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News From 2015

Randy Rousseau, a Mississippi State University Extension forestry professor in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, examines pine seedlings in an MSU greenhouse Feb. 18, 2015, in Starkville, Mississippi. He administers a program designed to encourage landowners to invest in better seedlings so they can see for themselves that the results are worth the much higher initial cost. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Timber Harvest

By Bonnie Coblentz
MSU Ag Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A forest geneticist at Mississippi State University is encouraging landowners to invest in better seedlings, and he’s giving them free trees so they can see for themselves that the results are worth the much higher initial cost.

H.E. Bakhtiyar Gulyamov, left, speaks during a meeting with Bill Herndon, associate vice president of the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine April 15, 2015. Gulyamov is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United States. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
April 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University campus was one of several stops in the Magnolia State for the ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States Wednesday as leaders from each nation seek to strengthen their partnership.

Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the Mississippi State University Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, runs beside Little Sam, led by Paige Davis Linley, 10, a participant in the first Therapeutic Riding Expo, held Tuesday night (April 14) at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville, Miss. (Photo by MSU Public Affairs/Megan Bean)
April 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Equine, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When all else fails, try using horses.

Participants in Mississippi State University’s first Therapeutic Riding Expo on April 14 had this advice for anyone who would listen: Horses can help with physical, mental, emotional and communication skills, even when progress from other therapies has slowed or ended. The benefits are not limited to riders with special needs.

April 14, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, About Extension, Beef

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cobie Rutherford, the new beef cattle associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, plans to deliver educational programs to producers and students across the state.

Flower buds develop on the current season's growth for summer-flowering plants like crape myrtle. Pruning in the spring does not impact their flowering. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the matter of pruning, especially with the crime against horticulture known as “crape murder.” But we’re also in early spring, when many gardeners want to tidy up their landscape plants, and I’m no different.

This weekend, I removed a couple of large, overgrown junipers that the previous homeowner had planted. Feeling invigorated and empowered, I proceeded to prune back the small Indian hawthorn hedge along my front walk. And this is a warning to my foundation planting of boxwoods: You’re next.

April 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Food

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Individuals interested in applying for grant funds to organize farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer outlets for local foods are invited to attend a May 11 workshop in Starkville.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Southern Rural Development Center will host the Local Foods Grant Writing Workshop to help potential grant applicants understand, develop and submit federal grant requests through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.

April 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Residents of eight northeast Mississippi counties can test their gardening skills while learning about new, disease-resistant tomato varieties this spring.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is holding “Tomato Battles” in Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lowndes, Marshall, Oktibbeha, Prentiss, Union and Webster counties. Scott Cagle, Chickasaw County coordinator for the MSU Extension Service, said the competitions are designed to encourage experimentation with new tomato varieties.

Saturated conditions complicated fertilizer application and delayed wheat across Mississippi. Stunted growth in low spots was visible in this Bolivar County wheat field on Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
April 10, 2015 - Filed Under: Wheat

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi wheat fields are making up for lost time after an extended cold, wet winter.

Agronomists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service said warm weather conditions are promoting growth of wheat planted last fall in the state. Most of it should be heading soon, if not already.

Don Respess, MSU Extension agent in Coahoma County, said the frequent late-winter rains made it difficult for growers to apply herbicides and fertilizer in a timely manner.

Armadillos have flat, pig-like snouts used to assist in digging, and many homeowners can detect the presence of these insect eaters by the shallow holes and rooting they leave behind when digging for food. (Photo by iStock)
April 10, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It can climb, dig, swim and run, but in spite of its physical skills, the nine-banded armadillo is frequently roadkill.

You might not have even known it is a member of the mammal class. It bears very little resemblance to any other mammal in that it is not covered in fur or hair. Instead, it has nine bony armor rings covering the area between its shoulder and hip. Its long tail has an additional 12 bony rings.

The Starkville Community Market is an example of many farmers markets in the state that are located in downtown areas. These markets help increase foot traffic in surrounding stores and restaurants while supporting local producers and merchants. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
April 8, 2015 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers markets present obvious benefits for both customers and growers, but the operations also provide an avenue for rural and urban community development.

In April 2010, there were 52 known farmers markets in Mississippi. Four years later, there were 84 -- an indication that more local governments and organizers are realizing the opportunities markets provide for growth.

