News From 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.