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News Filed Under Crops

The use of succulents is a popular trend in the green industry. These plants with soft, juicy leaves and stems are good choices for low-water-use gardening. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
October 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Increasing markets for local foods and succulent plants are encouraging green industry suppliers to offer new products for horticulture customers.

Mississippi cotton farmers are more than halfway through harvesting what is expected to be the fourth straight year the state has averaged more than 1,000 pounds of cotton per acre. This Coahoma County cotton was waiting for harvest Sept. 29, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
October 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There's no reason for cotton farmers to sing the blues this year.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton harvest was nearly halfway done by the first week of October. Early yields suggest the state will average more than 1,000 pounds of cotton per acre.

Good prices provided the icing on the cake.

October 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets

TUPELO, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing and selling produce directly to the consumer during an on-farm field day organized by the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.

This tractor creeps across a Vardaman, Mississippi, field Sept. 20, 2016, digging sweet potatoes while workers sort them based on size and quality. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- After two challenging years in Mississippi sweet potato fields, farmers are hoping for a problem-free harvest over the next few weeks.

Stephen Meyers, Extension sweet potato specialist based at the Mississippi State University Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, said growers are cautiously optimistic as harvest begins.

September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host a winemaking tutorial next month.

The Growing, Making and Improving Wines Workshop will be held Oct. 21 at the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Laboratory in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park across from the MSU campus in Starkville.

Grain sorghum acreage was low this year because of low prices and sugarcane aphid problems. Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Erick Larson examined sorghum ready for harvest Sept. 15, 2016, at MSU’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grain sorghum acres are very low in the state, a response to prices returning to their usual range and sugarcane aphids continuing to be a scourge to the crop.

September 8, 2016 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dry September weather has Mississippi soybean producers on opposite ends of the irrigation spectrum: Some are done, while others want to water one more time.

Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, has a question for them: What do the soil moisture sensors say?

September 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MOUNT OLIVE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing hydroponic produce and selling their crops to institutions during the upcoming Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day Sept. 16.

The on-farm field day will be at Triple Eaton Farm, located at 953 Mt. Olive Road in Mt. Olive.

Farm owner Leon Eaton will share his experience of growing hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables, as well as marketing produce to specialty food stores and restaurants. Attendees will get a tour of Eaton’s hydroponic growing system.

Mississippi State University field personnel begin the rice harvest on test plots at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Mississippi. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Bobby Golden)
September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Cue the song “Anticipation” for Mississippi’s rice growers because that title and chorus perfectly describe this point in the season.

“The majority of our rice fields are drained, and we are just waiting for conditions to stay dry long enough for harvests,” said Bobby Golden, Extension rice specialist based at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “The weather has made us about 10 days later than normal. Harvest activity should increase rapidly in the first days of September as long as we stay dry.”

Despite rain delays, corn harvest is in full swing across Mississippi on fields such as this one on a Leflore County farm in Morgan City on Aug. 24, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Erick Larson)
August 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Corn

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wet, cloudy weather through much of August has prevented corn from drying as it should before harvest, possibly cutting into farmers’ profit margins.

Erick Larson, corn specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn matures at 30 percent moisture. Prices are docked if growers deliver corn with a moisture content above 15.5 percent, which is the standard suitable for corn grain storage.

Most cotton bolls lost to rainy, wet weather in early August were the younger ones in the middle to upper part of the plant. Cotton, such as this growing Aug. 18, 2016, on the Mississippi State University R.R. Foil Plant Research Center in Starkville, is expected to yield a better than average harvest. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
August 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wet, cloudy weather has put a lot of cotton bolls on the ground, but experts still expect an above average crop from Mississippi’s cotton acreage.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said experts knew boll loss was coming after all the recent rain.

Peanuts in this Monroe County field look good on Aug. 10, 2016. Harvest is expected to begin around Sept. 10, and yield may average more than 4,000 pounds per acre, up from the average of 3,400 pounds per acre last year.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
August 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Peanuts

RAYMOND, Miss. -- With few problems this year, Mississippi’s peanut growers should see a good crop.

“Overall, peanuts are doing very well,” said Jason Sarver, Mississippi State University Extension Service peanut specialist. “Peanuts in south Mississippi received consistent rain throughout the season. We were really dry for a while across northeast Mississippi and the Delta. But between days 70 and 80, we started catching some rains across both regions that helped make a nice crop.”

