STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It's that time of year when many parts of the state really need a good rain. Afternoon pop-up storms often bring torrential downpours that drop a couple of inches of rain in less than an hour, instead of the perfect, slow showers we need.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s roadsides are seeing more farmers markets, produce stands and pickup trucks filled with fruits and vegetables.
Commercial horticultural crops, commonly called truck crops in the agricultural industry, include berries, fruits, melons, nuts, potatoes and vegetables. Last year, they combined with other horticultural crops -- flowers, sod and Christmas trees – for a total production value of $107 million, according to statistics gathered by the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
Like most gardeners, I love watching the various butterflies that visit my garden.
One I really like is the giant swallowtail, with its black body and vivid, yellow stripes. This creature loves my citrus, where she lays her eggs. The developing caterpillars have a unique defense mechanism; they look like bird poop on the citrus leaves.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.
Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.
Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.
Common Diseases of TomatoesCRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Conditions have been ideal this summer for a disease outbreak that makes tomatoes wilt and look like they are just too dry.
Southern blight is a fungal disease of tomatoes commonly characterized by white, thread-like growth and brown or tan, round structures known as sclerotia at the base of the stem.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Oxygen-related fish kills can completely wipe out otherwise healthy ponds, but there is a strategy pond owners can use to control this problem.
Anoxia -- the lack of oxygen -- can form in deeper water layers of a pond during warmer months. Deeper water is heavier and denser, which prevents it from mixing with warm surface water where air and oxygen-producing microorganisms are found. As deeper water becomes isolated, its oxygen levels are depleted, reducing fish habitat and increasing the risk of fish kills.
I am a committed container gardener for both flowers and vegetables, but today I’m focusing on flowering plants. I firmly believe growing in containers is a fantastic way to enjoy a beautiful landscape and garden.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians love their air conditioners, but an over-reliance could leave people at greater risks during power outages triggered by heat waves.
The hottest days of summer can tax power grids and individual air conditioning units. Backup plans can ease the discomfort and even save lives if brownouts occur or air conditioners break. Brownouts are drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. They can be intentionally arranged by the power company to reduce the load on the overall power system, or they can be unintentionally caused by overloads or overuse of power.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Marine debris, largely composed of discarded plastic products, is one of the most alarming issues facing the world’s seas today.
Plastics have the advantages of being cheap, lightweight, durable and easy to make. Unfortunately, single-use plastics often serve their intended purposes in a matter of seconds before they enter the endless stream of waste humans generate.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched an Internet microsite that delivers information on each facet of the state’s local foods industry.
TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- Before the first batch was picked on June 22, two fields at Ford Farms were covered with red and yellow watermelons. That wasn’t the case a year ago.
Any kind of melon crop at the Smith County farm is an improvement over 2017.
CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Growers who planted cover crops for the first time last year will share their experiences with other producers at a cover crop field day.
SAUCIER, Miss. -- Producers and gardeners looking for tips on growing herbs and improving their soil can attend a July 20 field day.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming, but establishing routines is one way to make the process easier.
Judy Breland, county coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Stone County, said planning set times for meals, baths, regular outings and even restroom breaks, helps to lessen the stress on caregivers and their loved ones. Breland is a caregiver for her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering its annual Forage Field Day July 17 to interested producers and agricultural agents.
Since we celebrated the first day of summer last week, I think this is the perfect time to talk about one my favorite color plants, the coleus.
Coleus used to be that colorful plant that would grow only in the shadows, never exposed to the sun. One of my favorites of this kind is the sun-bashful coleus group, Kong.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There's always something for farmers to monitor or manage, and in many row-crop fields across the state, weed control is the big concern of the moment.
Jason Bond, weed scientist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said rains that keep machinery out of the fields allow time for weeds to grow rapidly.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When there never seems to be enough money to cover the bills, trying to set up and follow a budget can seem like a pointless and stressful activity.
Bekah Sparks, Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor in the Center for Technology Outreach, said a variety of apps and electronic tools can help make it easier to save money and spend wisely.