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News Filed Under Natural Resources

Bill Evans, a Mississippi State University researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, discussed research and education priorities with representatives of the fruit and nut commodity group on Feb. 22, 2017. MSU Extension Service specialists and agents also took part in the annual MSU Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting in Raymond, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
February 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Forages, Beef, Beekeeping, Dairy, Equine, Forestry, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Agricultural producers and industry professionals in central Mississippi met with agents and research scientists of the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Feb. 22 to share input and give feedback.

The Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting was held in conjunction with Hinds Community College and the Alcorn State University Extension.

February through April are common months for fish to become stressed and die. Water quality, specifically issues with alkalinity, may be the root cause. (MSU Extension Service file photo/Kevin Hudson)
February 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Winter and spring weather in Mississippi is a rollercoaster ride. Some nights are below freezing, while others feel like midsummer. With the warmer, sunnier weather, people begin to pay more attention to their ponds.

This is a tailwater recovery system on a row-crop farm in the Mississippi Delta. (MSU Extension Service file photo)
February 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With spring around the corner, gardeners and farmers are beginning to plan for the upcoming planting and growing seasons.

One important way to ensure success during the Mississippi growing season is to have a plan for irrigation. Water keeps plants alive during the hot Mississippi summers, so irrigation is often vital during times of limited rainfall.

Squirrel season and other small game hunting opportunities are some of the best ways for young hunters and others to enjoy the outdoors. (MSU Extension Service file photo/Kat Lawrence)
February 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The conclusion of deer season does not mean the end of Mississippi hunting adventures for the year. It is just time to swap out gear and head back to the woods.

February brings small game hunting and other new, exciting opportunities to connect with your primitive side. Mississippi squirrel and rabbit season extends to the last day of February. It is a chance to scout for signs of turkey and look for shed antlers, but most of all, it is an excellent way to introduce kids to the outdoors.

In pine-dominated forests, thinning and prescribed fire are important management practices for creating and maintaining turkey habitat. (Submitted photo)
February 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With deer season over, many outdoor enthusiasts are looking forward to the next hunting opportunity: turkey season.

Most hunters know about planting food plots to add nutrition for deer on their property, but they may not fully understand the habitat needs of turkeys. Habitat requirements for turkeys differ each season of the year. As a result, knowing what these seasonal needs are and being able to identify habitat features that best meet these needs are essential for sustainable turkey populations.

Ali Fratesi Pinion raises pigs as a healthy source of local meat and manages them to benefit the soil on her Clay County farm. (MSU Extension Service file photo/Kevin Hudson)
February 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Food and Health, Environment

CEDAR BLUFF, Miss. -- Ali Fratesi Pinion may be part of the millennial generation, but she farms more like her great-grandparents.

Pinion and her husband, Dustin, operate Beaverdam Farms in Clay County on the principle that healthy soils create better foods and communities. The Pinions have modeled their farm after a successful project in Virginia that emphasizes building up the soil, capturing carbons and feeding local communities.

January 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Mississippi Well Owner Network, Rural Water Association

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- North Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have two opportunities next month to learn how to improve the functionality of their drinking water sources.

Private well owners can get their water screened for bacteria and can attend a workshop in Lowndes County to learn how to better manage, operate and protect their private wells.

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will be held 6-9 p.m. Feb. 21 at the MSU Extension office on 485 Tom Rose Road in Columbus.

Many archers begin with a compound bow, which uses a system of pulleys and levers to bend the limbs of the bow. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
January 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many hunters share my favorite recreational activity: bow hunting white-tailed deer.

I am a fan of every benefit offered by archery, which can have a lasting impact on your life. My journey started when I got a youth model compound bow around the age of 12.

January 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Agri-tourism, Livestock, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Scientists are seeking producer input on future agricultural research and outreach programming at three Mississippi State University Research and Extension Centers.

Producers of more than a dozen commodities will meet with specialists and researchers from the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station during Producer Advisory Council meetings in Verona, Raymond and Biloxi.

A Mississippi State University associate professor of landscape architecture, working with the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, designed this dry swale to reduce nonpoint-source pollution from runoff at a south Mississippi golf course. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Beth Baker).
January 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Heavy winter and spring precipitation can result in water runoff from roads, homes, lawns and parking lots, washing more than water downstream.

