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News Filed Under Agriculture

The side view of a bridled and saddled brown horse inside a corral.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Eleven registered American Quarter Horses from the Mississippi State University equine unit in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will be available for online purchase this weekend.

The auction begins at 8 a.m. Nov. 24 and concludes at 8 p.m. Nov. 26. Descriptions, images and registration papers for each horse may be viewed online at https://auction.msucares.com/.

A woman stands in front of several award ribbons.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Women for Agriculture

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- Learning how to show pigs in 4-H livestock competitions made a leader out of Sarah Thomas Smith.

Smith, 17, is a junior at Indianola Academy in Sunflower County, Mississippi. She has been an active member of the Sunflower County Livestock 4-H club since 2010.

Six guests pause for a photo during a formal dinner.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

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.

November 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

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.

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

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

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.

Two beef cattle grazing in a green pasture.
November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Beef

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

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.

November 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Environment

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

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

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

A brown marmorated stink bug with numerous small spots on its body and two white lines on its dark, brown antennae sits on top of a red and yellow apple.
October 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Fruit, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

Brown marmorated stink bugs took up residence in the Northeast nearly 20 years ago, but established populations of the destructive pest are now confirmed in the Southeast, including two reports in Mississippi.

Blake Layton, an entomology specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is asking homeowners and producers to report any sightings of the insect. These insects are on a different level than other stink bugs in the South because of the damage they cause in fruit and the issues they cause when they invade buildings, he said.

About a dozen large, 50-pound bags of unshelled pecans are piled on top of a wood palet.
October 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts

As the time for pecan harvest approaches, some Mississippians are contemplating adding new orchards or expanding or renovating old ones.

Eric Stafne, fruit and nut crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers want to capitalize on the demand for pecans, which is increasing domestically and overseas.

Defoliated cotton plants are ready for harvest.
October 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops

The Delta Agricultural Weather Center launched its real-time weather data website just as cotton producers were completing the 2017 harvest and anticipating next spring’s planting season.

Once cotton reaches maturity, farmers apply a harvest aid to force the plants to drop their leaves and open their bolls. They harvest the crop about two weeks later.

Two young girls sit on a colorful quilt among leaves in the grass as they play with a white and an orange pumpkin.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a minor agricultural crop in Mississippi, but demand increases every year as consumers use them mostly for decoration.

Casey Barickman, Mississippi State University Extension Service vegetable specialist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, said the state has an estimated 500 to 600 acres of pumpkins.

Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

Two men kneel over a square test plot and feel the texture of the sod.
October 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Mississippi’s sod producers experienced good news and bad news from 2017 weather conditions. Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the good news was a modestly warm spring with timely rainfall provided good growing conditions for most of the state’s sod farms. The bad news was the same weather promoted the growth of weeds and fungal diseases.

A sweet potato with a pink and brown outer surface is shown close up.
October 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi producers are growing 28,100 acres of sweet potatoes this year, but not one of those is below the northern third of the state.

What keeps growers in south Mississippi from planting the increasingly popular crop? Weevils are mostly to blame.

“Sweet potatoes grown in south Mississippi require more inputs to exclude weevils from fields and have stricter regulations as far as how and where sweet potatoes can be shipped and marketed,” said Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

October 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agri-tourism

Rehoboth Farms will host the upcoming Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day Oct. 20 in Pelahatchie. 

Topics include beekeeping, home canning, and expanding markets and sales opportunities. Attendees also will tour the family-owned farm where the owners grow and sell fresh produce and eggs, along with canned fruits, preserves, sauces and seasonings. The farm includes spaces that can serve as a venue for weddings, meetings and other large gatherings.

Woman pictured with arms resting on boxes labeled “Mississippi Sweet Potatoes.”
September 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

Wouldn’t it be nice if entering a Mississippi State University classroom solved every midlife crisis?

At age 52, Sylvia Clark found herself at a crossroad as she reflected on her life as a small business owner and caregiver for her family. Reared on a Webster County farm, Clark married shortly after earning an associate’s degree and settled into her role as the wife of a Vardaman sweet potato farmer. Eventually, their children were grown and their parents no longer needed her care. With the support of her family, Clark enrolled at MSU in 2006 to finish her formal education in agriculture and extension education.

Photo shows mature, dried soybean pods hanging against a brown, natural background.
September 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Soybeans

Official numbers show Mississippi’s soybean crop is ahead of schedule and in good shape, but many fields have actually spent a wet month waiting for harvest.

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist, said this delay -- caused by frequent, heavy rains -- impacted a portion of the state’s crop.

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