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Delicate, funnel-shaped blue flowers line the upright stalks of a plant.
June 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Everyone has a certain color that is their absolute favorite, and I’m no different. And while I really like the entire palette of colors available for our gardens and landscape, the one color I must have is blue.

A woman handles a tomato plant growing in a wire frame.
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Diseases

Successful Mississippi gardens are filling up with beautiful tomatoes, but unless gardeners stay alert and act, these plants can succumb to summer insect pests and diseases.

Common nighthawk resting on cross post
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

As we ease into summer, if you listen closely during dusk and early nighttime hours, you may hear the distinctive sounds of goatsuckers.

Yes, you read that correctly: goatsuckers. Despite the unusual name, these are not fictional creatures.

June 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

A Mississippi State University research professor is a newly appointed member to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee. U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) announced today [June 17] the appointment of Jeffrey Gore, one of 33 new committee members.

A bar graph showing data on coronavirus cases.
June 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Knowing the difference between quarantining and isolating is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On June 15, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported the COVID-19 case total exceeded 20,000, with more than 900 deaths. Rising along with those numbers is the seven-day average of cases by date when the patients became sick. MSDH data indicate an average of around 300 cases per day through the first half of June compared to approximately 250 daily at the beginning of May.

A single flower with yellow petals and a green center blooms above green foliage.
June 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Over the last several months, I’ve been spending even more time in my home garden and landscape, and many of you may have done the same. But the pesky, hot summer temperatures have finally settled in, and now I’m looking for plants that look good in the heat without needing much supervision.

Protective medical mask, sanitizer gel and gloves in bag.
June 11, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Now is the time for Mississippians to make preparations as Tropical Storms Laura and Marco are forecasted to make landfall, potentially as hurricanes.

A large hardwood tree is snapped off and lays on the ground beside a house.
June 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Trees

Last week was the traditional start of the storm season, and as if on cue, Tropical Storm Cristobal paid us a visit.

This storm surprised us with a greater amount of coastal flooding than expected; and the rain, oh the rain. The Gulf Coast collected 6 inches in a 24-hour period, which was less than forecasted, but it still creates havoc in the landscape and garden.

A watermelon lies in the vines in a field.
June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

Good spring weather conditions in southeast Mississippi kept watermelon production on track.

June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, The PROMISE Initiative

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A health leadership team led by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has received a national award for its work to address mental health challenges in the state’s agricultural community.

Directors of the PROMISE Initiative will receive the Southern Distinguished Team award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, during the organization’s annual national conference in October. PROMISE stands for “PReventing Opioid Misuse in the SouthEast.” Epsilon Sigma Phi is a nationwide organization for Extension professionals.

A gloved hand holds a credit card above a keyboard.
June 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Fraud and Identity Theft, Coronavirus

Adding insult to injury, attempts at fraud always increase during times of crisis, a reality many Mississippians are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Floral Design

When Jim DelPrince became a horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, his goal was to get flowers in the hands of Mississippians.

A cluster of pink flowers has dark-red centers.
June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

To some gardeners, the zonal geranium is an old-fashioned plant, but to me, there’s nothing like having this classic in my landscape.

A group of 4-H’ers make silly gestures.
June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: 4-H, Coronavirus

With social distancing measures still in place, Mississippi 4-H’ers will participate in the state’s first-ever Virtual State 4-H Congress in 2020 instead of the traditional in-person gathering.

Leaves of young cotton plants.
May 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Row crop growers in Mississippi used a relatively dry May to make up for planting time lost earlier in the spring due to wet weather and soggy fields.

As of May 24, planting progress for the state’s four major row crops was slightly behind their five-year averages but ahead of where it was at that time in 2019.

A basket of catfish hovers above a pond and against a sunset background.
May 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Catfish, Catfish Marketing, Agri-business, Coronavirus

Catfish producers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have the opportunity to provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture information on why they should be eligible for economic assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Dozens of white and purple flower stalks rise from a stand of green plants in a cement planter.
May 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Many of the garden center stars that draw the most attention are plants with big, flashy flowers. But there’s a group of plants that can have just as much landscape value: plants with tiny flowers.

An assortment of food items in a box.
May 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Food and Health, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than 19% of Mississippians were food insecure before COVID-19 prevention measures shut down much of the state’s commerce. Now, layoffs and missing paychecks make it even more difficult for many to access proper nutrition.

A pond with green film at the top.
May 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Healthy Water Practices, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics

In the age of COVID-19, we do not need more to worry about. However, the summer of 2019 proved that even recreating in your local pond, stream or beach comes at some risk.

We saw a nationwide outbreak of rare, yet severe, maladies that originated from the water. These problems usually start in the hottest part of summer.

Closeup of blueberries in various stages of ripeness.
May 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Specialty Crop Production

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new obstacle for Mississippi blueberry growers in 2020, impacting the labor force for the early-season varieties.

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