You are here

News From 2018

Volunteers record the types of trash they collected during a recent Mississippi Coastal Cleanup in Biloxi, Mississippi.
April 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When I think of the beach, I picture soft, white sand and pristine, blue water. But our beaches and oceans have a dirty little secret: trash.

That's right. Several tons of trash end up in our waterways and on our beaches every year in Mississippi. In 2017 alone, volunteers with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup collected 13 tons of trash from 40 sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This trash isn't just unsightly. It threatens the Gulf Coasts ecosystem.

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.

Man seated on a step stool in an arena looks at a horse while a large dog watches cautiously.
April 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

WEST POINT, Miss. -- The groundwork portion of therapeutic horseback riding offers emotional and mental benefits to veterans who take part in a program at Mississippi State University.

Lance McElhenney of Webster County served in the U.S. Marine Corps around the world. Injured by a mortar fragment in Iraq in 2004, this Purple Heart veteran now fights a different battle -- with multiple sclerosis. One of his weapons is an old horse he named Archie, for Archibald Henderson, the grand old man of the Marine Corps.

Spikes covered with small purple flowers extend from a green bush.
April 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of my true favorites for the early summer season is coming soon to our Mississippi landscapes. Starting mid-May through June, this plant will have some of the few, almost true-blue flowers in the plant world. So what is this plant?

The common name is chaste tree or vitex, and it was named a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2002. The bloom period begins around Memorial Day on the Gulf Coast and soon afterwards in north Mississippi. The main flowering period lasts up to six weeks.

Young boy in blue shirt holding large fish.
April 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fishing is fun, it can make lasting memories, and passing the sport to friends and family is rewarding in many tangible and intangible ways.

There really is no better way to bond as a family than to go fishing together. Watching children land their first fish is a deeply personal experience. Perhaps most importantly, teaching others to fish is important for the future of fish conservation.

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.

Several deep blue flowers line the upright stem of a plant.
April 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I'm becoming a fan of salvias for their performance in the landscape.

This group of plants has such a wide variety of selections available from annuals to perennials that I'm sure you can find the perfect plant for your garden. Today, I want to tell you about the salvias I'm growing in my own home landscape.

Rockin' Playin' the Blues salvia is a selection I grew as a trial last year, and it didn't disappoint. The plant produced beautiful blue flowers all summer long.

red-winged blackbird on a wire
April 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

In today's technology-rich culture, we have come to expect instant communication with others, even if they are across the globe from us. But what if there were no texts, emails, blogs or instant messages? What if there were no words? How would humans communicate?

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.

April 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Water, Rural Water Association, Water Quality

LEAKESVILLE, Miss. -- South Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have an opportunity next month to learn how to improve the functionality of their drinking water sources.

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will hold a workshop at the Extension office in Greene County May 8 at 2 p.m.

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.

A white and pink honeysuckle flower floats in the foreground with green foliage in the back.
April 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

There’s no doubt that spring is here when the Southern indica azaleas start to put on their show.

These showy -- some may even say gaudy -- flowering shrubs seem to just take over our southern landscapes before fading back into an evergreen supporting role for the rest of the year.

But this column is not about the beautiful Southern indica azaleas, which, by the way, are from Asia. This column is about a couple of azaleas native to Mississippi and other southeastern states -- the deciduous azaleas.

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. 

deer with velvet antlers chewing leaf
March 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Researchers at the Mississippi State University Deer Lab have one simple answer to almost every question land managers ask: Nutrition. 

How do you improve the health of a deer herd? How do you attract more deer? How do you grow bigger bucks or larger racks? Improve nutrition, and most everything else will take care of itself.

Clusters of bright red flowers are seen on a background of green leaves.
March 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Design and Management

I took a look at my landscape this weekend trying to decide how many plants, if any, I’m going to have to renovate or replace after our hard winter. I have to say I was really impressed at the regrowth so far this spring.

Only the eyes of a turkey hunter wearing full camouflage is visible. He is holding a wooden turkey caller.
March 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Flowers are blooming, hardwood trees are budding and flowering, songbirds are singing, and wild turkeys are mating. Mississippi has to be the prettiest place on Earth, especially in the springtime, making it my favorite time of year.

Mississippi’s wild turkeys are majestic game birds that have always been important to people in the South. The earliest North Americans probably used the turkey as food. Since that time, the turkey has held an important niche in our economy and in the environment.

A man stands on a boat and checks a large roll of fishing line.
March 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries

BILOXI, Miss. -- Sharks of the northern Gulf of Mexico have a strong advocate in Mississippi State University Extension Service fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon.

Drymon, originally from Kentucky, has been fascinated with sharks from a young age. His dad, an airline pilot, took him on annual scuba diving trips to watch sharks. His college career focused on marine sciences, leading him to a career in marine biology, first at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.

Pages

Archive