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February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Fruit
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi fruit growers need look no further than their smartphones or laptops when searching for a second opinion on chill hour accumulation.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched Chill Hours, an app that helps growers assess growing conditions that affect plant physiology and prepare for the upcoming growing season.

Roses are a beautiful addition to home landscapes, and certain modern varieties offer reliable performance without requiring expert care. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
February 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I had an opportunity to attend the Gulf District American Rose Society Mid-Winter Workshop in Gonzales, Louisiana, in early February. It was a fantastic event that allowed me to meet lots of new people and catch up with a few old garden friends.

I also learned that I have had the same experiences and developed the same misperceptions that many home gardeners have with garden roses.

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.

Twelve-year-old Carson Keene shows off his champion Duroc hog for bidders at the 2017 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions Feb. 9, 2017, as his stepsister, Alexandra Pittman, looks on. (Photo courtesy of Jeff L. Homan)
February 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

JACKSON, Miss. -- Before Carson Keene sold his grand champion Duroc hog at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, he had a conversation with his family about where the proceeds should go.

The 12-year-old 4-H'er and sixth-grader at Presbyterian Christian School in Petal had known for several months that his 6-year-old schoolmate Noelle Carter was awaiting treatment at Batson Children's Hospital for liver cancer. He decided to donate the auction proceeds to Carter's family.

“Our school was raising money, and I wanted to try to do something, too,” Keene said.

Residents of homes at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning should invest in alarms that can detect the odorless, toxic gas. Chimneys, gas appliances and other sources can produce carbon monoxide. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
February 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most bill payers are keenly aware of the importance of energy efficiency, but a new initiative is placing similar emphasis on environmental concerns.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said weatherization focuses on reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, but families need a more comprehensive approach to home improvements.

These dwarf Firepower nandinas are mass planted on the Mississippi State University campus in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
February 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Except for a couple of cold nights, there's no doubt that I’ve been enjoying the mild winter we're having this year. It seems our landscape plants are also enjoying the moderate temperatures and flowering to show their approval.

But one thing I'm missing in the landscape is the variety of bronzy golds and reds our evergreen landscape shrubs display because of cold weather. Who doesn't appreciate the winter foliage of Japanese cleyera with its patina of rich burgundy? And what about my nandina, another great winter favorite?

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.

February 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Food Safety
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Miss. -- Farmers market vendors and cottage food industry owners are invited to expand their knowledge at a Feb. 24 workshop covering food safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi.

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
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

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.

February 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers can learn how to improve their financial skills during a two-day workshop in Jackson.

The Holistic Management and Risk Assessment Workshop for Dairy Farmers is set for Feb. 21 and 22. The workshop will be at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Building.

Topics will be geared toward dairy producers, but all Mississippi agricultural producers are welcome. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. each day.

January 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

CARTHAGE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about spring planting, high tunnels and field production methods during the Feb. 17 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will host the field day at Farm I in Carthage.

One of five farms operated by the tribe, Farm I is a certified organic farm that produces tomatoes, tomatoberries, cucumbers, eggplant, kale and collards in seven high tunnels, one greenhouse and one open field acre.

January 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural producers interested in purchasing auxin-containing herbicides intended for in-crop use on 2,4-D- or dicamba-tolerant crops must first complete mandatory online training.

The free, online educational training, offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and approved by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, will be available to producers starting Feb. 13. This training will help growers safely maximize the benefits of these recently approved auxin technologies.

While not all vegetables are suited for the home gardener to start from seed, tomatoes such as this heirloom variety can easily be grown from seed and transplanted outdoors. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
January 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

So far, it's been an interesting spring season in January for our gardens. New Year's weekend, more than 13 inches of rain fell in my Ocean Springs garden, followed a week later by freeze-magedden. By late January, we were in the middle of really nice, moderate weather.

So what plants do you think are showing up at garden centers? If you guessed vegetable transplants, you’re correct. Last week, I even saw large tomato plants full of flowers for sale in 6-inch containers.

January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics, Livestock

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi livestock producers have a new resource for research-based information to help them manage their businesses.

Josh Maples has joined the faculty of the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics as an assistant professor with Extension responsibilities in livestock marketing and agribusiness. Maples, a native of Alabama, received his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from MSU and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Waterfowling remains a great way to get young hunters excited about being in the outdoors. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Adam Tullos)
January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife

VERONA, Miss. -- Hunters love to pursue waterfowl, they are doing it in record numbers, and destinations in the South provide excellent opportunities to harvest birds.

This high school student observes a family practice doctor at work during the 2016 Rural Medical Scholars summer program at Mississippi State University. Applications and program details for 2017 are available online at http://www.extension.msstate.edu/rms/. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Rural Health
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi high school juniors considering medical careers in their home state have the opportunity to take part in an intense and revealing summer program at Mississippi State University.

The five-week Rural Medical Scholars summer program at MSU will seek to identify the state's future primary care doctors and help them become members of the medical school class of 2026. Applications for the May 28 through June 29 program must be submitted by March 20.

January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Extension Administration
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

VERONA, Miss. -- Jane Parish will take the reins at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center on Feb. 1.

Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and George Hopper, director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, jointly announced her promotion from the Prairie Research Unit. Parish served as research and Extension professor at that unit since 2014.

January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Extension Administration
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Miss. -- James E. Henderson has been selected head of the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center.

When Henderson assumes his new role on Feb. 1, he will oversee the daily operations of the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in the southeastern region.

January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Health
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist David Buys will be a panelist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's largest annual meeting.

The USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum hosts more than 1,500 attendees each year. Buys, also a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, will be one of more than 100 speakers and moderators at the forum.

Mississippi has many food deserts, or areas with limited availability of or access to quality, nutritious foods. Stores such as this one seen Jan. 16, 2017, in Clay County, Mississippi, are often the only places to buy groceries in the area. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
January 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Education is part of the solution to the unfortunate paradox facing many areas in Mississippi that struggle with high obesity rates but healthy food is not easily accessible.

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