You are here

Feature Story

Purple pansy flowers and leaves are drooping and covered with a layer of frost.
January 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

What a crazy week we had to start off 2018 as “Freeze-mageddon” came blowing through with several nights of temperatures in the 20s or worse across the state.

I’ve been hearing and reading comments about the extreme cold we’re experiencing and how unusual it is. But to tell you the truth, these temperatures are not that unusual. 

January 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

VERONA, Miss. -- Produce growers can enhance their operations through an upcoming workshop hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The 2018 North Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference will be held at the MSU Agri-Center in Verona Feb. 8-9.

January 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Trees

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Landowners with an interest in the forestry industry are invited to attend the annual conference of the Professional Arborist Association of Mississippi.

The 2018 annual conference will be held at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond Jan. 25-26.

Three varieties of milkweed grow in four containers inside a greenhouse at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
January 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Environment

Mississippi gardeners who plan to incorporate more pollinator plants into their landscapes can consider native milkweed and begin gathering seed for indoor propagation.

January 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- An afternoon workshop will help Mississippi commercial blueberry growers brush up on the latest research and training related to their crop.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the 2018 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop Jan. 23 at the Forrest County Extension office in Hattiesburg. Registration is at the door on the day of the event at 1 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop.

December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts, Specialty Crop Production

RAYMOND, Miss. -- A daylong Mississippi State University Extension Service workshop Jan. 18 will provide an in-depth look at horticulture and pest management with pecan orchards.

The Pecan Education Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. The $35 cost covers registration, lunch and handouts, and must be submitted by Jan. 11. Late registration is on a space-available basis.

An artist representation of the top 5 agricultural commodities in Mississippi with a drawing of a large white chicken dominating the image.
December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agriculture continues to do its part to boost Mississippi’s economy as it remains a $7 billion industry in 2017.

Agricultural economists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service released year-end estimates Dec. 19 on the value of state crops. The top two agricultural commodities are still poultry at $2.8 billion, an increase of 13 percent, and forestry at $1.4 billion, a decline of 8 percent.

“Early expectations are for good reports in most commodities for 2017,” said Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist. “Poultry, overall crops and livestock totals should all improve over the 2016 values. The exceptions are forestry, catfish and some individual commodities.”

Scores of chickens are seen inside a poultry house.
December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The poultry industry is the giant in the state’s agricultural economy, as its estimated 2017 production value of $2.8 billion nearly doubles the value of forestry.

Early figures from the Mississippi State University Extension Service show the industry grew at an estimated 13.4 percent from the 2016 value. Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist, said higher broiler prices are responsible for the value increase.

Picked cotton sits in large green and red bales.
December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The 2017 production value of Mississippi’s four largest row crops is forecasted to outperform the previous year by more than 7 percent.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, predicted the combined value of soybeans, cotton, corn and rice will be nearly $2.1 billion this year. The total projected value for all agronomic crops is $2.5 billion, which would be a 6.4 percent increase over the $2.4 billion value reached in 2016.

 Forestry year-end harvest values from 1940 through 2017, 1940 = $27.3 million, 1950 = $117.5 million, 1960 = $66.8 million, 1970 = $122.6 million, 1980 = $525.5 million, 1990 = $737.5 million, 2000 = $1.3 billion, 2010 = $1 billion, 2017 = $1.4 billion
December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Marketing, Timber Prices, Forest Pests, Timber Harvest

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite a slow housing market and other lingering effects of the recession, Mississippi’s forests remain the state’s second most valuable agricultural commodity for 2017.

John Auel, an assistant Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University, estimates the value of forest products is $1.4 billion, which is a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2016. However, 2017 numbers are almost 40 percent higher than they were in 2009, when the industry experienced its lowest valued harvest of the 2007-2009 recession.

December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host a workshop designed to deliver food science, economics and business expertise to producers.

Anyone who operates or is interested in operating a farm or any other agriculture-based food business can attend the Food as a Business for Producers workshop in the Bost Conference Center auditorium at Mississippi State University in Starkville on Jan. 24, 2018.

