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Speaking at a Producer Advisory Council meeting in Verona on Feb. 21, 2013, Mississippi State University administrator George Hopper challenges agricultural producers to tell the state's land-grant university representatives what they need to succeed with their commodities. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Forestry, Catfish

VERONA – When agricultural producers speak, Mississippi State University listens.

About 300 commodity producers, crop consultants and MSU representatives met on Feb. 21 at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona for the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting. The meeting has been held for more than half a century to give farmers the opportunity to express agricultural needs to their land-grant institution.

Trunk flare, or the part of the tree that meets the roots, is easily detectable on mature trees, such as this oak on the Mississippi State University campus on Feb. 6, 2013. On young trees trunk flare is less prominent but visible, and this part of the tree should always remain above the soil. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
February 7, 2013 - Filed Under: Urban and Community Forestry, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Experts at Mississippi State University recommend that those planting trees in the landscape this Arbor Day do their homework before getting started.

“Most people see a tree they like and decide that they want to have one in their yard, but that is really not the way to decide what kind of tree to plant,” said John Kushla, an associate Extension and research professor with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Forestry and Wildlife Research Center.

February 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Forestry, Catfish

BILOXI -- Coastal area commodity producers are invited to meet with Mississippi State University experts during the fifth annual Commodity Advisory Council Feb. 25 at the Coastal Research and Extension Center.

Producers will have the opportunity to evaluate and provide direction on Extension programming and research by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station for their products and crops. Representatives of MSU’s Extension Service and MAFES will discuss current issues and answer questions.

February 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish, Crops, Livestock, Forestry

JACKSON -- Agricultural producers in central Mississippi are invited to evaluate and provide direction on educational programming and research provided by Mississippi State University.

Producers of various commodities are invited to participate in the Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council Feb. 26 at the McKenzie Arena in Raymond. Representatives from the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and MSU’s Extension Service will discuss current issues and answer questions.

January 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Forestry, Catfish

VERONA – Mississippi State University’s North Mississippi Research and Extension Center will host its annual Producer Advisory Council meeting Feb. 21 at the Magnolia Conference Center in Verona.

This yearly meeting allows growers, producers, ranchers and other agricultural clients to meet with scientists and specialists from MSU’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station to share concerns, ask questions and provide feedback about research and Extension programs.

Forestry is Mississippi's third-largest agricultural commodity in 2012, with a preliminary year-end harvest value estimated at $1.03 billion, an 8 percent increase from 2011. (MSU Ag Communications file photo/Scott Corey)
December 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forestry, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An 8 percent increase in a billion-dollar industry is significant, but timber still fell from its long-held second place spot on Mississippi’s agricultural commodity list.

James Henderson, assistant forestry professor with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, is estimating the 2012 value of Mississippi forest products to be $1.03 billion, compared with $957 million the previous year. Final numbers using more complete data will replace the estimate in February.

Mississippi 2012 Estimated Value of Ag Production
December 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Soybeans, Agricultural Economics, Forages, Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Swine, Forestry, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Significant production levels and high market prices combined to give Mississippi’s agricultural commodities over $7 billion in total value.

Mississippi State University agricultural economists gathered preliminary data from crop production reports, world agricultural supply and demand estimates, industry resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture outlook reports. They predict a $7.3 billion annual value of the state’s top crops, excluding government payments. Final figures will be available in the spring of 2013.

November 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Christmas tree growers were thinking about the holidays when Hurricane Isaac made landfall Aug. 28, knowing the winds and rains would bring additional work before trees would be ready for the 2012 harvest.

Stephen Dicke, Extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said storm damage should not dampen sales of Mississippi’s Christmas trees.

October 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show will showcase the newest technology and machinery being used to advance the South’s timber industry.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the John W. Starr Memorial Forest off of Highway 25 near Starkville. It is sponsored by Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, Hatton-Brown Publishers Inc., the Mississippi Logger’s Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Remote Sensing Technology, Environment, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Seeing the forest and the trees is a lot easier with software developed by scientists at Mississippi State University.

Researchers at MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center have created the Mississippi Forest Monitoring and Information System, a forest inventory and information system that combines satellite remote sensing data and ground surveys. It is the first time forest-related satellite data and ground measurements have been combined on such a large scale in the United States.

