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MDAC announces two staff members

Commissioner Andy Gipson announced two new staff members of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC). Gayle Fortenberry was named Agriculture Workforce Development Coordinator. In this position, Fortenberry will serve as a liaison between MDAC and agriculture industry employers, agricultural education program representatives and potential agricultural employees in high schools, colleges and universities to coordinate the Mississippi Agriculture Workforce ...

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Oversupply drives down Cal-Maine’s prices, shares

By Jack Weatherly Cal-Maine Foods Inc. reported on Monday a net loss of $45.8 million, or 94 cents per share, for the first fiscal quarter ending Aug. 31, compared with net sales of $241.2 million, a 29.2 percent decrease from $340.6 million a year earlier. An oversupply of eggs, which began to affect the market in early 2018 has continued. ...

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Most of Mississippi corn crop in fair to good condition

Agriculture experts say most of this year’s corn crop in Mississippi is in fair to good condition. The Mississippi State University Extension Service says in a news release that the state’s farmers planted 35% more acres in corn this year compared to 2018. Corn planting was delayed by two to three weeks because of heavy rains during the spring. The ...

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Macon catfish processor plans $17 million expansion that will add 25 jobs

MBJ staff Superior Catfish is expanding its operations in Macon with a $17 million corporate investment that will create 25 jobs. Superior Catfish is constructing a 31,500-square-foot addition to its 31,000-square-foot facility to house two new full processing lines, which will accommodate an increase in demand. The company’s customers include Sysco, Performance Food Group, Merchants Foodservice and restaurant chain Penn’s. ...

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New staff announced New at MDAC

Commissioner Andy Gipson announced two new staff members of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC). Hayes Patrick was named director of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. In this position, Patrick will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations as well as establishing the direction of the museum. Patrick earned his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Mississippi ...

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Farmers’ loyalty to Trump tested over new corn-ethanol rules

When President Donald Trump levied tariffs on China that scrambled global markets, farmer Randy Miller was willing to absorb the financial hit. Even as the soybeans in his fields about an hour south of Des Moines became less valuable, Miller saw long-term promise in Trump’s efforts to rebalance America’s trade relationship with Beijing. “The farmer plays the long game,” said ...

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Mississippi prevented-planting acreage for 2019 sets record

By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi has set a record this year for crop acreage that was not planted because of natural causes. Six hundred and 22 thousand acres were not planted, primarily because of heavy rains and flooding. The previous record was 450,898 in 2016, according to Dr. Josh Maples, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University who tracks data ...

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Farmers use tech to squeeze every drop from Colorado River

GREELEY, Colo. — A drone soared over a blazing hot cornfield in northeastern Colorado on a recent morning, snapping images with an infrared camera to help researchers decide how much water they would give the crops the next day. After a brief, snaking flight above the field, the drone landed and the researchers removed a handful of memory cards. Back ...

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USDA: Ohio has its worst weather-prevented planting season

U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers show Ohio farmers have been hit with the state’s worst weather-prevented planting season on record. The Columbus Dispatch reports the data released this week shows Ohio had the highest rate nationally of acreage on which insured farmers were prevented from planting because of weather. The data showed Ohio’s 15.1% rate was followed by Arkansas, Michigan ...

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Drought affecting about 1 million in Deep South

A new assessment shows about 1 million people are being affected by drought in the Deep South, but conditions are improving slightly in some areas. The latest report released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina all have regions that are too dry. The worst areas are agricultural counties in southeast Alabama and ...

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