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Extension Outdoors

Dr. Marina Denny
April 11, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – September and the opening of dove season are several months away, but planting food plots in spring allows plants to reach maturity before the dove hunting season begins.

Whether you’re planting dove plots for personal or business use, they need proper preparation.

“Doves really depend on a lot of foods that are in agricultural fields and in open meadow fields,” said Jeanne Jones, wildlife ecologist at Mississippi State University. “They are weak scratchers, so they need a certain amount of bare ground.”

Perennial white clover is an ideal food plot plant. It is a lush groundcover that fixes nitrogen in the soil, attracts deer and provides protein. (Photo courtesy of Bronson Strickland)
April 4, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

In the South, springtime means turkey hunting, bass fishing and preparing wildlife food plots.

Food plots are the most affordable way for hunters to provide high-quality forages for the deer, turkey and other wildlife on the property.

A productive, warm-season food plot can generate up to 4,000 pounds of high-quality forage per acre -- that’s a lot of bang for the buck.

March 28, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

By James E. “Jim” Miller
Professor Emeritus, Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Aquaculture
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Offering feed to wildlife is a trend gaining traction in newspaper outdoor columns, outdoor magazines, catalogs, ads and campfire discussions, but the practice can be harmful to wildlife.

Beekeeping is a popular activity in Mississippi. The state has 12 full-time commercial beekeepers, 35 part-time honey producers and several hundred hobbyists. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/File Photo)
March 21, 2014 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If thoughts of keeping bees have been buzzing in your head, you’re not alone.

“Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby, a profitable sideline, or a full-time occupation,” said Jeffrey Harris, beekeeping specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mississippi is home to approximately 12 full-time commercial beekeepers, 35 part-time honey producers, and several hundred hobbyists. The state ranks twenty-eighth in the nation in honey production, with about 2.25 million pounds of honey produced each year.

March 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Urban and Backyard Wildlife, Waterfowl

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are warming up. Spring is almost here, and soon the birds will arrive.

More than 200 bird species migrate northward every spring from their wintering grounds in the southern U.S. and Central and South America.

Dr. Bronson Strickland
March 7, 2014 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

Wild hogs continue to be a plague throughout Mississippi, occupying about half of the state’s land area.

A farmer recently said, “I wish I had a deer problem.” His statement summed up the hog problem very well. There’s no doubt that deer can cause a lot of damage to certain crops, but that damage is minor compared to the destruction wild hogs can cause. What’s more, hog damage is no longer limited to farmland. You may even see them in your back yard!

February 28, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

A fertilization program can greatly increase fish production in fishing ponds.

Adding nutrients stimulates the growth of the microscopic plants, or algae, that feed the small animals that feed the fish. Fertilization can increase fish production by three to four times, resulting in more fish, bigger fish or both in properly managed ponds. Also, these tiny plants can shade the bottom and prevent aquatic weeds from taking over.

Silver carps jump above the water's surface on the Mississippi River. The presence of silver carp, a type of Asian carp, in rivers and streams reduces the number of quality-sized native fish because they compete against each other for food. (Photo courtesy of Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee)
December 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Stories about Asian carp abound, but what exactly is an Asian carp and why should we be concerned?

Asian carp is a vague title assigned to a category of fishes native to Southeast Asia that have been introduced into the U.S. for their beneficial uses in aquaculture. This group of iconic fishes includes the common carp, grass carp, black carp, largescale silver carp, and silver and bighead carp. The species of most concern are the silver carp and the bighead carp, which I will refer to as “bigheaded carps.”

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