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News Filed Under Agriculture

Free-standing blooms in red, orange, yellow and pink fill the frame against a background of green leaves.
September 14, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Commercial Horticulture

What is sometimes called the green industry includes landscape services and greenhouse and nursery production, a wide-ranging, growing agricultural sector worth more than $1 billion to the state.

A golden ear of corn with the husks pulled back is attached to a dried stalk in a cornfield.
September 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn

Tropical Storm Gordon interrupted harvest across Mississippi, but the storm left most of its wind along the coast and does not seem to have damaged the state’s corn crop.

Close-up view of an ear of field corn encased in brown husk ready for harvest.
September 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Sweet Corn, Corn

Field corn is harvested after it has dried sufficiently, which means the husks are brown, not green like the husks of fresh sweet corn. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

The front of a kayak has two red meshed bags containing litter and a blue trash-grabbing tool with the words “Pearl Riverkeeper” printed on it. The boat is on a small river and approaching a highway bridge.
August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Environment

Rivers have been the lifeblood of communities since ancient civilizations began. Healthy river systems are just as critical to modern communities as they were to settlers who navigated the rolling waters to explore America.

A red baler hitched to the back of an orange tractor drops a new, round bale of hay into a field.
August 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests

Forage growers in Mississippi are trying to keep insects from making meals out of their hayfields and compromising their stockpiles of winter feed.

August 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Local Flavor

CHOCTAW, Miss. -- Agricultural professionals and educators can learn how to expand their marketing and sales skills at two workshops in September.

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will present “Expanding Marketing Opportunities: Marketing, Branding and Social Media” at the National Center for Appropriate Technology demonstration farm at the Piney Woods School Sept. 4 and at the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation Sept. 5.

Very large field of green rice plants bordered by a dirt path on the near side and trees on the far side.
August 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi growers will produce about 20 percent more rice this year, mostly thanks to additional acres planted over 2017’s total.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early forecasts predict national yields near last year’s 7,400 pounds per acre.

“National acreage is up about 20 percent. In Mississippi, the increase is slightly more at 23 percent,” Falconer said. “It helped that, at planting time, prices were slightly better than the previous year.”

August 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Sweet potato producers, crop consultants, agricultural industry representatives and the general public will learn about ongoing Mississippi State University sweet potato research and outreach efforts at a field day Aug. 30.

The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Highway 15 South in Pontotoc County.  

A hat rests on the ground next to a man kneeling down to examine grass.
August 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Sod production is a year-round process for Mississippi producers, and demand is up for this valuable commodity.

Jay McCurdy, turf specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state’s producers are having a good year with this grass crop.

A close-up of a fire ant mound.
August 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Livestock, Pets, Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens

Fire ants are everywhere. If you’ve thrown your hands up in exasperation trying to deal with them, don’t give up just yet. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

Muscadines of various shades are bunched on the vine.
August 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

Producers can learn about issues related to muscadine production and other fruit-related topics at an upcoming field day in Pearl River County, south of McNeill.

Green soybean plants set pods in a field.
August 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Soybeans

Mississippi’s soybean crop is in good or excellent condition, but growers are losing access to some foreign markets due to circumstances beyond their control.

A paper wasp on a multi-cell nest.
July 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Fire Ants, Household Insects, Insect Identification, Termites, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests

Mississippi has an abundance of bugs, especially in the warmer months. We are all familiar with mosquitoes, bumblebees, and house flies. But I bet there are bugs around your house and yard that you can’t identify. (Photo by Blake Layton)

A pink cotton bloom sits among green leaves.
July 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Cotton

As most cotton across Mississippi is setting bolls ahead of schedule this year, some fields look fantastic and others are struggling, depending on the weather and irrigation.

A wife and husband stand in a field with cotton rows.
July 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Soybeans

Lonnie Fortner has been named the Mississippi winner of the 2018 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.

Two men in a boat on a pond draw in a large net full of active fish.
July 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Catfish

An abundance of U.S. farm-raised catfish has driven prices down and delayed independent growers from getting their fish to the processors.

July 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- Turfgrass professionals and others can learn about the latest research during the 2018 Turfgrass Research Field Day and Expo Aug. 21.

The event will be held at the Mississippi State University R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility in Starkville.

A man on a horse leans as they race around a colorful barrel.
July 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Equine, Community, Family, Lawn and Garden

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Just summarizing the drastic increase in activities held at the Mississippi Horse Park over its 19-year history does not do justice to the uniqueness of this facility and the challenges it has faced.

The Mississippi Horse Park, which grew from 23 events in 1999 to 100 in 2017, is a Mississippi State University facility operated in partnership with the city of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. It generates all the funds needed to support its operations.

Bricklee Miller, horse park director, said the facility recently received its first grant from the Mississippi Development Authority to advance its activities.

Light green lettuce, dark purple eggplant and cucumbers sit on black shelves.
July 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Local Flavor

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s roadsides are seeing more farmers markets, produce stands and pickup trucks filled with fruits and vegetables.

Commercial horticultural crops, commonly called truck crops in the agricultural industry, include berries, fruits, melons, nuts, potatoes and vegetables. Last year, they combined with other horticultural crops -- flowers, sod and Christmas trees – for a total production value of $107 million, according to statistics gathered by the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Large field of mature, golden wheat with green trees on the far side.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.

Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.

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