Dr. Lanny Pace (left), a laboratory system director for the Mississippi State University College of Medicine, receives the Advocate for Animal Agriculture Award along with Dr. Tony M. Forshey, Ohio state veterinarian. The award was presented by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's chief operating officer, Katie Ambrose. (Submitted photo)
April 8, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine laboratory system director recently received the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s Advocate for Animal Agriculture Award.

Dr. Robin Fontenot, assistant clinical professor at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, administers shock-wave therapy to an equine patient to help resolve back pain issues. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
April 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Equine

By Jenny Burns
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Horse owners across the Southeast can benefit from a new service offered by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The technology known as “extracorporeal,” or outside of the body, shock-wave therapy has been available at the college since December 2014. This noninvasive treatment can stimulate healing in both new and old injuries to horses.

These two preschoolers play their first musical instruments in the Child Development and Family Studies Center at Mississippi State University. (School of Human Sciences file photo/Alicia Barnes)
April 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

April 12-18:

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Music Monday will kick off the Week of the Young Child, April 12-18.

Families and child care centers across the nation will celebrate this special week through music, food, art and sharing. The National Association for the Education of Young Children established the annual celebration of early learning.

Louise Davis, director of the Early Years Network at Mississippi State University, identified the social-emotional connections made through music.

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April 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

In my travels visiting garden centers and greenhouses, I’ve been reminded of plants that we don’t grow enough in Mississippi. Dahlias are on that list.

I can’t decide if it’s because gardeners think these beautiful plants need an extraordinary amount of care or they’re just not aware of them, but we need to grow more dahlias.

Dahlias grow from bulb-like structures that resemble sweet potato tubers. They are easy to grow, and if you can grow tomatoes, you can grow dahlias.

April 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Food

GOODMAN, Miss. -- Small-scale producers and school food service representatives can learn how to get locally grown fruits and vegetables into lunchrooms during an April 17 field day at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce will provide an overview of the Farm to School program and options for selling and buying through the program. Other topics will include school purchasing procedures, farm food safety requirements and school food service needs and requirements.

Crape myrtle bark scale were found in Mississippi in March. This invasive insect, photographed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on March 15, 2015, attacks beautiful and normally low-maintenance crape myrtles. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Ornamental Plants, Insects-Pests, Landscape Architecture, Trees

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- A new insect pest found in Mississippi on March 15 could take away the crape myrtle’s status as a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape tree.

Crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, is an invasive insect that came to the United States from China. It was first found in Texas in 2004 and has since spread east to Shreveport and Houma, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Germantown, Tennessee. Ocean Springs joined this list when the insect was found on the coast in Jackson County.

Soybeans remain Mississippi's largest crop with 2.3 million acres expected, according to a March 31 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (MSU Ag Communications file photo/Kevin Hudson)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Current crop prices do not clearly favor any one specific commodity, leaving growers to rely on budgets, risk management and crop rotations to guide their 2015 planting decisions.

Mississippi’s grain sorghum fields experienced a new insect pest in 2014 that could have caused significant yield losses to a large percentage of the crop.

Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Extension specialists and agents acted quickly to alert growers of the new threat, heading off almost certain yield losses.

Leon Eaton removes suckers from his heirloom Cherokee Purple tomato plants on March 28, 2015. Eaton grows tomatoes and other vegetables he grows hydroponically on his Mount Olive, Mississippi, farm and sells them at farmers markets. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

RAYMOND, Miss. -- A profitable sales outlet and a ready-made customer base make farmers markets the ideal channels for small-scale producers to sell their crops.

“Price and demand both drive the success of farmers markets,” said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. “Growers are able to cut out the wholesale middleman and sell their fresh produce to the consumer at retail prices.

Children who attend the annual Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine Open House get many opportunities to participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health, Community

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine invites visitors of all ages to attend its 30th annual Open House on April 10 and 11.

The college will open its doors from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the event at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street. The April 10 program is for preregistered school groups, while the entire community is welcome to attend on April 11. To register a school group, please call Katie Timmerman at 662-325-0465.

Bats eat about 50 percent of their body weight in insects every night, performing an important pest control service that benefits human health, agriculture, horticulture and forestry. (File Photo by MSU Ag Communications)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

By Jeanne Jones, Professor, and Daryl Jones, Extension Professor
MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Mississippi State University

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On warm Mississippi days as daylight gives way to dusk, flying, furry creatures -- the centerpieces of our Halloween decorations -- take wing in pursuit of mosquitoes and other pests.

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