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Grayish-purple kale plants are displayed, each with light purple centers.
January 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Garden catalogs start piling up by the front door at this time of year, and our two recent cold spells gave me time to look at them. I’ve had the best time flipping through these catalogs and dreaming about all the new plants I’m going to grow this year.

A marker stating “Common Vetch” stands in a section of tall green grass.
January 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Soils, Weed Control for Crops
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Producers who plant winter crops with no intention of harvesting them reap the benefits of soil conservation, weed control and nutrient retention.

On the flip side, however, the practice of almost constant production in a field creates issues with pest management. Farmers who “plant green” have to balance these challenges to best prepare the way for good crops each year.

Several brown and multicolored adult and young hogs sniff the ground inside and outside a round wire pen with a wooden door suspended over the opening.
January 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wild hogs are a tremendous problem for farmers and landowners throughout the state of Mississippi.

January 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Community
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Area blacksmiths and metalworkers will demonstrate their skills during the annual Forge Day at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum.

The event is set for Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Picayune.

A small bush with bright red leaves contrasts against a rock-filled garden.
January 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

The weather to start 2018 has certainly been crazy. We had more than a week of temperatures in the mid-20s (Freezemageddon) followed by a week of moderate, more normal January temperatures. Now, we’re freezing again this week.

A drainage ditch with moving water, limbs, and trash.
January 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most people who enjoy nature and being outdoors are careful to avoid littering -- not only because it is unsightly, but also because it can harm natural resources. Bottles, for example, can become death traps for small critters seeking food and water. Bottles and other trash can clog drainage ditches and waterways, creating additional challenges, especially if they contained toxins or other pollutants.

January 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops, Farming, Environment
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

ROLLING FORK, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers, landowners and professionals in the Delta to a Cover Crop Field Day Jan. 19.

January 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Specialty Crop Production, Local Food System Economies, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

CARRIERE, Miss. -- The Small Farm Training Center will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Jan. 19 in Hancock County.

Farm operators Terry and Elicia Sheldon, along with student apprentices who live and work at the center, will show attendees their techniques for growing organic produce.

Purple pansy flowers and leaves are drooping and covered with a layer of frost.
January 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

What a crazy week we had to start off 2018 as “Freeze-mageddon” came blowing through with several nights of temperatures in the 20s or worse across the state.

I’ve been hearing and reading comments about the extreme cold we’re experiencing and how unusual it is. But to tell you the truth, these temperatures are not that unusual. 

January 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

VERONA, Miss. -- Produce growers can enhance their operations through an upcoming workshop hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The 2018 North Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference will be held at the MSU Agri-Center in Verona Feb. 8-9.

January 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Trees
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Landowners with an interest in the forestry industry are invited to attend the annual conference of the Professional Arborist Association of Mississippi.

The 2018 annual conference will be held at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond Jan. 25-26.

A gray squirrel pauses as it climbs a tree.
January 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Housing and Homebuyer, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The coldest days of winter do not seem to slow squirrel activity.

One significant reason is that mating season for eastern gray squirrels lasts through January, and babies arrive about six weeks later.

Most squirrels build nests for these babies in the forks of tree branches or in the hollows of tree trunks. Their nests are created mostly out of dry leaves and twigs.

Three varieties of milkweed grow in four containers inside a greenhouse at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
January 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Environment
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Mississippi gardeners who plan to incorporate more pollinator plants into their landscapes can consider native milkweed and begin gathering seed for indoor propagation.

January 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- An afternoon workshop will help Mississippi commercial blueberry growers brush up on the latest research and training related to their crop.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the 2018 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop Jan. 23 at the Forrest County Extension office in Hattiesburg. Registration is at the door on the day of the event at 1 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop.

This crape myrtle shows the smooth tops of crape myrtles that have been sliced through knobby ends.
January 1, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

As gardeners make New Year’s resolutions for their landscapes in 2018, I want to encourage all of them to resolve to correctly prune crape myrtles from this day forward.

In the current vernacular, severe pruning of crape myrtles is called “crape murder,” reflecting the seemingly random nature of the pruning cuts. To me, this type of pruning is very unattractive in the landscape.

A sign nailed to a pine tree in a wooded area that reads, “POSTED PRIVATE PROPERTY.”
December 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When you invite guests to your private property for outdoor recreation, there are several ways to reduce potential liability concerns that could arise.

First, your duty as a landowner depends on the status of the visitor who is on your property. A landowner owes no duty to trespassers other than not to intentionally harm them.

A bouquet of small, orange and yellow flowers.
December 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

For the last Southern Gardening column of 2017, I want to take a look back at some of my absolute favorite plants from my home landscape this past year.

I have been talking for several years about what fantastic garden performers Supertunias are. But my absolute favorite -- and it has been my favorite for several years -- is Supertunia Vista Bubblegum. This plant is so reliable it was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012.

Graphic illustration showing economic impact of wild hog damage to Mississippi agriculture: $298,000 to repair damage, $209,000 for control measures, $160,000 labor costs and $85,000 in lost crops.
December 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In recent years, wild pigs have been a controversial topic in wildlife and agricultural discussions from top government officials to local farmers talking over the fence.

Wild pigs are considered nuisance animals in Mississippi because of their ability to create widespread and devastating damage. Many researchers and wildlife managers have suggested that wild pigs could be North America’s most threatening invasive mammal species in terms of agricultural damage, disease transmission, native plant survival and water quality.

December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts, Specialty Crop Production
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- A daylong Mississippi State University Extension Service workshop Jan. 18 will provide an in-depth look at horticulture and pest management with pecan orchards.

The Pecan Education Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. The $35 cost covers registration, lunch and handouts, and must be submitted by Jan. 11. Late registration is on a space-available basis.

An artist representation of the top 5 agricultural commodities in Mississippi with a drawing of a large white chicken dominating the image.
December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agriculture continues to do its part to boost Mississippi’s economy as it remains a $7 billion industry in 2017.

Agricultural economists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service released year-end estimates Dec. 19 on the value of state crops. The top two agricultural commodities are still poultry at $2.8 billion, an increase of 13 percent, and forestry at $1.4 billion, a decline of 8 percent.

“Early expectations are for good reports in most commodities for 2017,” said Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist. “Poultry, overall crops and livestock totals should all improve over the 2016 values. The exceptions are forestry, catfish and some individual commodities.”

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