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News Filed Under Agriculture

Emerging Viruses in Cucurbits Working Group logo.
July 3, 2024 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Other Vegetables, Vegetable Diseases

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi State University Extension Service plant pathologist Rebecca Melanson was recently recognized for her work to further the development and implementation of integrated pest management in the cucurbit industry. The Emerging Viruses in Cucurbits Working Group, or EVCWG, received the 2024 Friends of IPM Pulling Together Award. Melanson and Bill Wintermantel, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, co-chair the group that was established in 2022.

July 2, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Crop Growth Stages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growers interested in the latest updates on row crop research at Mississippi State University are invited to an agronomic field day Aug. 6.

Hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the field day will be held at the head house at the MAFES R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center.

The field day will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is no cost to attend, and the event includes a catered lunch.

A child paints a picture.
June 27, 2024 - Filed Under: Soils, Healthy Soils, Youth Gardening

Young people had the unique opportunity to learn interesting things about the soil, plants that grow in it and animals that feed on top of it at a recent field day.

A small group of dairy cows
June 27, 2024 - Filed Under: Dairy, Food and Health, Food Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Despite encouraging milk prices, margins still project to be tight for Mississippi dairy farmers in 2024.

The latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasted this year’s average all-milk price at $21.60 per hundredweight nationally. Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said this is an improvement from last year, but still below 2022 levels, when prices hovered around $25 per hundredweight.

Screenshot of David Gilmer.
June 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Livestock, Health, The PROMISE Initiative

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Longtime dairy farmers David and Will Gilmer made the tough decision six years ago to get out of the dairy cattle business. The father-and-son team decided to transition their farm to beef cattle. However, the beef cattle business comes with its own stressful challenges.

A piece of green farm machinery moves through a wheat field.
June 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Wheat

Wheat harvest was complete across most of the state by late June, wrapping up a crop that was quite small compared to recent years and in fairly average condition.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated wheat harvest was 94% complete by June 23, well ahead of the 5-year average for harvest. Mississippi growers planted just 70,000 acres in 2023, and the crop has averaged 96,000 acres since 2021.

June 18, 2024 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Private pesticide applicators will have new training requirements beginning July 1. The Mississippi Pesticide Safety Education Program has updated its online and face-to-face certification programs to meet this demand.

The new mandated training and competency requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are for applicators who use restricted use pesticides on farmland and need to renew or obtain certification.

Honey in a jar.
June 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Food Safety

There is nothing like the taste of a sweet spoon of honey. The versatility of honey makes it a very useful item to have around the kitchen, and for that reason, raising honeybees and selling the honey has become increasingly popular.

A cluster of small plants have green leaves on reddish stems.
June 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Cotton

Cotton planting has all but drawn to a close in Mississippi for the year, with the state seeing an increase to an expected 500,000 acres in 2024. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made that acreage estimate and said the crop was 94% planted by June 9, 2024. Of that acreage, 80% was either in good or excellent condition, with 19% in fair and just 1% in poor condition.

Two men are photographed outdoors.
June 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Catfish, Farm Stress

While every job has stress points, few people go to work knowing they could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in any given day. That is a reality for many in the agricultural sector, and mental health struggles are a frequent result.

Boxes of soil are arranged in rows.
June 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Soils

Young people with an interest in soil science are encouraged to sign up now for a June 21 event that explores many aspects of this topic. Mississippi State University will host its first-ever Youth Soil Science Field Day at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. The half-day event is designed for students ages 8-12.

Small soybean plants grow in a crowded row.
May 23, 2024 - Filed Under: Soybeans

Mississippi’s 2 million-plus acre soybean crop is mostly planted and looks to be in good shape early on, with the only lingering acres yet to be planted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that the crop was 86% planted as of May 19, 2024, and 13% in excellent condition and 62% in good condition. The crop is typically close to three-fourths planted by this time of the year.

Several cows and calves stand in a pasture.
May 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Beef

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Beef cattle prices are the best they have been in nearly a decade for Mississippi’s producers, but they face some tough management challenges to ensure their operations are profitable.

Buckets of peppers stand on a table at a market.
May 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Community

One of summertime’s treats in the South is the prevalence of farmers markets, community social events that allow shoppers to leave with a variety of fresh, local fruits, vegetables and other goods.

Rows of corn stalks in a field with the sky in the background.
May 20, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite wet spring weather that pushed planting beyond the typical window, Mississippi corn producers have essentially completed planting and the crop is in good condition.

Closeup of a dial on a pressure canner.
May 17, 2024 - Filed Under: Fruit, Food and Health, Food, Food Safety, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

Home canning is an economical way to preserve the bounty of your garden. This Q&A may answer some questions for you, whether you’re new to canning or you’ve been canning for years.

Close-up photo of rice
May 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s rice crop is poised to be bigger and healthier than it has been in four years -- the result of increased planting to meet demand and favorable weather conditions during its emergence.

May 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University is hosting a field day at one of its research stations on June 5 for row crop growers interested in learning more about high-speed planting and advanced planting technologies.

The MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will present the Advanced Planting Technologies field day and training at the MAFES Black Belt Experiment Station in Brooksville.

Adults do paperwork at tables.
May 7, 2024 - Filed Under: Master Irrigator, Irrigation

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is taking irrigation education a step further than before by offering Master Irrigator status to those who complete a course of training.

There is no cost to growers to participate in this training, which includes eight hours of online classes and 16 hours of in-person training. Drew Gholson, MSU Extension irrigation specialist and coordinator of the National Center for Alluvial Aquifer Research, said the goal is for participants to put into practice the skills acquired in the program.

A cucumber leaf with disease lesions rests on a hand.
April 25, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Plant Disease and Nematode Diagnostic Services, Vegetable Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

Did you know the Mississippi State University Extension Service has a laboratory that is designated to diagnose plant diseases and nematodes? Yes, it does! Learn how the Mississippi State University Extension Service Plant Diagnostic Laboratory and its scientists protect the crops that provide our food and fiber along with other home and garden crops.