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Dozens of bright-orange pumpkins sit in rows on the grass.
September 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I came to a shocking realization this past weekend: Even though it still feels like summer, the signs are all around us that fall is about to begin.

First, we see the tropics heating up with storm activity. T.S. Gordon made landfall in Pascagoula Sept. 5 and spread rain all the way up to north Mississippi. Behind it are several more tropical storms that we will have to keep an eye on.

Dust billows out of a trailer on a large truck driving across a small, grassy area surrounded by tall trees.
September 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

Planting food plots for deer and other wildlife is common practice in Mississippi, and for good reason: Food plots provide much-needed nutrition for deer and viewing opportunities for hunters.

A golden ear of corn with the husks pulled back is attached to a dried stalk in a cornfield.
September 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn

Tropical Storm Gordon interrupted harvest across Mississippi, but the storm left most of its wind along the coast and does not seem to have damaged the state’s corn crop.

September 4, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Garden enthusiasts and horticultural industry professionals can enjoy the largest home gardening show in the Southeast Oct. 12 and 13.

A single branch has bunches of white berries growing at each leaf junction.
September 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’ve noticed a common characteristic among us gardeners. As we go through the year, our favorite plants in the landscape and garden seem to change from week to week.

A large buck walks through a brown field.
August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi hunters will be on the front lines of the battle to protect deer from spreading a deadly disease throughout their herds.

Last February, a 4-year-old buck in Issaquena County tested positive for chronic wasting disease -- or CWD. This contagious, terminal disease affects members of the deer family, ultimately causing holes in their brains. Infected deer lose weight and “just waste away.”

This forest has hundreds of tall, thin pine trees with light-gray bark and green clumps of needles.
August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: 4-H Forestry, Forest Management, Timber Harvest

Housing start fluctuations and an abundance of timber are limiting the ceiling on stumpage prices in Mississippi now, but expect the market to improve when sawmills begin stocking up for winter.

The front of a kayak has two red meshed bags containing litter and a blue trash-grabbing tool with the words “Pearl Riverkeeper” printed on it. The boat is on a small river and approaching a highway bridge.
August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Environment

Rivers have been the lifeblood of communities since ancient civilizations began. Healthy river systems are just as critical to modern communities as they were to settlers who navigated the rolling waters to explore America.

August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Forest Management, Marine Resources, Wildlife

Landowners and charter boat owners who want to branch out and earn extra income are invited to attend a Natural Resource Enterprises (NRE) Business Workshop on Sept. 26 at the Longfellow Civic Center in Bay St. Louis.

A white moth rests on a green leaf beside a single layer of dozens of round, white eggs laid in a mass.
August 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Ornamental Plants, Insects-Pests, Trees

A tent for camping in the woods can be a good thing, but a tent filled with caterpillars in a pecan tree can be bad news for homeowners.

Two long, green bell peppers hang from a plant growing in a container above black plastic.
August 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Several weeks ago, I wrote about looking forward to the time of year when ornamental peppers start strutting their gorgeous fruit colors. What I didn’t mention is that late summer is not just for ornamental peppers; I always get my best home-grown culinary peppers from August until frost in the fall.

My tastes for culinary peppers range from the mild and colorful bell peppers all the way to the superhot selections like Ghost, Scorpion and Carolina Reaper.

A red baler hitched to the back of an orange tractor drops a new, round bale of hay into a field.
August 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests

Forage growers in Mississippi are trying to keep insects from making meals out of their hayfields and compromising their stockpiles of winter feed.

Tall, thinned pines in a wooded area with visible sky overhead. Ground plants are slowly beginning to grow.
August 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Forestry, Longleaf Pine, Wildlife

Acres of pine forests cover Mississippi and the Southeast, but good forest management is not necessarily good wildlife management.

August 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Forest Management

Landowners and hunting clubs who want to branch out and earn extra income are encouraged to attend one of three upcoming Natural Resource Enterprises business workshops.

The workshops will be held Sept. 18 in Woodville, Sept. 27 in Natchez and Oct. 9 in Cleveland.

Two men wearing hard hats and masks activate a fire extinguisher as MyPI training participants watch.
August 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

Instructors interested in helping young people, families and communities prepare for disasters can take part in a two-day training event in December at Mississippi State University.

A large, light pink flower with a dark center fills the frame from its placement in front of a brick wall.
August 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Earlier this year, I wrote about an outstanding landscape plant, the Rose of Sharon. The ones I was growing in my landscape included some of the newer selections: Orchid Satin, Pollypetite and Purple Pillar. Since then, I added White Pillar to my collection.

August 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Local Flavor

CHOCTAW, Miss. -- Agricultural professionals and educators can learn how to expand their marketing and sales skills at two workshops in September.

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will present “Expanding Marketing Opportunities: Marketing, Branding and Social Media” at the National Center for Appropriate Technology demonstration farm at the Piney Woods School Sept. 4 and at the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation Sept. 5.

Very large field of green rice plants bordered by a dirt path on the near side and trees on the far side.
August 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi growers will produce about 20 percent more rice this year, mostly thanks to additional acres planted over 2017’s total.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early forecasts predict national yields near last year’s 7,400 pounds per acre.

“National acreage is up about 20 percent. In Mississippi, the increase is slightly more at 23 percent,” Falconer said. “It helped that, at planting time, prices were slightly better than the previous year.”

Large water-filled ditch rests between a dirt road and a field of green corn stalks.
August 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Water, Water Quality

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summer brings many activities: swimming in pools, recreation in Mississippi’s waterways, washing vehicles after traveling down dirt roads, and irrigating millions of acres of gardens and fields. These and many other activities rely on abundant water.

Putting a dollar value on clean water is difficult. Everyone uses it in their daily lives for drinking and domestic needs, but we also use water through the products we consume. This hidden flow of water is less obvious, so it’s often given less attention when we talk about water conservation.

Two hydrangeas are pictured in the foreground of a garden, with one blooming and the smaller one not blooming.
August 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

While visiting my parents in Tennessee this weekend, my dad asked why one of their Annabelle hydrangeas was blooming while another -- growing just 5 feet away -- was not. He asked if I had some special fertilizer or bloom juice that could be applied.

I didn't, because the shrubs didn't need any special fertilizer help. It all had to with light.

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