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Tag Archives: drought

Sweet potato crop looking 'slightly above average'

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s soil and climate are ideally suited to producing sweet potatoes, a crop that gives the state a No. 2 national ranking. Harvest began about Aug. 20 on Mississippi’s 22,500 acres of sweet potatoes. North Carolina comes in first with 64,000 acres. Acreage in both states varied little from last year. The Mississippi crop was valued at ...

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River shipping resumes after emergency repairs to lock

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Shipping resumed today through one of the Mississippi River’s busiest locks after crews completed emergency repairs that took days and that stranded hundreds of barges destined for points north or south. By the time the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reopened Lock 27 at Granite City, Ill., just north of St. Louis, Mo., about 3:30 a.m. today, ...

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Three more drought-ridden counties eligible for assistance

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Small Business Administration reports federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes located in Alcorn, Benton and Tippah counties as a result of the drought and excessive heat. Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan ...

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Measuring river's depth not like it used to be

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Reading the depth of the Mississippi River is high-tech stuff compared to decades ago, when engineers used sticks and pressure lines to measure water levels. Still, a clear measure of water in the river when levels are low can be confusing even when updated hourly on the Internet. To get the amount, elevation above sea level comes ...

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MDAC checking hay headed to Midwest for fire ants

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s (MDAC) Bureau of Plant Industry is providing assistance to Mississippi hay producers that are transporting baled hay into areas that do not have established populations of fire ants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a fire ant quarantine in place that restricts the movement of baled hay from infested ...

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Rains from Isaac raise river, but don't offer long-term relief

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Rain from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac could help the drought-stricken Mississippi River, but experts say it’s not enough for long-term relief. The Mississippi River is lower than it has been in years, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is busy trying to keep barge traffic flowing on the vital shipping channel. Marty Pope, a hydrologist ...

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Boats on Mississippi weathering Isaac, but low water remains concern

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — The Coast Guard said vessels along the Mississippi River were weathering Tropical Storm Isaac today and there were no reports of loose barges. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets said the river remained closed to shipping. The Coast Guard and port officials were expected to begin inspecting conditions today as a first step toward reopening the river, ...

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Troubled Delta highway project back underway

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — Work is resuming on a four-lane project to link Cleveland and Ruleville. The work on Mississippi 8 has hits some snags since 2009. Kevin Magee, a Mississippi Department of Transportation engineer, tells the Bolivar Commercial problems with rain, drought and contractors are no longer issues. Magee said the final phase of the project has been awarded to ...

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Corn prices high, but low river remains huge concern

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The drought across the nation’s Corn Belt is contributing to record high grain prices and near-record low river levels, both of which are impacting Mississippi’s corn. Corn prices are at $8 per bushel and have been trading in that range for the past couple of weeks. This is compared to about $5.20 per bushel at the start ...

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Grounded barge forces another closing of Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Another barge grounding near Greenville has closed the Mississippi River to shipping. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Robert Anderson said a barge ran past buoys marking the shipping channel Saturday evening. Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Tippets said yesterday it was refloated, but vessel traffic was not expected to resume before today. He said the corps was ...

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