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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.

August 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Sweet potato producers, crop consultants, agricultural industry representatives and the general public will learn about ongoing Mississippi State University sweet potato research and outreach efforts at a field day Aug. 30.

The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Highway 15 South in Pontotoc County.  

Alert gray squirrel pauses on a platform with shrubbery in the background.
August 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Ever wonder what wildlife species are in your backyard during the day while you are at work or school and at night while you are sleeping? Well, now you can find out with the help of a trail camera.

A hat rests on the ground next to a man kneeling down to examine grass.
August 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Sod production is a year-round process for Mississippi producers, and demand is up for this valuable commodity.

Jay McCurdy, turf specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state’s producers are having a good year with this grass crop.

Muscadines of various shades are bunched on the vine.
August 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

Producers can learn about issues related to muscadine production and other fruit-related topics at an upcoming field day in Pearl River County, south of McNeill.

Young woman places a prescription bottle in secure slot in a large, green metal box
August 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agents and specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are “promising” to confront the opioid problem in Mississippi communities.

“PReventing Opioid Misuse in the South East,” or PROMISE, is an Extension initiative to address this national crisis in communities across the Southeast. PROMISE is funded by a $310,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

MSU Extension health specialist David Buys said one of the main issues with the misuse of opioids is that they are more accessible than they need to be.

Several red pepper and a few yellow ones rise above green foliage.
August 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

How have we already turned the corner into August? While it’s still hot and likely to continue that way for at least another six weeks, I’m looking forward to one of my late-summer landscape favorites, the ornamental pepper.

These plants have been growing patiently all summer, seeming to wait patiently and soak up the Mississippi heat until our other plants need a breather. If you follow Southern Gardening, then you probably know that I really love the show that ornamental peppers put on in late summer and early fall.

A left hand holds a mostly red fish down with a right hand marking the tail’s end on a measuring tape.
August 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Marine Resources

Scientists have embarked on a colossal research project to estimate the abundance of red snapper, the most sought-after offshore fish in the U.S. controlled waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Green soybean plants set pods in a field.
August 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Soybeans

Mississippi’s soybean crop is in good or excellent condition, but growers are losing access to some foreign markets due to circumstances beyond their control.

Water flows from a stainless steel kitchen faucet into a clear drinking glass.
August 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Food Safety, Health, Healthy Water Practices, Water, Water Quality

Practical actions that can reduce lead in drinking water are highlights of a recently concluded multistate project.

Branches of a tree are covered with a white, felt-like substance.
July 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Insect Identification, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests

A tiny pest is making a huge impact on crape myrtles across the state, threatening to turn this go-to plant into something that gardeners avoid.

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