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A person works a beehive.
January 19, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Beekeeping

RAYMOND, Miss. -- People interested in beekeeping should take time to answer some important questions and develop a plan before beginning this hobby.

One of the best ways people can learn about the hobby is to join a beekeeping group, said Jeff Harris, Mississippi State University Extension Service bee specialist.

“Local beekeeping clubs often have members with many years of beekeeping experience, and they are absolutely a great way for you to learn about the hobby before you begin,” Harris said.

Three women and a man pose at a desk with a stack of papers.
January 14, 2022 - Filed Under: 4-H, Leadership, Extension Program Priorities

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been awarded a grant that will help educate, recruit and retain tribal students from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) to succeed in college and in a career. 

MSU and the Choctaw Division of Education signed a memorandum of understanding designed to strengthen partnerships between the university and the Choctaw tribe. The memorandum is associated with the grant, “New Beginning for Tribal Students,” awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Blueberries grow on a bush.
January 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Blueberry growers and those interested in entering this industry can participate in an online Mississippi State University workshop Jan. 27.

Register for this MSU Extension Service workshop by Jan. 26 at . There is no cost to attend the online workshop, which runs from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 27.

Mulch surrounds small flowering plants.
January 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Early in the gardening year is the best time to tackle some gardening tasks before we go all-in planting our color and vegetables. Mulching your landscape beds should be at the top of that spring checklist.

A tractor with a spray rig crosses a wheat field.
January 11, 2022 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Farming

High fertilizer prices continue to be a hot topic any time farm professionals gather, but now is not the first time costs have doubled or even tripled for some crop staples. Larry Oldham, soil specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said producers must plan around dramatically rising costs.

Low plants are covered in yellow and purple blooms.
January 10, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I follow a checklist for many of the plants I consider using in my coastal Ocean Springs garden and landscape each year. The plants need to thrive in heat and humidity, be drought tolerant and not need much garden supervision. In other words, plants in my yard have got to be tough. 

A form submission box with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks logo.
January 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- Hunters and landowners in Mississippi are invited to an upcoming group discussion on chronic wasting disease.

“White-Tailed Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease: Hunter and Landowner Group Discussion” will be hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Jan. 13 at the Extension office in Marshall County.

MSU Extension faculty and specialists will gather input on how the deer disease affects hunting leases and land values through structured question-and-answer sessions with participants on their perceptions and experiences.

A group of five adults stand in front of some plants.
January 4, 2022 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Flower Gardens

The new year offers a new opportunity for garden enthusiasts who want to hone their craft and give back to their communities. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering the Master Gardener training and certification online again this year.

A single pink rose bloom.
January 3, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As I was thinking over the holidays about how my 2022 home garden will look, I was still harvesting heirloom tomatoes and various peppers from my 2021 garden. Can you imagine collecting fresh tomatoes and peppers on Christmas Day, let alone on New Year’s Day?

But that all came to an end when temperatures dropped on Sunday from 78 to 35 with a 27-degree wind chill. Now, I can get back to my 2022 garden planning.

A hanging basket is filled with pink blooms.
December 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I like to close every year with a look back at plants that were some of the solid performers and those that were surprises in my landscape and garden. I’ve shared most, if not all, of these plant observations with the Southern Gardening Nation in the hope that my experience gives you some great choices for your home landscape.

Panels display timber, chickens and soybeans.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

High commodity prices in 2021 pushed Mississippi agriculture to a sharp increase in total value -- a record estimated $8.33 billion -- despite a huge decline in government assistance aimed at coronavirus relief. Agriculture’s estimated value is up 19% from 2020.

A chart lists the value of the top 11 agricultural commodities in Mississippi.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

Excellent commodity prices propelled Mississippi agriculture to its highest level: an estimated $8.33 billion value in 2021. This figure is a 19% increase over 2020. Poultry, soybeans and forestry continue to rank first, second and third, respectively, in the state’s agricultural economy.

A chicken.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry

Strong consumer demand for chicken is one part of the equation that added up to a nearly 40% increase in production value for Mississippi’s poultry industry in 2021. The commodity held on to the No. 1 spot among all the state’s agricultural commodities, totaling an estimated value of $2.65 billion. 2021 marks the 27th consecutive year poultry has topped Mississippi’s value of production list. Final figures will be released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in April. Higher prices also influenced this year’s value of production.

Soybeans in a field.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- An improved price environment for soybeans pushed the crop’s value of production to near record highs in Mississippi in 2021.

Soybean production grew about 25% from $1.2 billion in 2020 to $1.49 billion this year. It is Mississippi’s second largest agricultural commodity for the second straight year and by far the state’s most valuable row crop.

Will Maples, a row crops economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, estimated soybean prices to be up around 20% from 2020.

A front end loader.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Forestry is the third largest agricultural commodity in Mississippi for the second straight year with a production value of nearly $1.29 billion in 2021, up 5.7% over last year.

Large, flat seeds are visible inside a paper packet.
December 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Besides this being the multiple holiday season with Christmas and then New Year’s back-to-back, it’s also the time when many gardeners start planning their landscapes and plantings for the coming year. One of my favorite things to do in past years was to gather all the seed catalogs and start dreaming.

December 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Farming, Forages, Livestock, Soils

A new online platform can help farmers learn about and implement management practices to improve profitability, soil health and land stewardship. Created by a multistate team of university Extension professionals and farmers, One Good Idea provides farmers across the U.S. an online classroom to learn through videos and podcasts. Topics include cover crops, conservation tillage, rotational grazing and nutrient management.

Individual yellow blooms stand upright from green foliage.
December 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We’re in the season when social media is lit up with gorgeous images of flowering shrubs. The sasanqua camellias are particularly beautiful this fall, and how about the reblooming azaleas like Encore and newer Perfecto Mundo from Proven Winners?

Pink poinsettias.
December 6, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This is one of my favorite seasons -- but aren’t they all? -- for enjoying my membership in the horticulture community. Last week, Mississippi State University hosted the first of what we hope will be an annual Poinsettia Open House at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.

December 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Head Start program is hiring for various positions in Harrison County. Head Start needs qualified candidates to fill positions including lead teachers, assistant teachers, a project coordinator, an educational leader, a floater, an administrative assistant, an office associate, an assistant cook and a custodian.

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