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News From 2018

Blue-purple flowers on slender, upright stems stand above a mass of green foliage.
November 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past weekend, I started planting cool-season color in my 25-gallon citrus containers.

I like underplanting in these containers for a couple of reasons. First, I can maintain a color pop through the year. And second, these annuals act as a colorful ground cover carpet that helps keep weeds at bay. I really do hate weeding, and even plants grown in containers need help with weed control.

Man walks beside his bird dog on point in a pasture with a hay barn in the background.
November 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Farming, Rural Development, Wildlife, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

Mississippi is fortunate to have thousands of acres that are poetically "unpeopled and still." Those portions of our state are prime locations for people who want to escape urban stress and are willing to pay top dollar for the opportunity.

A man in a jacket and baseball cap kneels down to touch small, grass-like plants that cover a field.
November 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat

Dry fall weather in recent years delayed wheat planting and reduced acreage significantly, but rains in 2018 are creating a different problem for wheat producers.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said wet soils have delayed fall harvest in some areas. Harvest of other crops is the foremost priority before effort and acreage are devoted to wheat.

Young man strains to handle a bale of hay at the back of a farm utility vehicle in a pasture with black and white dairy heifers clustered behind and watching.
November 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Farm Safety, Food and Health, Rural Health

A million-dollar grant acknowledges that farmers and families living in rural areas battle many of the same mental health challenges as urban residents face.

A man in a baseball cap reaches into a patch of grass, while a tractor and a white, high-tunnel structure stand behind him.
November 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes

The notion of a rooftop garden may inspire images of ancient architecture, big city green spaces or homestead cabins in the American West, but the idea is feasible for modern construction.

Bob Brzuszek, Mississippi State University Extension Service professor of landscape architecture, said building green roofs is an innovative way to include green spaces in urban areas and increase biodiversity.

A cluster of ruffled pink flowers with vivid red centers is pictured on green stems.
November 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I love the annual color we can grow all winter in most of our Mississippi gardens and landscapes, so I'm going to spend a few weeks concentrating on cool-season color. Dianthus is my first choice for fall color.

Preschool boy places a dead tree branch on a pile of limbs and leaves located beside an old, wooden privacy fence.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife
 
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Instead of contributing to landfills or creating more work for waste management employees, consider piling up fallen branches, sticks and leaves to make a backyard wildlife shelter.

As winter approaches, it is a good time to begin preparing backyards to serve as wildlife-friendly reprieves from the cold weather.

Man leans over a 5-gallon bucket placed under a large mechanical unit inside a building.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Nuts, Fruit and Nut Diseases

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s pecan yields will be down from last year, but the future looks promising.

Mississippi Pecan Growers Association President Max Draughn of Raymond explained that pecan yields alternate from year to year.

November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Farming, Livestock

The two-day Piney Woods Heritage Festival will feature an historical reenactment along with a showcase of skills and traditions of the region on Nov. 9 and 10.

October 31, 2018 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Children and Parenting, Environment

Mississippi State University received three grants Oct. 22 totaling almost $900,000 to enhance the advancement of scientific and environmental literacy among children and young people living near the Gulf Coast.

A wooden and wire basket full of yellow and orange fruit sits indoors with a Christmas tree in the background.
October 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The fall and winter seasons mean it’s time for colorful pansy, viola and dianthus. But the changing seasons also mean that home gardeners who grow citrus will soon harvest delicious fruit -- satsuma, kumquat, Meyer lemon, oh my!

October 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Rice, Soybeans, Farming

The 2018 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course will feature speakers from seven states covering topics ranging from nematode management in cotton and soybeans to the potential effects of new tariffs on the state's agricultural industry.

Large, reddish-brown dog wearing a shoulder harness sniffs the ground in a wooded area.
October 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Wildlife scientists are learning that, in addition to being our “best friends,” dogs also can be also be our best conservation tools.

A clump of light-tan peanuts hang on their freshly dug roots just above ground.
October 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Peanuts

An application of peanut fungicide costs $15-20 per acre, so growers are relieved when they catch a year like 2018 when disease pressure is low.

While statewide peanut acreage is down significantly from last year -- about 25,000 acres compared with 42,000 in 2017 -- the crop benefited from good growing conditions, with average yields of 2 tons per acre.

October 25, 2018 - Filed Under: Health

A commitment to improving public health issues in Mississippi has brought David Buys to the presidency of the organization dedicated to similar goals.

October 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Health, Rural Health

Mississippians can do their part to combat the national opioid crisis and protect their home environments by dropping off unused medications at take-back sites around the state on Oct. 27.

October 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts can enhance their design skills in a new horticulture course intended to enhance skills and inspire community volunteerism.

The 14-week Master Floral Designer course begins Jan. 10. Classes will be held once a week from 1 to 4 p.m. The course is a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

October 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service turf grass expert will lead the Extension portion of a multistate effort to address herbicide resistance in a common weed.

Jay McCurdy, who has served as Extension turf specialist since 2014, is part of a $5.6 million grant project involving researchers and Extension specialists in a 16-state effort to limit the impact of annual bluegrass.

Small, vivid purple flowers bloom from dark spikes against a green background.
October 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Those of you who keep up with Southern Gardening know that I’m a real fan of salvias.

One reason I like them is there are so many different types to choose from. I particularly like salvia farinacea, commonly called mealy cup sage or blue sage, for its landscape performance. These are tough plants, perfect for our Mississippi landscapes.

The first photo shows ground that has been disked in the middle of dormant grasses. The second photo shows the same location with green plants growing beside grasses that are not as lush.
October 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Soils, Wildlife

Thinning timber, prescribed fire and planting wildlife food plots are the most common tools in wildlife management, but there is another, often overlooked practice: using light disking to disturb the soil.

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