As winter weather brings cold and ice, waterfowl will leave Northern habitats to find suitable resources down South. (Submitted photo)
January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Every waterfowl hunter anticipates the cooperation of winter weather to turn the skies black with incoming ducks and geese as migratory journeys deliver the birds to decoy-laden waters in the South.

Southern hunters frequently watch the forecast in hopes that winter weather up North will finally have the ducks packing up and heading our way.

Mallard drakes are beautiful up close, but they are also stunning as they migrate across Mississippi skies in V formations. (Submitted photo)
December 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Few things are as stirring as the sight of long strings of high-altitude, migrating geese. Soft calls from on high beckon us to stop and marvel at their flight, their apparent freedom and their single-minded purpose to reach their winter home.

Geese are members of a large group of birds known as waterfowl. These large-bodied birds depend on wetlands, lakes and other watery habitats. Ducks and swans are also members of this group. Webbed feet, flattened bills and waterproof feathers are characteristics shared by most waterfowl.

Strong winds and fires can ruin an otherwise beautiful day. Before you light a fire, consider conditions and control options if the fire begins to move in unwanted directions. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Andrew Smith)
December 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Burn bans such as the ones recently imposed in Mississippi are not unusual, especially in the fall when dry leaves are abundant.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission will issue a burn ban, typically at the request of a county board of supervisors. Once approved, the ban prohibits all outdoor burning until local authorities deem that conditions have improved enough to allow safe and responsible burning.

The Delta National Forest can provide the perfect sunrise setting for duck hunters. (MSU Extension Service photo submitted)
December 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While hunting on public land can be difficult and overwhelming at times, just knowing a few tips can help increase your success.

There are plenty of places throughout Mississippi to get a taste of some of the finest hunting anywhere in the country. Residents in the southeast part of our state enjoy hunting opportunities in the DeSoto National Forest. This semicoastal national forest provides just over 500,000 acres of open-canopy pine forest habitat.

Chicks and Forest
December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry remains Mississippi's top agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

Forestry comes in a distant second with total farm-gate value of $1.4 billion, according to 2016 estimates.

Mississippi State University Extension Service economists just released their estimates for the state's agricultural commodity values in 2016. The top commodities remain poultry and forestry. Soybeans remain in the third spot, dropping 1.7 percent to just over $1 billion.

Graphic showing of map a zigzag pattern used to blood trail deer.
December 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Woodsmanship and stewardship are two characteristics of all successful deer hunters as they track down injured deer. 

The initial impulse most hunters have after taking a shot is to bail out of the stand and immediately look for their target. Depending on where the animal was hit, this hasty action could be a terrible mistake. Attempting to trail a deer prematurely can spook the deer even more and make locating it more difficult, if not impossible.

Don’t let the colder weather prevent outdoor adventures this winter. This group is staying comfortable by layering their clothing. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
December 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For many Mississippians, cold and wet conditions make this the least likely time of year to venture outside, but an outdoors lover knows it just takes a little preparation and a positive attitude to hit the trail and enjoy viewing wildlife.Having grown up in a climate much colder than Mississippi's, I learned a valuable skill to help cope with unpleasantly cold weather: layering clothing.

Before I venture outside, warm socks are my first priority. I prefer wool blends with mostly wool for two reasons: comfort and warmth.

A radish cover crop planted in early fall as part of a research demonstration project is thriving at Michael Graves’ farm near Ripley, Mississippi. (File Photo by MSU College of Forest Resources)
December 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment

RIPLEY, Miss. -- This winter, a Mississippi farm will serve as a research facility for a multiyear project involving local, state and federal partners.

Two hunters in Claiborne County take aim at incoming crows. Much like duck hunting, participants wait in blinds overlooking decoys. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Cliff Covington)
November 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss.--Farmers and other birds hate them, but hunters love crows for the productive, fast-paced hunts they can provide.

The black clouds of birds can do a number on a pecan orchard in a short amount of time. Similarly, they are known to dig up seeds in corn, peanut and other row crop fields. That is why farmers hate them.

November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The best fishing holes may begin with good fish genetics, but they continue with proper pond management.

Since the early days of farm pond management, MSU Extension Service specialists have made fish stocking recommendations based on the idea that if it's set up right in the beginning, the pond will provide quality fishing opportunities for decades to come. I have told many landowners there's no need to restock bass or bream unless there is a fish kill or someone wants to intentionally start over by draining or poisoning the pond.

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