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Agribusiness

Joe Street retiring after 35 years in MSU Extension Service leadership roles

STARKVILLE, Miss. — After decades of service to Mississippi State University, a long-time scientist and administrator is retiring. Joe Street, associate director for agriculture and natural resources with the MSU Extension Service, will retire April 30. Street began his career at MSU in 1980 as a plant physiologist for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Stoneville and spent ...

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Mississippi economic index shows first rise since fall

Components of the Mississippi Leading Index, or MLI, collectively rose 0.6 percent in February, the first increase since October, state economists report. The value of the index increased 3.9 percent from the previous February, according to the April issue of Mississippi’s Business, an economic monitoring newsletter published by the University Research Center, an arm of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher ...

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Georgia legalizes medical pot, limits use to 8 ailments

ATLANTA — To the squeals of sick children and thunderous applause from their parents, an emotional Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Thursday that immediately legalizes the use of medical marijuana in Georgia to treat eight serious medical conditions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, makes it legal for people to possess up to ...

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Cal-Maine, DOJ announce settlement of water pollution issue

EDWARDS — Mississippi-based egg producer Cal-Maine will bring a facility in Edwards into compliance with its state-issued water discharge permit. The settlement was announced Monday by the company and the Department of Justice. The Justice Department says in a news release that Cal-Maine will pay a $475,000 penalty to be split evenly between the U.S. and Mississippi. Cal-Maine had been ...

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Cal-Maine enters joint venture to build cage-free facility

BY JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods has found more room to maneuver, you might say, in what it calls the “uncertain regulatory framework”  in the egg industry. The Jackson-based firm, the largest producer of eggs in the nation, announced April 9 a joint venture with Rose Acre Farms Inc. to build a “cage-free aviary” in Bogata, Texas that will initially accommodate 1.8  ...

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Farmers holding onto grain, hoping for a break in the market

By JACK WEATHERLY  Mississippi farmers are holding large amounts of grain, primarily corn and soybeans, on their property, waiting for the best time to sell it. But they are holding out for hope in a market oversupplied and underpriced. Plus, if too many dump it at the same time, that would drive prices down further, said John Michael Riley, agricultural economist ...

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Row-crop prices tank but livestock, poultry save Mississippi’s bacon

By JACK WEATHERLY  Row crop prices fell anywhere from 19 percent to nearly 30 percent last year in Mississippi, taking a huge chunk out of farm income. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the state’s farm income fell $972 million from 2013. However, a major factor in that drop was the roughly $340 million that black Mississippi farmers ...

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Farmers ante up and place bets in risky year

By JACK WEATHERLY  Mississippi farmers have doubled down on soybeans as a way to remain a player in the high-risk poker game that has seen winnings from past years dwindle. Farmers say they will plant 2.3 million acres of the beans this year, up 4 percent from 2013, the most land devoted to that crop since 1988, according to the ...

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Cal-Maine income skyrockets as prices rise and costs shrink

By JACK WEATHERLY Net income for Jackson-based Cal-Maine Foods — the nation’s largest producer of eggs — rose in the third fiscal quarter to $50.9 million, its second-biggest quarter ever. Earnings per share were $1.05, compared with 89 cents a year earlier on $42.9 million in net income. Net sales were up 10.6 percent for the quarter, which ended Feb. ...

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Egg Fight: Arkansas House passes ban on California wine sales

LITTLE ROCK – An Arkansas lawmaker said Wednesday that the state should ban California wine as retribution for the West Coast state’s law requiring egg-laying hens to be able to stand up, turn around and fully extend their wings, the Associated Press reported in a story for Arkansas Business Friday. The House voted 57-19 to advance to the Senate a bill that ...

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