News Filed Under Agriculture
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fewer dairy cows than last year roam Mississippi pastures, so the state's milk production continues to steadily decline.
In the first quarter of 2017, milk production was down 7 percent from that time a year ago. From January to March of 2016, producers collected 42 million pounds of milk compared to 39 million pounds this year.
New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency."
"My primary goal is to provide accurate soil analysis in a timely manner," said Jones, an Extension associate who has worked in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences since 2016. "I hope to improve the overall efficiency of the lab as well as update soil nutrient application recommendations."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a mom's day out with a farm twist on June 13.
A group of 15 mothers of school-aged children will participate in a Farm Fresh and Healthy Tour in and around Starkville. The event includes a tour of a local producer's farm and a visit to a livestock production facility, such as a beef, poultry or dairy operation.
After the tours, Chef Jay Yates from the Veranda will offer a cooking demonstration.
PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Row crop producers can learn best practices for adding auxin herbicides to their weed control tool box at a field day June 29.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Hwy. 15 South in Pontotoc.
VERONA, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University vegetable expert is part of a project designed to support and strengthen organic farming in the Southeast.
Casey Barickman, an assistant horticulture professor with the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is working with colleagues from Tuskegee University, Auburn University, North Carolina State University, the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network and Oregon State University to give organic growers the information they need to develop efficient production systems.
WAYNESBORO, Miss. -- The demand for fresh Mississippi blueberries may grow this year after a mid-March freeze hampered production in neighboring states.
Freezing temperatures during the crop's early growth stage on farms east of the state, especially in Georgia and North Carolina, caused production losses of up to 50 percent.
Meanwhile, 85 percent of Mississippi's blueberry crop was either in good or excellent condition as of May 15, according to a weekly crop progress and condition report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Mississippians trying to turn the highest business profit from the beautiful architecture of their historic homes can learn ways to maximize the landscape through a Mississippi State University Extension Service course.
The MSU Extension Service is offering the daylong Know Your Roots: Grow Your Business workshop in Vicksburg June 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. The registration deadline is June 1.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Cattle producers in south Mississippi can learn about techniques to improve herd health and advancements in production systems during an upcoming field day in Raymond.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are hosting the Beef Cattle Herd Health Field Day on June 16 at the MSU Brown Loam Branch Experiment Station. The station is located at 1676 Brown Loam Road. The field day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- This year's early spring temperatures allowed some fruit and vegetable growers to plant their crops a little earlier than usual.
Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Smith County, said growers in his county have not experienced any problems so far despite a late freeze.
"Everything is going well," he said. "Tomatoes grown in greenhouses or high tunnels are ready now. We project watermelons will be ready around mid- to late June, and field tomatoes should be ready to start coming off the vine around the first week of June."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H program is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year.
Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, received the honor at the recent American Youth Horse Council symposium in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He has spent nearly four decades working with youth to establish strong foundations for successful experiences with horses.
STONEVILLE, Miss. – The state's soybean producers can put their skills to the test this year in the first Mississippi Soybean Yield Contest.
Yield contests encourage growers to conduct on-farm research, evaluate their agronomic practices, and increase yields and profits.
The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board funds the contest with producer checkoff funds. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Soybean Association will administer the competition.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Early-career producers and allied agricultural professionals looking to develop leadership skills and policy knowledge about farming issues should apply to participate in Mississippi's premier agricultural leadership training program.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, has established the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi producers have planted a large percentage of the state's soybean crop well ahead of schedule, giving producers the opportunity for maximum yields.
The May 1 crop progress and condition report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated 69 percent of the soybean crop has been planted. In the last five years, just 38 percent of the crop was typically planted by this date.
Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, called the progress to date phenomenal.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Lida McDowell taught science and math for 30 years at the high school and university levels, and she keeps finding ways to educate while enjoying an interest she had no time to pursue until retirement.
The raised-bed vegetable gardens she and church friend Karen Walker maintain year-round serve as a classroom for a young audience at Thames Elementary School in Hattiesburg.
“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to enjoy nature, be outside and appreciate where their food comes from,” McDowell said.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many Mississippi peanut growers are just now planting this year's crop, but their acreage will likely be increased over the amount cultivated in recent years.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects 44,000 acres of peanuts will be planted this year, which would be a jump from 39,000 planted in 2016.
Jason Sarver, peanut specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said he believes the state’s peanut fields could approach 50,000 acres.
HOUSTON, Miss. -- Chickasaw County residents are feeling the ripple effect of renovating a dilapidated agri-center three years ago.
"Horse events can have a tremendous economic impact on a community," said Angie Abrams, Chickasaw County 4-H agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "The agri-center renovation didn't just benefit a handful of people with horses. It has helped local businesses, youth development and other groups needing a large covered space for specific activities."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Horse owners with a "need for speed" can work on the fundamentals of barrel racing at an upcoming clinic at Mississippi State University.
The MSU Extension Service is hosting the clinic from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 27 at the MSU Horse Unit on the Henry H. Leveck Research Farm, often referred to as South Farm.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dairy producers who want to improve their cattle management skills can spend a half day seeing how Mississippi State University researchers handle their herd.
The 2017 MSU Dairy Open House will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20 at the MSU Bearden Dairy Research Center near Starkville. The event is hosted by the MSU Extension Service and the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. There is no cost to attend the open house, and lunch will be provided.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Last year's drought will likely affect this year's hay acreage in Mississippi.
Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said he anticipates about 690,000 hay acres. The state had about 750,000 acres devoted to hay production in 2016.
NEWTON, Miss. -- Forage growers looking to improve production and management of their fields are invited to a workshop in May.
The Coastal Plain Forage Production Field Day will be held May 4 at the Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station at 51 Coastal Plain Road in Newton. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry and Experiment Station are hosting the free event.