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Nitrogen is applied to rice fields as urea, which is being sprayed by aerial application on this preflood field in Washington County, Mississippi, in June 2015. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Lee Atwill)
January 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Rice, Healthy Soils and Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A new way of growing rice keeps costs down while maintaining yields, and Mississippi State University researchers say the method does not hinder application of the key fertilizer.

Alternate wetting and drying, or AWD, is a method for growing rice that allows fields to dry out before farmers flood them again. The conventional method of growing rice uses a continuous flood over the paddy.

January 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Agri-tourism, Livestock, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Scientists are seeking producer input on future agricultural research and outreach programming at three Mississippi State University Research and Extension Centers.

Producers of more than a dozen commodities will meet with specialists and researchers from the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station during Producer Advisory Council meetings in Verona, Raymond and Biloxi.

Mississippi Greenhouse Tomato Short Course logo
January 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Greenhouse Tomatoes

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Greenhouse tomato growers and other interested individuals are invited to attend the 27th annual Mississippi Greenhouse Tomato Short Course March 7 and 8.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and Auburn University will present the latest production information. Experienced growers and industry professionals from around the U.S. also will speak.

The short course will be at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center, located at 1500 Raymond Lake Road in Raymond.

Spores of the Macrophomina phaseolina pathogen can be seen as transparent ovals in this microscopic image taken from an infected corn plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/ Clarissa Balbalian)
January 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Ornamentals Diseases

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- When impatiens planted as part of a Mississippi State University variety trial died within two weeks, researchers acted quickly and described a pathogen never before seen in this flower.

"We were growing SunPatiens, which are hybrid impatiens immune to downy mildew. This disease has been a big problem for the industry," Broderick said. "The plants were doing really well, but in July they started to look like they were wilting. The stems were collapsing and dying, and in a two-week period, they went from looking relatively healthy to dead."

Jameka Coffey Harkins, left, and her mother, Rose Coffey-Graham, represent two generations leading an Oktibbeha County 4-H Club. Adult volunteers are keys to the youth develop program’s success. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Even adults benefit from involvement in 4-H, the largest youth development organization in the nation.

Rose Coffey Graham became a 4-H volunteer leader in 1982 because she saw a need for young people living in rural Oktibbeha County. She discovered much more.

"I love having opportunities to work with children but also with the other adults. We learn together and have so much fun," she said.

The Controller's Generation II 4-H Club focuses on the essential elements of 4-H, including belonging, independence, mastery and generosity.

January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its first field day of the New Year on Jan. 20 at Ole Brook Organics in Brookhaven.

Speakers will include Bill Evans, associate research professor with Mississippi State University; Girish K. Panicker, associate professor and director of the Center for Conservation Research with Alcorn State University; and Al Buie, farm owner.

January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Local craftsmen will display their metalworking skills during this year's Forge Day at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum.

Artists will demonstrate blacksmithing and metalworking techniques at the event on Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interested individuals can learn how to begin these hobbies.

Some artists will allow adults and children to try out metal forging. Signed waivers are required and protective gear will be provided.

Knife sharpening will be available. Some artists will offer products for sale.

January 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

VERONA, Miss. -- Produce growers can learn the latest research on production methods and disease management at a two-day workshop Feb. 9-10.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the North Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Conference at the Lee County Agri-Center at 5395 Miss. Hwy. 145 in Verona.

The conference will be held at the facility's Magnolia building.

January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.

The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.

Professional florists can learn to make arrangements for bouquets like this one during a two-day wedding floral workshop on Jan. 30 and 31offered by Jim DelPrince, floral design specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jim DelPrince)
January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community

BILOXI, Miss. -- Professional florists and others who want to begin or expand businesses can learn about wedding floral design during an upcoming two-day workshop.

Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will conduct the Wedding Floral Design Workshop Jan. 30 and 31 in Biloxi.

December 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Local gyms are popular places in January, but good nutrition is just as critical as exercise in achieving New Year's fitness resolutions.

Food consumed after workouts -- known in sport dietetics as recovery nutrition -- has as much of an impact on improving well-being as the workouts themselves.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.

"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."

Chicks and Forest
December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry remains Mississippi's top agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

Forestry comes in a distant second with total farm-gate value of $1.4 billion, according to 2016 estimates.

Mississippi State University Extension Service economists just released their estimates for the state's agricultural commodity values in 2016. The top commodities remain poultry and forestry. Soybeans remain in the third spot, dropping 1.7 percent to just over $1 billion.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Farming, Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A farm crisis may have silently begun in the United States, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service concluded after careful consideration of commodity prices and farm costs.

"2013 was the last year of relatively high commodity prices. At that same time, during the run-up of commodity prices from the mid-2000s to 2013, input costs went up," said Bryon Parman, Extension agricultural economist. "Now, commodity prices have come down, but input costs have not come down nearly as fast."

Jessica Smith of Picayune is a Mississippi State University senior who majored in agricultural communications because of her interest in connecting consumers and farmers. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
December 14, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H, Women for Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many people in the agricultural world complain that consumers do not understand what farmers do, but few of them are willing to dedicate their careers to a solution.

Jessica Smith, a senior at Mississippi State University, grew up on a farm in south Mississippi and is majoring in agricultural communications because she sees education as a key element in changing how her peers perceive something as basic as where their food comes from.

December 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When the new year rolls around, people often resolve to focus on personal fitness goals, but it is a great time to make sure homes are healthy as well.

"There are a lot of hazards our homes can pose that could be harmful to our health," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some of these hazards give no warning signs."

Carbon monoxide, lead and radon are odorless, invisible contaminants that can cause serious health problems and even death if left unchecked.

Rachel Stout Evans, a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, speaks to Mississippi State University Extension agents at a row crop farm in Shaw, Mississippi.
December 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

SHAW, Miss. -- Efforts are underway to inform producers about incentives to encourage sustainable agricultural practices on farms across Mississippi.

Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, discusses the 2016 MSU Row Crop Short Course with Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith on Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
December 8, 2016 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices, Extension Administration, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More Mississippi producers are getting the word about how much they can learn in three days at the state’s premier row crop conference.

The Mississippi State University 2016 Row Crop Short Course had more than 600 attendees. Attendance at the Row Crop Short Course has steadily increased since 2009. Approximately 60 people attended the event in 2008.

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