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Tag Archives: agribusiness

Row crops dealt with challenging weather in 2019

By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi’s major row crops this year have dealt with challenging weather conditions – primarily heavy rains that prevented or delayed planting, only to be followed by heavy precipitation in October. Cotton has not fared well. The cotton harvest is a little bit behind, according to Dr. Will Maples, agricultural economist at Mississippi State University. Maples said last week ...

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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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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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Late planting seen hitting yields of major row crops

By JACK WEATHERLY Late planting due to flooding will have a negative impact on yields of major row crops in Mississippi, according to Dr. Josh Maples, assistant agricultural economics professor at Mississippi State University. For example, only 55 percent of Mississippi cotton is currently setting bolls. The five-year average is 74 percent, Maples said, adding that soybeans setting pods are ...

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Pine beetle infestation under control, Forest Service says

By JACK WEATHERLY The southern pine beetle outbreak that destroyed thousands of pine stands in national forests in Mississippi in 2017 and 2018 apparently is under control, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. The Forest Service identified 23,000 beetle-infested acres in the state’s six national forests in 2017. There are 1.2 million acres in the six forests, excluding two – ...

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Sweetgum trees aid hardwood growth

By: RANDY ROUSSEAU Although sweetgum is not considered a highly desirable species today, it was once a very favored species. Old-growth sweetgum produces heartwood with a much-appreciated reddish color (also known as red gum), and it is even more desirable if the wood is figured. We may not value sweetgum as much as some oak species, such as cherrybark, Shumard ...

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Expert: Mississippi’s wet climate could be tough for hemp

An expert says growing hemp could be risky in Mississippi because of the wet climate and because there’s no federally approved pesticide for the plant. The director of the state Bureau of Plant Industry, Michael Ledlow, spoke Monday during the first meeting of a Hemp Cultivation Task Force at the state Capitol in Jackson, the Clarion Ledger reported. The U.S. ...

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Flood damage at least $2 billion for Mississippi River towns

An advocacy group for Mississippi River communities says this year’s prolonged flooding has created more than $2 billion in damage. Heavier than normal snow melt in March and frequent and heavy rains through the spring led to flooding that approached record levels at several towns and cities along the Mississippi and its tributaries. The Mississippi remains well above flood stage ...

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Beyond rivers, Midwestern floodwaters hurt seafood catches

Floodwaters carried down from the Midwest are killing oysters and driving crabs, shrimp and finfish out of Louisiana and Mississippi bays and marshes to saltier waters. So it’s a bad year for many people who make their living from the water. Brad Robin says his family controls about 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of oyster leases in Louisiana. He says that ...

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