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News Filed Under Forages

October 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Adequate forage for livestock is becoming a concern for Mississippi producers as drought conditions persist, but alternative hay sources and feeding options can compensate for shortages.

The Mississippi Hay Directory helps livestock producers locate hay supplies. The directory is updated each time a new entry is submitted, and listings expire after 60 days.

Johnny Howell rakes his last row of hay before moving on to the next field on Aug. 3, 2016, in the Bell Schoolhouse Community north of Starkville, Mississippi. The state’s hay production is projected to fall slightly this year, as growers face heat-induced infestations of fall armyworms. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
August 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Forages

PELAHATCHIE, Miss. -- Rankin County forage producer Jeff Adams anticipates an average hay harvest this year, but he has sprayed twice for fall armyworms in just three weeks.

“I’ve used two different sprays that are supposed to give you a 20-day residual between applications,” he said. “Neither one got me through more than seven.”

Rocky Lemus (left), forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, explains successes and challenges with fescue growing at the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center. Lemus led tours during a Forage Field Day near Starkville, Mississippi, on April 7, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A cool, wet spring delayed growth of several summer grasses, but not the weeds that compete for space in fields and pastures across Mississippi.

Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state has about 903,000 acres of bahiagrass and 770,000 acres of bermudagrass.

April 20, 2016 - Filed Under: Forages

NEWTON, Miss. -- Landowners and producers who want to learn more about alfalfa production can attend a workshop next month in Newton.

The Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station will host an alfalfa hay production and equipment demonstration May 19.

Mississippi is home to several species of cicadas, including this annual cicada. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
December 21, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While many humans anticipate making certain changes with the arrival of a new year, certain insects have much different life cycles.

Periodical cicadas may anticipate emerging from the ground in 2016, while others may simply have to wait a few more years to see the light of day.

Cicadas are curious creatures. From beady eyes on the sides of their heads to prominent veins stretching across their glassy wings, they seem to be created from the Twilight Zone. Yet, they produce one the most common sounds of summer.

Rocky Lemus, associate professor of forage systems with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, leads the MSU official forage variety trials with plots containing 20 different species and 110 varieties at four locations across the state. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
November 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rocky Lemus knows there are times when watching grass grow is incredibly exciting.

Lemus, an associate professor of forage systems with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is always plotting his next variety trial.

“MSU has the only complete forage testing plots in the United States,” he said. “We have 20 different species, 110 varieties and four different locations.”

Cattle graze at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton, the site of the 2015 Mississippi Forage and Grassland Council Annual Conference on Nov. 6. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
September 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef

NEWTON, Miss. -- Mississippi cattle producers can learn about the latest research on forage management during a Nov. 6 meeting.

The 2015 Mississippi Forage and Grassland Council Annual Conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton.

Stem maggots burrow into bermudagrass, which causes the top portion of the stems to die and plant growth to stop. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
August 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi forage producers are taking the good with the bad and dreading the ugly. The state’s pastures have produced ample grass, but they have also suffered from abundant weeds and stem maggots, and fall armyworms may soon cause even more problems.

Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said summer rains have produced good growing conditions for pastures and hay production across the state. Mississippi has about 760,000 acres in hay production.

A Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station study of beef from cattle that forage on warm-season, native grasses indicates a positive reception by consumers. These grasses are beneficial to wildlife, especially ground-nesting birds. (Submitted photo)
July 21, 2015 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef, Food

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” may have a new twist when it comes to cattle forages.

May 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Forages

NEWTON, Miss. -- Producers can learn about production and management methods for hay and other forage crops during a June 30 field day in Newton.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will lead participants on a tour of the MSU Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station. Topics will include pasture weed control, sprayer calibration, current forage research, and hay production and management.

Fire ant mounds are common along fence lines where they are protected from grass-cutting equipment and other traffic, such as this mound in an Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, pasture on May 11, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests, Fire Ants

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Southern farmers may never win the battle against imported fire ants, but aggressive tactics can slow the pests’ invasion, reduce damage and prevent further spread across the United States.