December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Diet and exercise are popular New Year’s resolutions, but sleep is just as important when cultivating healthy lifestyles.

Sleep deprivation can cause a myriad of health concerns in both adults and children, including excess body fat, said Lori Elmore-Elmore-Staton, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences.

“Sleep is related to obesity. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more hormones telling you that you’re hungry, and it releases less hormones telling you that you’re full. It thinks you need more energy because something is wrong,” Elmore-Staton explained.

Woman inside a gate in a pasture feeding a white cow.
December 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The volunteer efforts of Dr. Carla Huston have helped veterinarians and animal rescuers in Mississippi save and treat hundreds of livestock and pets after disasters.

An associate professor with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Huston is a member of the Mississippi Animal Response Team and oversees the Mississippi Animal Disaster Relief Fund. As the MSU Extension Service veterinarian, she works with veterinary practitioners and Extension agents across the state to keep animals healthy.

December 11, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss.—J. Christopher “Chris” Giancarlo, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is visiting Mississippi State University this week to learn more about the land-grant university’s expertise in agricultural fields and interact with MSU students.

Charlie Thornton, legislative affairs director for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is joining Giancarlo on the trip. The visitors spent part of the week touring agricultural facilities, including MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in the Mississippi Delta, before coming to Starkville Tuesday [Dec. 5] and meeting with MSU President Mark E. Keenum and other university leaders.

December 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Farming, Agri-business, Specialty Crop Production

PINEY WOODS, Miss. -- The National Center for Appropriate Technology will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Dec. 15 in Piney Woods.

Representatives from the center's Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson will provide a hands-on bed preparation demonstration at its farm at The Piney Woods School. The demonstration will feature the use of small farm tools, including a rotary tiller, rotary plow, power harrow and flail mower. Attendees can also see bed preparation in a hoop house using a broadfork, lightweight tiller and seedbed rake.

 A closeup of the official Monarch Waystation sign is shown in the revitalized children's educational garden at the MSU Crosby Arboretum
December 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Plants and Wildlife, Places for Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

A project by the Pearl River County Master Gardeners aims to help increase populations of monarch butterflies by providing habitat and educating the public.

This past spring, the group revamped a portion of the children’s educational garden at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum to serve as an official, certified Monarch Waystation. Master Gardener members recently dedicated the garden with the placement of a sign from Monarch Watch, the nonprofit organization that manages the waystation program.

A hunter in camouflage and an orange vest places his rifle into storage on the back of an ATV in the woods.
November 30, 2017 - Filed Under: ATV Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunting and driving all-terrain vehicles are so linked in Mississippi that many people forget safety precautions when using these powerful machines.

Bradley Staton, Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H ATV associate, offered a few tips to increase the chances that people will have a safe time in the woods on ATVs.

"Always wear protective gear," Staton said. "That means a helmet to protect the head if you lose control and flip the ATV, and appropriate clothing, including long sleeves, a jacket and boots. And, since it's hunting season, always wear an orange vest so others hunters in the same area can see you."

The side view of a bridled and saddled brown horse inside a corral.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Eleven registered American Quarter Horses from the Mississippi State University equine unit in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will be available for online purchase this weekend.

The auction begins at 8 a.m. Nov. 24 and concludes at 8 p.m. Nov. 26. Descriptions, images and registration papers for each horse may be viewed online at

One woman uses a shovel to break open a rootball on a small, unplanted tree while another woman and a man assist.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Several Mississippi Master Gardener groups marked the state's bicentennial with near-perfect tributes -- by donating and planting Magnolia grandifloras in their communities.

"The tributes are perfect in a state known for its generosity, service to others and love for the environment," said Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

A woman stands in front of several award ribbons.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Women for Agriculture

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- Learning how to show pigs in 4-H livestock competitions made a leader out of Sarah Thomas Smith.

Smith, 17, is a junior at Indianola Academy in Sunflower County, Mississippi. She has been an active member of the Sunflower County Livestock 4-H club since 2010.


Feature Story Archive