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Purple viola flowers grow in a container.
November 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

The last two weeks, I’ve told you about two of my top three cool-season flowering bedding plants. Today, I’m going to complete the trifecta with another plant everyone should have in their landscape: the viola.

Violas may have smaller flowers than their cousin, the pansy, but they’re maybe even tougher and more tolerant of cold, winter weather than pansies. These plants are beautiful massed in landscape beds, and they can be great performers all the way to Easter.

Six guests pause for a photo during a formal dinner.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s premier agricultural leadership program has officially launched.

Nine industry professionals from across the state are the first participants in the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP. Through a series of rigorous seminars over the next 22 months, these professionals will gain skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, agribusiness, leadership theory, public policy and global markets.

Five people stand in a row holding their awards.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The first Mississippi team ever to compete in the North American International Livestock Exposition came home with a first-place win in the evaluation division.

The four-member team was an all-star group of 4-H members made up of winners of the premier exhibitors’ competition at the Dixie National Livestock Show in February. The national event was held in Louisville, Kentucky, with teams from 19 states competing Nov. 13-15.

Close-up photo of a brown and white owl as it looks off to the right.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Wildlife
By Dr. Leslie M. Burger
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. – What do Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, the U.S. Forest Service, Tootsie Pops and Xyzal have in common? All prominently feature owls in their stories and marketing campaigns.

Some owls help sell products such as lollipops and allergy medications. Others sell ideas, like the Forest Service’s Woodsy Owl -- “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute.” Harry had a pet owl named Hedwig, and Winnie had a friend named Owl.

November 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Smart Landscapes
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Home gardeners and landscape professionals are invited to the first Mississippi Smart Landscape Symposium at Mississippi State University to learn how to design and manage low-maintenance landscapes.

This full-day training course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Bost Extension auditorium at MSU. The event is hosted by the MSU Extension Service.

November 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cover crop usage is gaining momentum on Midsouth farms and will be a major focus of the 2017 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course.

The MSU Extension Service will host the course at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville Dec. 4-6.

A close-up of white and pink dianthus blooms.
November 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Even though the air is still warm in many parts of Mississippi, it’s time to plant annual winter color. Last week, I wrote about pansies being a great color choice. Another sure-fire pick is dianthus.

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Strategic planning and reliance on whole foods in holiday meals can help keep healthy eating habits from falling by the wayside.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said consumers can combat nutritional nightmares by making measured, realistic changes.

A row of Christmas trees stands at a Jackson, Mississippi, Christmas tree farm.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- After two years of drought, Mississippi Christmas tree growers welcomed the extra rain in 2017.

“In a few low-lying areas, excessive rain in May and June waterlogged the soil and killed some trees, but this was not widespread,” said Stephen Dicke, a forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We will always take more rain over less rain.”

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming
By Ms. Leah Barbour
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A web-based smartphone app developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service allows state climate officials to document drought conditions and provide information vital to Mississippi farmers recovering from dry weather.

A pair of hands pull rich soil from the ground with green grass around it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment
By Dr. Beth Harlander Baker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recent survey revealed that thousands of farmers are planting cover crops and reporting benefits from the practice.

While only a few respondents to the fifth annual cover crop survey were from Mississippi, the study revealed more landowners appreciate the practice of growing crops to protect and enrich the soil. Most respondents were from the Midwest in the survey conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center.

A glass donation jar filled with dollar bills and coins has more money scattered beside it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians display their generous hearts through their high rate of charitable giving, but thieves sometimes take advantage of these soft spots in a variety of holiday scams.

“The Chronicle of Philanthropy” indicates Mississippians give an average of 5 percent of their annual gross incomes to charity each year. That generosity ranks them second in the country, just slightly behind Utah, in charitable giving.

Two beef cattle grazing in a green pasture.
November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Beef
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

Producers of grass-fed beef cattle will learn the latest recommendations for producing high quality and profitable livestock.

November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day will be Nov. 17 at Yokna Bottoms Farm in Oxford. 

Farm owner Doug Davis will show attendees the sustainable practices he uses on his 6-acre vegetable farm. Topics include late fall production, washing and storing, overwintering crops, cover crops, pest control and community-supported agriculture. 

The field day is free, but preregistration is required. Onsite check-in begins at 10 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Yokna Bottoms Farm is located at 26 County Road 471 in Oxford.

A close-up of a pink pansy with a dark maroon blotch in the center.
November 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

These days, I have to wear my hoodie sweatshirts and long pants for anything below 60 degrees. But the falling temperatures also signal something great: racks and racks of great, cool-season color as pansies fill local garden centers.

November 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Environment
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers interested in protecting natural resources on their land to attend an upcoming conservation landowner workshop.

Bats roosting in the cavity of large tree.
November 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler fall weather leads bats and other wildlife in search of shelter for the winter months.

Bats are an integral part of Mississippi’s ecosystem balance, consuming large quantities of unwanted insects and supporting forest communities. However, they can become nuisances when groups of bats, called colonies, take up residence in homes or other buildings.

November 3, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Leadership and Citizenship, Keys to the Community
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Elected officials recently helped Port Gibson High School students get a better grasp on local government through a new 4-H citizenship program.

A green combine rolls through a peanut field. In the foreground, peanuts waiting to be harvested rest on the ground.
November 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Peanuts
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

Growers managed major disease problems in the peanut crop this year to produce high yields and good profits.

October 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Community
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum will host the Piney Woods Heritage Festival on Nov. 18.

The 15th annual event celebrates the region’s heritage with presentations, displays and demonstrations of historical skills and crafts, including blacksmithing, spinning, basket making, quilting and more.

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