarville school districts for the education of our children, and we want it back,” said Secretary of State ...

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Beef plant conspirator completes sentence

OAKLAND — A federal judge has terminated the supervised release for a Georgia businessman snagged in a Mississippi beef plant scandal and convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution to former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. Nixon Cawood Jr. was charged in the federal investigation into Mississippi Beef Processors, LLC. The Oakland plant closed three months after it opened in 2004, ...

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Ruling the roost

Poultry holds on to top spot, but issues remain It looks as if poultry will easily hold on to the top spot among the state’s agriculture commodities as the industry’s value in 2010 is expected to show another increase — 8 percent compared to 2009. This would mark the 14th consecutive year that poultry ranks first among the state’s agriculture ...

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Cal-Maine sees sales rise, earnings fall

JACKSON — Cal-Maine Foods Inc., for the second quarter ended Nov. 27, 2010, saw net sales of $234.5 million, compared with net sales of $229.2 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2010. The company reported net income of $15.2 million, or $0.64 per basic share, compared with net income of $16.1 million, or $0.68 per basic share, for the ...

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Fins, bolls rebound

Catfish and cotton show new life While most producers enjoyed a bounce-back year in 2010, two commodities that many had given up for dead enjoyed Lazarus-like resurrections. Mississippi’s catfish industry has been on a downward spiral for years. High input costs, rising foreign competition and other factors have driven many out of aquaculture. That attrition led to an increase in the ...

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Nowhere to go but up

Farmers enjoy record-setting year in 2010 Compared to the disaster that was 2009, this year was a banner one for Mississippi’s agriculture community. In the end, there was nowhere to go but up. Still, the estimated total production value for the state’s crops set a new record in 2010, and some commodities posted their best season in years, especially catfish ...

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