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Mississippi Economy

Agriculture

In terms of revenue generated Mississippi's top five agricultural products are broilers, cotton, soybeans, aquaculture (farm raised catfish), and cattle and calves.

Livestock

Broilers (5 to 12 week-old chickens) are Mississippi's most valuable livestock product. Egg-layers are also raised.

Aquaculture (catfish) ranks second, generating about 7% of the state's total agricultural reciepts.

Beef and dairy cattle, along with chicken eggs, are also important sources of farm income.

Some hogs and sheep are raised.

Crops

Mississippi's most valuable crops are cotton and soybeans. Production of cotton generates about 13% of the state's total agriculutural receipts. Mississippi is a leading (#3) cotton-producing state.

Also grown are substantial quantities of corn for grain, rice, and sweet potatoes.

Other crops include grain sorghum, hay for livestock, peanuts, rice, and wheat.

Important vegetables are sweet potatoes, cucumbers and cowpeas.

The most important fruits are peaches, watermelons and muscadine grapes.

Greenhouse and nursery products are produced as well as pecans.

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Manufacturing

Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

Processed foods are Mississippi's most important manufactured products. Meatpacking (poultry processing plants) is particularly important. Other food products are beverages, dairy products, grain products and seasonings.

Furniture production is Mississippi's second ranking manufacturing enterprise and the state is one of the leaders in the production of upholstered products.

The manufacture of chemicals (industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals) ranks third in the state.

Other products manufactured in Mississippi include motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, ocean-going freighters and tankers, electrical products, appliances, generators, lighting and wiring equipment, and stereo systems.

Mining

The most important mined products, by far, are petroleum and natural gas.

Other mined products include clays, limestone, lignite and sand and gravel.

Fishing

Mississippi is a leading shrimp producing state.

Commercial saltwater products include menhaden, oysters and red snapper while the freshwater catch includes buffalo fish, carp and catfish.

Mississippi is also the leading producer of farmed catfish.

Services

Community, business and personal services (private health care, hotels, law firms, repair shops, casino gaming) is Mississippi's leading services group. Casino income in Mississippi ranks third among the states, behind Nevada and New Jersey.

The second-ranked group in the services industry is wholesale (automobiles, farm and forest products, petroleum) and retail (automobile dealerships, grocery stores, restaurants) trade.

The government services (operation of public schools and hospitals, military establishments) group ranks third.

Sources

John Ray Skates, Jr. and Robert W. Wales, "Mississippi," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/364600, August 15, 2001.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Mississippi State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ag_Overview/AgOverview_MS.pdf> (12 January 2006)

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