Scott Rowland, South Central regional vice president of the Forest Landowners Association, presents their Extension Forester of the Year award to Don Bales of Purvis, a forest and wildlife management specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. (Submitted Photo)
June 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A forest and wildlife management specialist at Mississippi State University has been named the national Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association.

Don Bales of Purvis, a senior Extension associate in MSU’s College of Forest Resources and certified wildlife biologist, received the honor at the organization’s recent annual meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. His office is located in the MSU Extension Service’s Southeast District Forestry Office in Lamar County.

Phillip Talley helped to plant one-third an acre of pine seedlings during the Feb. 11, 2012, workshop held at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst to help members of the Andrew Jackson Council earn their forestry merit badges. (Photo by Susan Collins-Smith)
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Forestry

HAZELHURST – More than 200 Boy Scouts in the Andrew Jackson Council met at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst Feb. 11 for a workshop to help them earn their forestry merit badge.

Instructors from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Mississippi Forestry Association and Weyerhaeuser Company taught the scouts about forestry resources, stewardship and the forestry profession.

January 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Forest Economics, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer timber tax workshops Feb. 28 in Raymond, March 1 in Coffeeville and March 29 in Oxford.

Landowners, certified accountants, consulting foresters and loggers are invited to participate in the Income Taxes and Family Forest short course. Topics include changes to capital gains tax law, basics of basis, record keeping, timber sales income, recovery of reforestation costs, casualty losses, strategic tax planning, tax forms and information sources.

Mississippi Value of Production Estimates
December 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Corn, Cotton, Nuts, Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Soybeans, Wheat, Forages, Livestock, Poultry, Forestry, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s agricultural commodities are predicted to reach a record-high value of more than $6.7 billion for 2011.

Mississippi State University Extension Service economists compiled the numbers from poultry, forestry, agronomic crops, catfish and livestock for the annual value estimate. If government payments are factored in, the state’s value of production reaches $7 billion for the first time in history.

Kudzu covers large tracts of land from eastern Texas to the East Coast and as far north as Maryland. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
December 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Environment, Timber Harvest, Invasive Plants

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Kudzu can grow a foot per day, and today it covers nearly seven million acres in the South.

Now listed as a federal noxious weed, kudzu was imported to prevent soil erosion and to feed livestock. The semi-woody plant covers large tracts of land from eastern Texas to the East Coast and as far north as Maryland. Kudzu climbs, covers and eventually kills trees, destroying the timber-producing value of these lands. It reduces land productivity by millions of dollars yearly.

Choosing and cutting live Christmas trees, like the ones at Lazy Acres Plantation in Chunky, can provide families with holiday memories. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Environment

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, many Mississippians must decide whether to buy a live or an artificial tree to celebrate the Christmas season.

John Kushla, Mississippi State University Extension forestry specialist at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said artificial trees are usually less expensive than real trees and can last for many seasons, but real Christmas trees provide benefits that artificial trees do not offer.

It takes four years to grow Mississippi Christmas trees to the popular 6 to 8 feet tall size. About 900 trees can be grown per acre, such as these growing in Chunky on the Lazy Acres Plantation. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Freshness is the key to quality Christmas trees, and with choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms scattered across the state, all Mississippians can get a great tree every year.

John Kushla, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said locally grown trees can look great for weeks when they are put in water immediately.

August 18, 2011 - Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pine beetles are a threat when trees are stressed, but a cost-share program can help Mississippi private forest landowners keep trees healthy.

Andy Londo, forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said proactive management activities, such as periodic thinning, can increase overall forest health and reduce the threat of a Southern pine beetle outbreak.

The tornadoes that tore through the state this past spring damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes that ripped through Mississippi this April damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. Most of that timber was uninsured, but the results of a survey conducted by Mississippi State University may help change that trend.

Steve Bullard was one of those uninsured. He owns 100 acres of timber in Webster County — 40 acres of 26-year-old plantation pine and 60 acres of mixed pine and hardwood.

August 5, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forest Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – It’s not the heat or drought but the economy, specifically poor housing starts, that are causing grief for Mississippi’s forestry industry in 2011.

James Henderson, forestry economist and management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the slow economy is hurting the industry.

“There’s no good news for the pulpwood markets, and pine saw timber prices are the lowest they’ve been since the national housing construction downturn started in 2006,” Henderson said.

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