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Ducks in a marsh
January 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Where are all the ducks?” It’s a question James Callicutt fields with more frequency and urgency from hunters and birders in Mississippi by the year.

Callicutt, a Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor specializing in waterfowl and wetlands ecology, said aerial waterfowl survey data show duck abundance in the southeastern U.S. is well below average.

A branch with green leaves has tiny red flowers.
January 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

In the world of ornamental shrubs, Distyliums are a hidden gem, prized for their evergreen foliage, adaptability and understated charm.

January 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi blueberry producers have two opportunities during February to learn more about production of the state’s largest fruit crop. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting an in-person workshop and a virtual workshop.

A map shows plant hardiness zones in Mississippi.
January 18, 2024 - Filed Under: Planting, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gardeners careful to select plants that thrive in their area have an updated U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map to use.
Released in late 2023, the zone map features an updated chart that was previously drawn in 2012. Much of Mississippi is now in zone 8b. This zone has average low winter temperatures of 15–20 degrees.

January 17, 2024 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Fans of The History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” can see season-six champion Seth Borries demonstrating his skills in person during Forge Day at The Crosby Arboretum. Forge Day will be held Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Picayune. This family-friendly event highlights the historic and modern uses of the forge.

Blue and white flowers bloom above green foliage.
January 15, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Violas are amazing annual plants that can survive our cold winters and grow well in both landscapes and containers. It’s no wonder they are a popular choice for gardeners in Mississippi.

Violas are also known as Johnny jump-ups because of their ability to produce seeds prolifically and pop up unexpectedly in gardens.

January 12, 2024 - Filed Under: Healthy Soils and Water, Water

Mississippi growers and those across the Midwest and mid-South still have time to take advantage of two opportunities to improve soil health and water quality while protecting profitability on their farms.

January 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural specialists and scientists at Mississippi State University are hosting three meetings to hear growers’ needs in research and educational programming.

The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the Producer Advisory Council meetings at three of their Research and Extension Centers across the state.

January 9, 2024 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Individuals interested in working with young children and families in Warren County are encouraged to apply for job openings with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral at MSU Extension is seeking a program associate and an office associate.

A bush with red berries in a landscape.
January 8, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I find it challenging to keep the landscape vibrant and colorful during winter, but incorporating plants with vibrant berries can add a pop of color to the winter scenery. The Savannah holly, which is a hybrid of the native American holly, is one of the best options to bring that berry color to Mississippi gardens.

Publications are spread on a table.
January 1, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Happy New Year! As we embark on a new year, gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike are gearing up for a fresh season of growth, color and the promise of a bountiful harvest. Whether you’re a seasoned green-thumb gardener or a novice with dreams of a flourishing garden, the new year is the perfect time to sow the seeds of your botanical aspirations. Let’s explore essential tips and resolutions to help you cultivate a vibrant and thriving garden in the coming months.

Pink blooms grown on green stems.
December 25, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Snapdragons are some of the most beautiful plants that grow in cold weather. They may not seem like holiday plants, but their festive colors make them a great selection.
These annuals love the cold fall, winter and spring weather we have in the South. Their colorful flower spikes brighten up any landscape, making them important additions to dreary winter scenes.

A three-panel photo illustration showing soybeans in the first panel, a chicken in the middle one and trees in the right panel.
December 19, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi agriculture’s value of production fell 10.3% in 2023, but still posted its second highest result on record at $8.8 billion.

Though the value of poultry production fell more than 22% from nearly $4 billion in 2022, the agricultural commodity still dwarfs all others in the state with an estimated value of $3.1 billion this year. The state’s forestry industry took its usual place as the state’s third most valuable agricultural product at $1.5 billion, an increase of nearly 10% from $1.4 billion in 2022.

Four chicks are pictured together.
December 19, 2023 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry

Mississippi’s poultry took an estimated 23% loss in value in 2023; though production was strong, a failure to meet the previous year’s record high prices was responsible for the hit. Poultry generated an estimated $3.1 billion to Mississippi agriculture in 2023, down from the $3.9 billion generated in 2022.

Felled trees are grasped by logging equipment in mid-air.
December 19, 2023 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Forest Economics, Taxation, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi’s 2023 timber harvest is expected to set a record for the 21st century. “We are on pace to exceed 36 million tons of timber harvested, which would be the highest level we have experienced this century, surpassing the previous high set in 2005 prior to the Great Recession,” said Eric McConnell, an associate professor of forest business at Mississippi State University. The increased harvest helped Mississippi’s forestry industry remain in third place among the state’s agricultural commodities, with an estimated production value of $1.5 billion. That is a 9.6% increase from 2022.

Flowers bloom in an array of colors in deep red, yellow and blue.
December 19, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Merry Christmas! While I take time to be with loved ones, the garden is not far from my mind. I’m dreaming of a winter wonderland with enchanting, cold-hardy plants.

As the new season settles in, casting its chilly embrace over gardens and landscapes, many plants surrender to the frosty grip, leaving behind a muted canvas of browns and grays.

December 13, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural specialists with Mississippi State University will share updates and forecasts for 2024 on the state’s largest industry during a conference in January.

December 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Food and Health, AIM for CHangE, Rural Health

JACKSON, Miss. -- For five years, AIM for CHangE has turned federal dollars into park updates, playgrounds, food pantries, ride-sharing programs and community produce gardens for underserved areas in Mississippi.

December 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Greenhouse Tomatoes

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Current and prospective greenhouse vegetable growers can learn about the specialized production method during Mississippi State University’s 2024 Greenhouse Vegetable Short Course on Feb. 27-28. The course will be held at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center’s Magnolia Building in Verona from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. It is open to greenhouse vegetable producers throughout the Southeast.

A kale plant has purple leaves surrounded by green leaves.
December 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you would like to add plants that will provide color to your winter landscape and are also edible, I recommend planting some ornamental kale. Ornamental kale, also known as flowering kale, is a stunning and unique addition to any garden or landscape. With its colorful leaves and striking appearance, it is a popular choice among gardeners and plant enthusiasts.

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