From agricultural damage to financial challenges, the effects of a natural disaster can be physically and emotionally overwhelming for farmers and residents of an impacted region. As those in the Mississippi Delta and surrounding areas continue to cope and begin recovery from recent devastating floods, faculty and staff in Mississippi State’s Extension Service and Department of Psychology are extending reminders that can help.
Between her job and her home, Tracey Porter has not had a break from dealing with flooding in the last six months.
Porter is the deputy director of the Warren County Emergency Management Agency, and her husband, Rodney, farms in the southern Mississippi Delta. Excessive rain last winter and spring kept 250,000 acres of farmland out of production this year. During the time when he would normally prepare for planting season, Rodney Porter was building sandbag levees to protect flood waters from invading their home. She helped him when she was not on the clock assisting other affected people in her community.
Mississippi forage producers can grow a bountiful crop, but they are fighting wet weather and pests to harvest all of it.
Rocky Lemus, forage and grazing specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said hay harvest is about 5% behind where it was this time last year.
Three years ago, participants in the Mississippi State University Seed Technology Short Course familiarized themselves with each step of a seed’s journey from bin to bag. This year, the course will focus on the same process from field to bin.