Jane Parish is an Extension/research professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. She said cattle and hay producers have learned to live with and work around the troublesome ants since the pests arrived in the state almost a century ago.

The biggest reason people have trouble controlling fire ants is that they only treat individual fire ant mounds. Individual mound treatments can be useful situationally, but need to be supplemented with broadcast treatments that will control all fire ants in all areas. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
May 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Insects, Fire Ants, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People have many misconceptions on how to eliminate fire ant mounds and prevent them from coming back, and these erroneous beliefs hinder efforts to keep the harmful pest from spreading.

Mississippi 2014 Estimated Value of Ag Production
December 19, 2014 - Filed Under: Catfish, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Agricultural Economics, Forages, Beef, Poultry, Swine, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite low prices for many commodities, the overall projected totals for Mississippi’s crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year and essentially match the record set in 2013.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014’s agricultural production values, excluding government payments, is over $7.7 billion.

October 8, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages, Livestock

VERONA -- Forage and livestock producers can learn about the latest research and production methods at the annual Mississippi Forage and Grassland Conference.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service will co-sponsor the event on Nov. 14 at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, located at 5421 Highway 145 South in Verona.

Mississippi State University experts will discuss cattle such as these at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station's Prairie Research Unit in Monroe County during the Oct. 25 Fall Beef Cattle and Forage Field Day in Prairie, Mississippi. (File photo)
September 26, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef

PRAIRIE -- Beef and forage producers will receive current recommendations on a variety of topics influencing production success at a field day on Oct. 25.

The 2014 Fall Beef Cattle and Forage Field Day will begin at 9 a.m on that Saturday at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s Prairie Research Unit in Monroe County. A sponsored lunch will conclude the event.

MAFES researchers and Mississippi State University Extension Service agents and specialists will provide information on nutrition, marketing and other issues related to beef production.

Invasive cogongrass is taking over many Mississippi fields, including these in Clay County. Cogongrass is an exotic plant species from Asia that has aggressively expanded its range in the Southeastern United States and is difficult to control. (Photo courtesy of Rocky Lemus)
September 26, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Weed Control for Crops, Weed Control for Forages, Environment, Invasive Plants

Ray Iglay, Certified Wildlife Biologist
MSU Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Aquaculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Driving along Mississippi highways is always best when the surrounding landscapes capture the driver’s imagination. Our road systems serve as scenic byways showcasing nature’s beauty.

Mississippi hay supplies are expected to be low going into winter. Factors that contributed to low production include a very cold winter, a wet spring and an abundance of armyworms. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
September 19, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High demand for hay last winter, a wet spring and heavy insect pressure have all challenged the state’s pastureland, which means hay may be scarce this winter.

Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said these factors pushed the state’s hay inventories 20 percent lower than the three-year average.

Multiple types of forage can benefit cool-season food plots, but ryegrass can take over, such as in this food plot originally planted with red clover. (Photo courtesy of Bronson Strickland)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages, Environment, Wildlife

As fall approaches, many hunters and landowners begin to turn their attention toward planting cool-season wildlife food plots. If you’re like me, it’s something you enjoy doing, and it’s a good excuse to get outside and play in the dirt.

But while you’re out there having fun, you might as well get the most for your time and money. Here are some often overlooked, but important, tips and suggestions for making the most of your cool-season food plots this fall and winter.

Simpson County producer Jimmy Welch's hayfield shows damage from Bermuda grass stem maggots on July 24, 2014. The pest feeds in the tips of developing stems. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 25, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

JACKSON -- Turf and forage producers in Mississippi need fewer clouds and more sunshine.

In 2014, forage producers raised an estimated 600,000 acres of hay across the state. There are about 60 farms producing sod for sale in the state.

Turf production…

The unusually harsh winter melted into a cool, wet spring and summer, which slowed spring growth and intensified diseases and last fall’s herbicide injury in sod, said Jay McCurdy, turf grass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

June 18, 2014 - Filed Under: About Extension, Forages

NEWTON -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station welcomed a plant materials specialist on June 16.

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