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October 23, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress

The Mississippi State University Extension Service PROMISE Initiative will launch a webinar series Nov. 17 about farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers.

Small, leafy greens grow in a blue container.
October 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

Last week, I sang the praises of my favorite cool-season vegetable and explained how it is both edible and ornamental. Kale is a multitasking super food that is really easy to grow from seed. But there are other great cool-season vegetables like lettuce and collards. I consider these must-haves for my garden, and they also are easy to grow from seed, especially in containers.

October 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

The 2020 Mississippi State University Extension Service Row Crop Short Course has been cancelled as COVID-19 cases trend back up in Mississippi.

A bird eats seed from a feeder.
October 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When all things “pumpkin spice” start filling up your social media feed, you know it’s time to start winter preparations for backyard wildlife.

Many people feel invigorated to get outside and do yard work in the first cool days of October.  To help you channel this energy, here are some easy tips on how to provide needed habitat for our critter friends while still tidying up the yard.

October 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Forestry

A prominent national forestry organization is recognizing a Mississippi State University Extension Service staff member with a prestigious honor.  

Senior Extension Associate Marcus Measells is one of only 17 honorees nationwide recently named a fellow of the Society of American Foresters. One of the organization’s highest accolades, fellows are honored for their extensive and long-standing dedication to the advancement of the forestry industry at local, state and national levels.

Plants with ruffled, purple leaves and ruffled, green leaves.
October 12, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This weekend, I was excited to see that one of my favorite fall/winter vegetables is beginning to play a prominent role -- if not center stage -- in my ornamental landscape and culinary garden. Of course, I’m referring to kale.

Combine picks soybeans in a field.
October 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Soybean growers in the Mississippi Delta are hustling to beat Hurricane Delta.

Row crop producers across the state are joining in the scramble to harvest as many of their crops as possible before the storm’s expected heavy rains batter their fields.

The National Hurricane Center forecasted on Oct. 8 that Delta would be at least a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall in Louisiana Oct. 9. Damaging winds and up to 1 foot of rain is probable for Mississippi in the second weekend of October.

Four women pose with an award.
October 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Marine Resources, Water

A partnership led by Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists recently received a national award for work aimed at understanding and mitigating the impacts of rising sea levels.

An individual red bloom is in focus in front of other, scattered red blooms.
October 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the attributes I look for when choosing annual color plants is how hardworking they will be in my home landscape.
While I know garden chores are an integral part of the landscape game, I like my garden and landscape to be relaxing. I don’t like to change out color every month. If you do, that’s fine, and you might not be interested in what I have to say next. But I personally like easy.

Two caterpillars with white, black and yellow markings sit side by side on a leaf.
October 2, 2020 - Filed Under: Insects, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Spring and summer bring out the insects in Mississippi lawns and gardens, but fall has its own share of pests that attack cool-season vegetables.

An ear of corn in front of a backdrop of stalks.
October 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn

A soggy planting season dissuaded some Mississippi producers from planting corn this year, but those who stuck with the crop have mostly been rewarded with a solid harvest.

September 30, 2020 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Two online workshops this fall will help floral enthusiasts create seasonal designs for their homes.

Jim DelPrince, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will present the “Fresh Fall Floral Design” course Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon and “Deck the Halls! Swag, Centerpiece and Garland” Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

September 29, 2020 - Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative, Rural Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Protecting providers of the world’s food includes looking out for their mental well-being.

To address this, the Mississippi State University Extension Service has certified over 20 personnel to facilitate a skills-based, online training program: Adult Mental Health First Aid. This curriculum teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health disorders and crises in their communities.

Orange flowers are arranged in rows on vertical stems.
September 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I like growing snapdragons when the seasons shift to cool weather. The colorful flowers are like a floral kaleidoscope in the landscape.

Overhead shot of a field with tractors and sweet potatoes in wooden bins.
September 25, 2020 - Filed Under: Crops, Sweet Potatoes

Some fields benefited from timely rains, while others either received not enough or too much.

Person in straw hat tying up white trash bags.
September 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Community, Environment

In an effort to expand Mississippi Coastal Cleanup activities inland, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program recently awarded the Mississippi State University Extension Service a grant to start a Mississippi Inland Cleanup Program. This effort will complement and build upon many of the initiatives throughout the state to reduce litter issues.

Seven men stand or kneel indoors in two rows, holding a bulldog in the center of the group.
September 23, 2020 - Filed Under: Processing

Mississippi State University’s state-of-the-art meat processing facilities drew Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson and a small group of influential lawmakers to campus for a personal tour Sept. 16, 2020.

A brown caterpillar hangs upside down on a curving blade of grass.
September 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests, Insects-Home Lawns, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Every year, lawns and pastures become targets for late-summer grass-eating caterpillars, making it important to watch for the usual suspects and some culprits that are less common.

September 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Catfish, Beef, Dairy, Poultry, Specialty Crop Production, Coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will accept applications for assistance from agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.Sign-up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 -- CFAP 2 -- begins Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 11, 2020. The program is open to producers of row crops, livestock, aquaculture, dairy and specialty crop commodities.

Three panels display colorful green, yellow and purple foliage.
September 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

What a rollercoaster last week was for Southern Gardening!

My column highlighted the steps gardeners should take ahead of a tropical storm. We cancelled Southern Gardening TV production, as coastal Mississippi was in the crosshairs of Hurricane Sally on Monday and the weather folks were assuring us of a Mississippi landfall.

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