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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 https://auction.msucares.com/.

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.

Six guests pause for a photo during a formal dinner.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s premier agricultural leadership program has officially launched.

Nine industry professionals from across the state are the first participants in the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP. Through a series of rigorous seminars over the next 22 months, these professionals will gain skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, agribusiness, leadership theory, public policy and global markets.

Five people stand in a row holding their awards.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The first Mississippi team ever to compete in the North American International Livestock Exposition came home with a first-place win in the evaluation division.

The four-member team was an all-star group of 4-H members made up of winners of the premier exhibitors’ competition at the Dixie National Livestock Show in February. The national event was held in Louisville, Kentucky, with teams from 19 states competing Nov. 13-15.

November 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Smart Landscapes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Home gardeners and landscape professionals are invited to the first Mississippi Smart Landscape Symposium at Mississippi State University to learn how to design and manage low-maintenance landscapes.

This full-day training course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Bost Extension auditorium at MSU. The event is hosted by the MSU Extension Service.

November 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cover crop usage is gaining momentum on Midsouth farms and will be a major focus of the 2017 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course.

The MSU Extension Service will host the course at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville Dec. 4-6.

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Strategic planning and reliance on whole foods in holiday meals can help keep healthy eating habits from falling by the wayside.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said consumers can combat nutritional nightmares by making measured, realistic changes.

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A web-based smartphone app developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service allows state climate officials to document drought conditions and provide information vital to Mississippi farmers recovering from dry weather.

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