The state has handed out about two dozen agricultural grants to farmers to come up with environmentally friendly, innovative products to make their operations more profitable. Joan Benjamin with the State Agriculture Department says the grants are seed money to get projects going. One farmer able to take advantage of the program is Ben Hunter. He’ll use his grant to improve his crawfish growing operation on his rice farm near Sikeston in Southeast Missouri. He says it’s not a lot of money, but every little bit helps. Hunter says a conventional rice crop might gross only $300 or $400 an acre. But the crawfish could be worth $1,000 to $2,000 an acre.
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