News From 2018
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Spring’s cool temperatures have rice producers playing the waiting game in Mississippi.
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.
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.
When I was beginning my horticulture journey after making a career transition, I thought I had some idea about color and planting combinations. I would alternate colors and sizes because all my neighbors were planting that way. But this approach changed for good one afternoon.
A group of horticulture club students was helping our advisor, Dr. David Bradshaw, add color annuals to the entrance beds of the horticulture building.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The 4-H Livestock Club in Hinds County has deep roots. And now that history is on display for all to see at the Multi-Purpose Livestock Building on the Hinds Community College campus.
Agents of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Hinds County found hundreds of documents, photos and other memorabilia related to the club when they were moving their office from Jackson to Raymond a few years ago.
“We found two filing cabinets full of things dating back to the club’s beginning in the 1930s,” said Extension agent Theresa Hand. “We didn’t even know one of those cabinets was there.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a flying squirrel!
While technically unable to fly like birds and bats, the southern flying squirrel is able to glide from tree to tree using the membrane between its front and back legs to stay airborne. The adaptation of gliding for this squirrel subspecies usually keeps the animals away from predators on the ground.
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.”
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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Chickasaw County has piloted the 4-H sport fishing program in Mississippi for two years, but other counties will soon be offering the curriculum.
When I have visitors to my garden, I like to tell plant stories. It seems that almost everything I grow has a story associated with it. The stories behind the plants make them more interesting.
One of my favorite stories is about my White Profusion butterfly bush that I originally propagated in class in 1989. Another story is about my variegated Duet beautyberry, a mutation I found in 2000. I also grow a lot of heirloom vegetables, and the stories surrounding many of these varieties are interesting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- With low feed prices and healthy demand for broilers and eggs, the Mississippi poultry industry is poised for another productive year.
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.
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.