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News Filed Under Agriculture

Short, green rice plants stand in a Drew, Mississippi, field.
May 4, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Rice

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Spring’s cool temperatures have rice producers playing the waiting game in Mississippi.

Man drives tractor pulling a large roller over a grass field while spectators watch.
May 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming

MAYHEW, Miss. -- Agents and specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are currently the No. 1 fans of using cover crops, but farmers will soon surpass their enthusiasm after realizing the value of adopting this management practice.

May 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Economic Development

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Massive quantities of local economic, community health and retail data gathered and organized help the Mississippi State University Extension Service fulfill its mission of extending knowledge and changing lives.

Alan Barefield, Extension economic development specialist, oversees the process of gathering retail, health and economic data from sources that include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and several proprietary data sources. The team analyzes this data and provides information to Mississippi counties and towns.

Strawberries in various stages of ripening sit on top of black weed barrier matting.
April 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Fruit, Specialty Crop Production, Farmers Markets

MACON, Miss. -- Myron Unruh has no complaints about the quality of his farm’s strawberries. He just wishes more of them would grow.

“We picked some strawberries earlier this week, and they were gorgeous, but we’re getting less than half of what we should be getting,” said Unruh, who owns Lazy U Farms in Macon. “It’s pretty tough right now.”

Shoppers can be seen browsing in the background of a farmers market sign.
April 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Local Food System Economies, Farmers Markets, Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The value and healthfulness of farm-fresh foods will be on display May 22 for a group of 15 adults who attend a Mississippi State University Extension Service daylong tour.

Three men crouch in a field to look at tiny corn seedlings.
April 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Corn

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than half of Mississippi's expected corn crop has been planted and is emerging, although cool and wet weather have made progress difficult.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said planting began in late March but has been hindered by frequent rains.

April 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi farmers, ranchers and landowners who raise or sell $1,000 or more in farm products can still respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture mailed more than 60,000 census forms in Mississippi. The original deadline for completing the federally mandated survey was Feb. 5, 2018. However, participants can avoid follow-up phone calls, mailings and personal visits by sending in or completing the online survey this spring.

A close up of white eggs stacked in a bowl with other white eggs.
April 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Poultry

RAYMOND, Miss. -- With low feed prices and healthy demand for broilers and eggs, the Mississippi poultry industry is poised for another productive year.

Boxes containing bee hives have honey bees swarming near opening.
April 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Healthy hives, consumer demand and crops for pollination are issues demanding beekeepers' attention in 2018. 

Jeff Harris, a bee specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said bees are doing better than some reports might suggest.

A group of more than a dozen people in hard hats break ground with shovels.
April 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Termites

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Officials with the Mississippi State University Extension Service broke ground on a termite application training facility alongside pest control industry sponsors during a ceremony April 6.

The Termite Technician Training Facility, or T3F, will be located near the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville and is scheduled to be completed in early 2019.

Green wheat plants emerge from the ground.
April 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Wheat

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- 2017 marked a 54-year low for wheat acreage in Mississippi, and 2018 is not much better.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports an estimated 50,000 acres in winter wheat for 2018, an increase of 11 percent. Production dropped to 45,000 acres last year, just three years after wheat growers planted 230,000 acres in 2014.

Four separate cucurbit crops grown in a field.
April 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Lawn and Garden, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Diseases

MSU scientists are on the lookout for a cucurbit crop bandit. And they need your help!

Cucurbit downy mildew is a sneaky thief with the ability to quickly and significantly reduce yields or wipe out entire crops of susceptible cucurbits, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. (File photo by Rebecca A. Melanson)

April 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Irrigation

PINEY WOODS, Miss. -- Mississippi producers will receive training on irrigation practices during an April 20 field day.

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will hold its Drip Irrigation and Plastic Mulch Laying field day on the National Center for Appropriate Technology demonstration farm at the Piney Woods School. The workshop will provide information on ecologically sound and profitable production practices.

Along with drip irrigation and plastic mulch laying, the workshop will also include transplanting demonstrations.

An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.
March 30, 2018 - Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Two young men pour seed into bright yellow bins while a man watches.
March 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rains may delay field work, but they don’t dampen farmers’ optimism for 2018. 

Along with plantings that have already taken place, another sign of the new season is the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Prospective Plantings report. Released at the end of March every year, this report estimates planting acres for state and national crops.

Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the crop markets are steady at year-ago levels. 

More than 20 newly hatched chickens covered in yellow down bask under warming lamps in a large black tub.
March 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Livestock, Poultry

Some people can’t resist the latest spring fashions. Others plant flowers in profusion.
Then there are those, like me, who are highly susceptible to the cheerful chirping of newly hatched chicks. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)

March 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Corn, Grains, Farm Safety

PITTSBORO, Miss. -- Emergency responders and farmers will learn grain bin safety practices and rescue procedures during two workshops on April 17.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the grain bin rescue training programs at the Calhoun County Extension Office. Both programs are coordinated with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.

Training for producers and farm laborers will be held from 2-4 p.m. Agricultural workers will learn preliminary steps to take when someone gets trapped in a grain bin.

March 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Forages, Management - Forages, Weed Control for Forages

An afternoon field day will help livestock producers learn about the latest research related to forage production.

March 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- The Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science recognized what Mississippi gardeners already knew: Rick Snyder’s monthly gardening column is informative, entertaining and high quality.

 Snyder, a vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, received a Blue Ribbon Extension Publication Award in February for his work. Since 2005, Snyder’s column has appeared monthly in Mississippi Gardener magazine.

March 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Fruit, Technology

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Designing an app that helps fruit growers know how many chill hours their crops have accumulated earned one Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist a regional award.

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