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News Filed Under Livestock

A small group of dairy cows
June 27, 2024 - Filed Under: Dairy, Food and Health, Food Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Despite encouraging milk prices, margins still project to be tight for Mississippi dairy farmers in 2024.

The latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasted this year’s average all-milk price at $21.60 per hundredweight nationally. Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said this is an improvement from last year, but still below 2022 levels, when prices hovered around $25 per hundredweight.

Screenshot of David Gilmer.
June 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Livestock, Health, The PROMISE Initiative

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Longtime dairy farmers David and Will Gilmer made the tough decision six years ago to get out of the dairy cattle business. The father-and-son team decided to transition their farm to beef cattle. However, the beef cattle business comes with its own stressful challenges.

Honey in a jar.
June 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Food Safety

There is nothing like the taste of a sweet spoon of honey. The versatility of honey makes it a very useful item to have around the kitchen, and for that reason, raising honeybees and selling the honey has become increasingly popular.

Several cows and calves stand in a pasture.
May 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Beef

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Beef cattle prices are the best they have been in nearly a decade for Mississippi’s producers, but they face some tough management challenges to ensure their operations are profitable.

Honey Bee Swarm
April 10, 2024 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

Have you ever seen a honey bee swarm? Seeing hundreds of bees clumped together on a tree, shrub, fence, house, or other object can be both fascinating and scary. If you’re like me, it can also be intimidating! 

Dairy cows look directly at the photo lens.
April 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Dairy, Poultry, Avian Flu

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The transmission risk of H5N1 bird flu to humans remains minimal despite a rise in confirmed cases in dairy cows and poultry in several states and the first known case of a person catching the virus from a mammal.

People sit around a table.
February 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Beef, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Forestry, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Small ruminants are a popular choice for people like J.T. Crownover who want to get into the livestock business but do not want to raise cattle. Crownover attended the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center’s Producer Advisory Council meeting Feb. 20. The forum, where agricultural producers can discuss their needs with MSU administrators, researchers, specialists and Extension agents, was the catalyst for the university’s active small ruminant program.

January 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Apiculture: Honey Bee Health, Poultry, Forestry, Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Many cattle producers in Mississippi like Bobby Jones do not have access to a dedicated large-animal veterinarian.

This was one of the many needs voiced during the 2024 Producer Advisory Council meeting on Jan. 25 at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. The annual meeting serves as a forum for agricultural producers to discuss their needs with university administrators, researchers, specialists and Extension agents.

A woman kneels beside a small horse that she is hugging.
January 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Equine

Although much of civilization is intertwined with the use of horses, these animals are much more than beasts of burden, and research today continues to look at the bond between horses and humans.

Four chicks are pictured together.
December 19, 2023 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry

Mississippi’s poultry took an estimated 23% loss in value in 2023; though production was strong, a failure to meet the previous year’s record high prices was responsible for the hit. Poultry generated an estimated $3.1 billion to Mississippi agriculture in 2023, down from the $3.9 billion generated in 2022.

A bale of round hay in a mostly empty field.
October 20, 2023 - Filed Under: Forages, Management - Forages, Livestock

Mississippi hay growers harvested at least 28 percent less hay this year than usual because of the drought that reached extreme levels in parts of the state. Brett Rushing, Mississippi State University Extension forage agronomist, said hay producers in the state typically get three cuttings a year, and often four if they manage well and the weather cooperates.

A hand holds a bee hive frame with bees on it
October 18, 2023 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Apiculture: Honey Bee Health

Despite widespread populations of honeybees and the major implications of their health, there are few direct options for beekeepers to reduce viral disease transmission to queens. Two apiculturists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are out to improve the health and quality of queen bees while collaborating with their breeders.

A group of goats stands in a temporary holding area in a barn.
August 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages, Livestock, Goats and Sheep

LEAKESVILLE, Miss. -- Most goat meat sold in the U.S. is imported, but a group of Mississippi meat goat producers wants to see that change. A first-of-its-kind test in the state is underway to help them meet that goal. The Southeastern Buck Performance Test aims to improve the profitability of the meat goat industry in the region by improving meat goat genetics.

Black cows stand in a herd in a green pasture near trees.
May 9, 2023 - Filed Under: Beef

Mississippi cattle operations must constantly improve efficiency to remain profitable, as rising production costs are decreasing the benefit of high market prices. Brandi Karisch, beef specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said beef production is a significant component of the state’s agricultural economy, with a total estimated value of $318 million in 2022.

White eggs are pictured in a carton with chickens in the background.
April 25, 2023 - Filed Under: Poultry

Poultry is big business in Mississippi, and poultry producers are having to manage disease and high feed costs to produce the meat and eggs that Americans consume in great quantities. Poultry is the most consumed meat in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, followed by beef and then pork. Eggs are also popular, with Americans eating close to 250 eggs per person each year.

Two lambs stand along side a sheep in a pasture as the sun rises in the distance.
April 6, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Goats and Sheep

Some people use lamb and sheep interchangeably to identify the animal, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. So, what’s the difference between them? Yes, lambs are baby sheep -- that’s the main distinction. But here are some other differences between the two:

A goat.
April 3, 2023 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Youth Livestock, Youth Projects, Agriculture, Livestock, Goats and Sheep

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Not so long ago, goats were niche livestock animals in Mississippi. But these small ruminants have grown in popularity in recent years, especially dairy goats. Farmers who have limited acreage or want to diversify their livestock operations often choose goats. Others want goats for their meat or milk. Regardless of the purpose, people who want to join the ranks of goat owners should understand some important aspects of goat ownership before bringing one home.

Distant cows graze in a fenced pasture.
March 13, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beef

The E.G. (Gene) Morrison Brown Loam Branch Experiment Station in Hinds County, which has sat largely vacant for two years, now has a new purpose, updated facilities and a new life after reopening this spring. The research station, part of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at Mississippi State University, is a 1,700-acre facility dedicated to cattle, forage and agronomic crop research. It is part of the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

Chickens feed inside of a pullet barn.
March 1, 2023 - Filed Under: Poultry, Avian Flu

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi Board of Animal Health reported Feb. 23 that a backyard poultry flock in Copiah County tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, often referred to as HPAI or H5N1.

This is the second backyard flock to test positive for HPAI. The first confirmation was in Lowndes County in November 2022. There have also been two detections in commercial broiler flocks, one in Lawrence County in November 2022 and the other in Leake County in February. All affected facilities were quarantined, and the birds were depopulated to prevent spreading.

A group of people listen to a public speaker.
February 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Other Aquaculture Species, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Cotton, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Beef, Dairy, Goats and Sheep, Swine

VERONA, Miss. -- Producers come across issues each season that need to be addressed, whether they require new research on a problem or a commodity specialist who can help identify timely solutions.

For those people, February is the month to speak up. Specialists and scientists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are available specifically for them at three different MSU Research and Extension Center locations throughout the state during annual Producer Advisory Council meetings.

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