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Agribusiness

Ortho to drop chemicals linked to bee declines

DENVER — Garden-care giant Ortho said Tuesday it will stop using a class of chemicals widely believed to harm bees. The company plans to phase out neonicotinoids by 2021 in eight products used to control garden pests and diseases. Ortho will change three products for roses, flowers, trees and shrubs by 2017 and other products later, said Tim Martin, vice ...

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Cal-Maine shares soar on earnings report

By JACK WEATHERLY Shares of Jackson-based Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the nation’s largest in-shell eggs producer, skyrocketed on Monday after the company reported exceptional earnings for its third fiscal quarter. Net income was $64.2 million, or $1.33 per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2016, ending Feb. 27, compared with $50.9 million, or $1.06 per share, for the year-earlier quarter. Earnings per share ...

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Mississippi agriculture shrank by 3.1percent in 2015

By JACK WEATHERLY  Dragged down by major row crops, Mississippi’s agriculture sector shrank by 3.1 percent, to $7.51 billion in 2015 from $7.75 billion in 2014, according to agriculture economist Brian Williams. Crops’ value fell nearly $500 million last year from 2014, but forestry and poultry buoyed the overall figure. Yet, Williams, an assistant professor of agricultural economics for the ...

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Beekeeping hobby grows in Mississippi, nation

Beekeeping is hot right now, with numbers of producers steadily increasing in Mississippi and across the U.S. “Beekeeping continues to grow in astonishing numbers across the country,” said Jeff Harris, bee specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Most of that growth is from people who want to do it as a hobby.” Johnny Thompson, a Philadelphia, Mississippi, beekeeper ...

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Safety debate continues over the use of antibiotics by chicken processors

By BECKY GILLETTE Nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are put into animal feed to promote growth and prevent disease. Concerns about that contributing to the growth of antibiotic resistance bacteria that can affect people has led to concerns being raised by organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. FDA is ...

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Forest management plan a good investment

By LISA MONTI Farmers, agricultural producers and private forest landowners who want to learn how to better manage their forest land can get financial and technical assistance from an initiative offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “Many landowners in Mississippi forget that their forestlands are a potential source of additional income,” said Alan Holditch, NRCS state ...

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Agritourism training offered March 10-11

Mississippi entrepreneurs with agritourism or food enterprises are invited to take advantage of training Mississippi State University will offer March 10 and 11 in Verona. The two-day workshop is “Growing Your Brand: Marketing Tools for Mississippi Agritourism and Local Foods.” To be held in conjunction with the Mississippi Agritourism Association annual meeting, the event will be conducted by the MSU ...

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January river flooding has impacts on state

GREENVILLE — Mississippi River flooding in January set all-time records, but dropping water levels may mean the river will have enough capacity to accept typical spring rains without triggering atypical flooding. Peter Nimrod, chief engineer with the Mississippi Levee Board in Greenville, said the Greenville January gauge reading of 56.2 feet set a record. The normal depth for that month is about ...

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No records, but cattle markets offer promise

STARKVILLE — Beef cattle producers are not seeing the record high prices from a year ago, but strong export numbers are providing reasons to hope 2016 will be profitable. “Per capita consumption is predicted to be higher in 2016, beef production is expected to be up, and, most importantly, exports are projected to be significantly better than in 2015,” said Brian Williams, ...

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