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A man kneels on the ground beside a pump sprayer to read the label on the back of a pesticide jar.
July 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

A new formulation of an old pesticide is great for gardeners who are careful and always follow label instructions, even when using products that seem familiar.

Dozens of red, yellow and white flowers grow on long stems.
July 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Because of the oppressive heat and humidity in my coastal landscape and garden, I spent the weekend in the air conditioning, of course.

Bright light shines on a large black and gray snake in the water along a pond’s edge at night.
July 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Most Mississippians look for activities that include shade or air conditioning to escape the heat during the dog days of summer. For those who enjoy wildlife watching, the summer heat can force us to alter our plans to the bookends of the day.

Two men in a boat on a pond draw in a large net full of active fish.
July 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Catfish
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

An abundance of U.S. farm-raised catfish has driven prices down and delayed independent growers from getting their fish to the processors.

Close-up of a tick attached to human skin.
July 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects-Pet Pests, Insects, Insects-Pests
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

Ticks are on the long list of things in Mississippi that make a person itch in summertime, and they are very unpleasant for a variety of reasons.

July 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- Turfgrass professionals and others can learn about the latest research during the 2018 Turfgrass Research Field Day and Expo Aug. 21.

The event will be held at the Mississippi State University R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility in Starkville.

A man on a horse leans as they race around a colorful barrel.
July 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Equine, Community, Family, Lawn and Garden
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Just summarizing the drastic increase in activities held at the Mississippi Horse Park over its 19-year history does not do justice to the uniqueness of this facility and the challenges it has faced.

The Mississippi Horse Park, which grew from 23 events in 1999 to 100 in 2017, is a Mississippi State University facility operated in partnership with the city of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. It generates all the funds needed to support its operations.

Bricklee Miller, horse park director, said the facility recently received its first grant from the Mississippi Development Authority to advance its activities.

July 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics, Food, Nutrition
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Healthy eating is important at every age, but older adults should pay special attention to their diets.

As adults age, several physical changes can affect how the body digests food and absorbs nutrients, said Pamela Redwine, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Yalobusha County.

A sprinkler with a black hose nestled in light brown pine straw lightly sprays pink flowers.
July 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

As we continue to plow through this hot and humid summer, keeping our plants -- and ourselves -- hydrated is critical to maintaining the summer garden and landscape. As I write this column, it's 96 degrees with a heat index of 108. Whew!

More than a dozen young people listen to a teacher while they stand on a cement bridge overlooking a large ditch.
July 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It's that time of year when many parts of the state really need a good rain. Afternoon pop-up storms often bring torrential downpours that drop a couple of inches of rain in less than an hour, instead of the perfect, slow showers we need.

Light green lettuce, dark purple eggplant and cucumbers sit on black shelves.
July 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Local Flavor
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s roadsides are seeing more farmers markets, produce stands and pickup trucks filled with fruits and vegetables.

Commercial horticultural crops, commonly called truck crops in the agricultural industry, include berries, fruits, melons, nuts, potatoes and vegetables. Last year, they combined with other horticultural crops -- flowers, sod and Christmas trees – for a total production value of $107 million, according to statistics gathered by the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

A yellow butterfly sits atop a green bush with pink flowers.
July 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Like most gardeners, I love watching the various butterflies that visit my garden.

One I really like is the giant swallowtail, with its black body and vivid, yellow stripes. This creature loves my citrus, where she lays her eggs. The developing caterpillars have a unique defense mechanism; they look like bird poop on the citrus leaves.

Large field of mature, golden wheat with green trees on the far side.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.

Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.

The leaves of green tomato plants droop on the plants
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

Common Diseases of TomatoesCRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Conditions have been ideal this summer for a disease outbreak that makes tomatoes wilt and look like they are just too dry.

Southern blight is a fungal disease of tomatoes commonly characterized by white, thread-like growth and brown or tan, round structures known as sclerotia at the base of the stem.

Older man holds a fishing pole on the shoreline while watching a red cork on a quiet pond.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Oxygen-related fish kills can completely wipe out otherwise healthy ponds, but there is a strategy pond owners can use to control this problem.

Anoxia -- the lack of oxygen -- can form in deeper water layers of a pond during warmer months. Deeper water is heavier and denser, which prevents it from mixing with warm surface water where air and oxygen-producing microorganisms are found. As deeper water becomes isolated, its oxygen levels are depleted, reducing fish habitat and increasing the risk of fish kills.

Scaevola – Tiny purple, white and orange flowers can be seen among a mass of green leaves.
July 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I am a committed container gardener for both flowers and vegetables, but today I’m focusing on flowering plants. I firmly believe growing in containers is a fantastic way to enjoy a beautiful landscape and garden.

June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Health
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians love their air conditioners, but an over-reliance could leave people at greater risks during power outages triggered by heat waves.

The hottest days of summer can tax power grids and individual air conditioning units. Backup plans can ease the discomfort and even save lives if brownouts occur or air conditioners break. Brownouts are drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. They can be intentionally arranged by the power company to reduce the load on the overall power system, or they can be unintentionally caused by overloads or overuse of power.

Looking down on a round pan with various small pieces of plastic.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Marine debris, largely composed of discarded plastic products, is one of the most alarming issues facing the world’s seas today.

Plastics have the advantages of being cheap, lightweight, durable and easy to make. Unfortunately, single-use plastics often serve their intended purposes in a matter of seconds before they enter the endless stream of waste humans generate.

Several people gather to buy produce on display at a farmers market.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-business, Agri-tourism, Local Flavor
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched an Internet microsite that delivers information on each facet of the state’s local foods industry.

A watermelon with a dark green outer shell and light green stripes rests in a field.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Watermelons, Farmers Markets, Food
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- Before the first batch was picked on June 22, two fields at Ford Farms were covered with red and yellow watermelons. That wasn’t the case a year ago.

Any kind of melon crop at the Smith County farm is an improvement over 2017.

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