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Mississippi crop production declines in 2006

MISSISSIPPI - Mississippi farmers' production was down for all the state's major crops in 2006, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows.

Corn production dropped 24 percent, soybeans fell 26 percent and rice dipped 21 percent from 2005, according to USDA estimates. Experts said the increased cost of corn would cause a slight increase in poultry and catfish prices, which use the crop for feed.

"It was a very difficult year for producers because of the cost of production and lower yields," said John Anderson, associate professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University. The summer drought affected the yield per acre for most crops.

"It depends a lot on the area," said Steve Cannada of Cannada Farms, just outside Edwards. He said the Bolton-Edwards area was lucky to receive rain at the right time, but the northern part of the state was hit very hard.

"We caught a couple of good rains," he said.

Source: Clarion Ledger

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