August 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Mississippi State University faculty and specialists will update producers at a field day in Pontotoc Aug. 24 on recent sweet potato research.

Sweet potato producers, researchers, agriculture industry representatives and crop consultants can view research plots and variety trials at the MSU-Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station during the program.

Personnel with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will present information on weed management, crop fertility and sweet potato varieties.

Irrigated or not, most Mississippi soybeans are growing well in the midseason weeks thanks to timely showers. These Noxubee County soybeans are part of the state’s 2.05 million acres on July 21, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
July 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- July rains hold a special place in soybean growers’ hearts – and in their pocketbooks.

“July is typically a very hot, dry month, but it’s also one when soybeans still need water to grow and fill out pods,” said Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “There have been some exceptions, but most growers have been lucky to get some showers to help their crops along.

July 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

CARRIERE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University will host the annual Muscadine Field Day Aug. 27 at the McNeill Research Unit.

Speakers from the MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service will discuss muscadine cultivars, best production practices, and insects and diseases.

The field day is from 9-11 a.m. Preregistration is not required for the free event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Peaches displayed for sale on a bright blue table. Production and sale of peaches, strawberries and other fruit and vegetable truck crops are on pace to be strong once again this year. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
July 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Farmers Markets, Organic Fruit and Vegetables

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Favorable weather and a steady consumer appetite for local produce are keeping Mississippi’s truck crop industry strong.

The state now has more than 80 farmers markets, compared to 52 in 2010. These markets make up the main avenue through which truck crop growers sell their goods, but local produce can be found with more frequency on grocery store shelves during the growing season. This trend reflects the shift in consumer preference.

Mississippi’s growers harvested about 80,000 acres of wheat and averaged 58 bushels per acre in 2016. These amber waves of grain (left) are in a Coahoma County, Mississippi, field on May 23, 2016. David Wade (right) knows his Coahoma County, Mississippi, wheat would have produced better yields if persistent spring rains had not stunted the crop’s development. He is standing in his wheat field on May 23, 2016, shortly before harvest. (Photos by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
July 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Wheat

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Reduced acreage, average yields and low prices have added up to another tough year for Mississippi wheat farmers.

The state’s wheat appears to be on track for a third consecutive year in which the value of production was cut in half from the previous year.

Mississippi State University Extension Service agricultural economist Brian Williams said wheat production values were $154.5 million in 2013, $71.7 million in 2014 and $31.5 million in 2015.

Emily Grace Barnette is ready to take this watermelon home from the Starkville Community Market on June 21, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 24, 2016 - Filed Under: Watermelons

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Watermelons need ample water to grow, but rains also contribute to disease pressure, and cloudy skies reduce the melons’ sweet taste.

David Nagel, a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said dry conditions hurt the size of melons that were not irrigated, but their flavor should be excellent.

Jason Krutz (left), irrigation specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and Normie Buehring, research professor at the Northeast Mississippi Experiment Station, discuss soybean irrigation at the 2014 North Mississippi Research and Extension Center Agronomic Row Crops Field Day. The biennial event will be Aug. 11, 2016 in Lee County. (File Photo/ MSU Extension Service)
June 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Crops

VERONA, Miss. -- North Mississippi farmers and consultants can learn about the latest row crop research and the potential for using unmanned aircraft systems in crop production during a free field day program in Lee County.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the biennial North Mississippi Research and Extension Center Agronomic Row Crops Field Day on Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Customers still can find unusual items such as this fuchsia plant (left photo), at The Flower Center in Vicksburg. Bobbie Beard (right), former owner, began the successful horticulture business in her backyard 30 years ago. Her son and daughter-in-law now own the nursery. (Photos by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Lawn and Garden

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- After raising five children, Bobbie Beard began to concentrate on her second passion -- gardening.

“I’ve been digging in the dirt since I was 7 years old,” said Beard, who lives in Vicksburg. “I’ve always loved plants -- flowers, shrubs, trees. When my kids were grown, I decided it was my turn to do something for myself.”

Instead of keeping the beauty of her garden to herself, Beard decided to share it with others. At age 52, she began what is now The Flower Center Nursery in her own backyard.

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