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Poultry and Timber Are King in Mississippi

JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — Poultry and timber are Mississippi’s top crops. According to Mississippi State’s Extension service broilers, eggs and chickens brought nearly $2.8 billion to the state’s economy while timber brought in about $1.5 billion. Taxes on timber sales are also expected to be up though final figures won’t be in until February. Poultry was down 3% from a record high in 2018 thanks to lower egg prices and an industry shift to raising chickens without using antibiotics. Antibiotics at the hatchery and in chicken feed can help prevent illnesses or cure them quickly but also can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs, canceling or reducing their effectiveness in human illnesses. McDonald’s, KFC and other fast-food chains now require antibiotic-free chickens. Raising antibiotic-free chickens requires waiting longer between flocks and raising fewer birds which means less income for farmers.

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