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May 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Beef
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Cattle producers in south Mississippi can learn about techniques to improve herd health and advancements in production systems during an upcoming field day in Raymond.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are hosting the Beef Cattle Herd Health Field Day on June 16 at the MSU Brown Loam Branch Experiment Station. The station is located at 1676 Brown Loam Road. The field day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

This Wyoming deer suffers from chronic wasting disease, a highly contagious illness that is now present in 23 states. Although the disease is undocumented in Mississippi, it poses a real, potential threat to the state’s deer herd. (Photo Credit: Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the CWD Alliance)
May 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Diseases are a big concern for deer biologists and managers.

Since the reestablishment of white-tailed deer across the Southeast, hemorrhagic disease has had a negative impact on their populations. Hemorrhagic disease in deer can be caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease viruses, or bluetongue viruses, and is spread by black gnats.

May 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University researchers are continuing to study a "crazy" creature found in Mississippi’s coastal counties.

The tawny crazy ant, also known as Nylanderia fulva, is a non-native ant species that has been found in the southern United States, including Hancock, Jackson and Harrison counties in Mississippi. The ants are not widely distributed on the Mississippi gulf coast, but their presence can be overwhelming in areas that contain a crazy ant population, according to MSU researchers who study and monitor the ants.

Yellow squash is among the fruits and vegetables available for purchase at the Starkville Farmers Market on May 2, 2017. Early spring temperatures allowed some truck crops producers to plant their fruit and vegetable crops a little early this year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- This year's early spring temperatures allowed some fruit and vegetable growers to plant their crops a little earlier than usual.

Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Smith County, said growers in his county have not experienced any problems so far despite a late freeze.

"Everything is going well," he said. "Tomatoes grown in greenhouses or high tunnels are ready now. We project watermelons will be ready around mid- to late June, and field tomatoes should be ready to start coming off the vine around the first week of June."

Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, explains a riding pattern he will judge to a group of young women. McBeath, a long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H Program, is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year. (Photo by Jeff Homan)
May 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, Equine
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H program is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year.

Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, received the honor at the recent American Youth Horse Council symposium in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He has spent nearly four decades working with youth to establish strong foundations for successful experiences with horses.

State regulations govern on-site wastewater disposal systems to protect Mississippi’s people and environment. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Rural Water Association, Water Quality
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners building new home sites or camp houses typically put in septic systems to handle wastewater, but some may not realize that state regulations govern the process.

Jason Barrett, an assistant professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said everyone concerned about the quality of drinking water and the safety of private wells, shallow aquifers and surface water should care about this issue.

Brittny Fairley, right, checks Dequesia Perry’s blood pressure in their health science class at the Hinds County Career and Technical Center in Raymond, Mississippi, on May 4, 2017. They are members of the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Junior Master Wellness Volunteers group in Hinds County who received training to deliver basic health information and provide supervised basic screenings. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
May 9, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Community, Leadership, Junior Master Wellness Volunteer, Health, Rural Health
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Rocheryl Ware sees members of her 4-H Junior Master Wellness Volunteer group as catalysts that can help change Mississippi's health landscape.

John Orlowski, a Mississippi State University assistant research and Extension professor, inspects soybean seedlings in a plot at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Orlowski will coordinate the first Mississippi Soybean Yield Contest. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Kenner Patton)
May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Soybeans

STONEVILLE, Miss. – The state's soybean producers can put their skills to the test this year in the first Mississippi Soybean Yield Contest.

Yield contests encourage growers to conduct on-farm research, evaluate their agronomic practices, and increase yields and profits.

The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board funds the contest with producer checkoff funds. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Soybean Association will administer the competition.

Both butterflies and aphids are attracted to tropical milkweed in droves. While unsightly, aphids don’t seem to impact growth and flowering. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

It's all the rage to plant butterfly gardens in our home landscapes. This is especially true when we consider the Monarch butterfly, which is said to be under stress from disappearing habitats.

One of the best butterfly-attracting plants for the home landscape is butterfly weed, known botanically as Asclepias. Butterfly weed has a great trio of advantages: it is low maintenance, deer resistant, and attractive to Monarchs and other butterflies.

Deer University podcast launches May 11 and will be available to listeners free of charge.
May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will soon offer a weekly podcast that will be of interest to deer hunters and wildlife professionals in the Southeast.

Deer University launches May 11 and will be available to listeners free of charge on iTunes and at http://extension.msstate.edu/deeruniversity. Registration is the only prerequisite needed to listen and subscribe to the podcast.

May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Water, Rural Water Association, Water Quality
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

HAZLEHURST, Miss. -- South Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have an opportunity 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 Copiah County to learn how to better manage, operate and protect their private wells.

Grey rat snakes, such as this one, are commonly seen here in Mississippi. They are not venomous and generally would prefer to be left alone. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
May 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- No other creatures provoke as many conflicting feelings as snakes do. We are attracted and repelled, and we are intrigued by them and ready to kill them, all at the same time. These feelings date back to antiquity.

May 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Early-career producers and allied agricultural professionals looking to develop leadership skills and policy knowledge about farming issues should apply to participate in Mississippi's premier agricultural leadership training program.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, has established the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP.

Growers planted the majority of Mississippi’s soybean crop well ahead of normal this year, thanks to favorable April weather. These recently emerged soybean plants on Mississippi State University’s Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Center were growing on May 3, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Soybeans
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi producers have planted a large percentage of the state's soybean crop well ahead of schedule, giving producers the opportunity for maximum yields.

The May 1 crop progress and condition report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated 69 percent of the soybean crop has been planted. In the last five years, just 38 percent of the crop was typically planted by this date.

Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, called the progress to date phenomenal.

Lida McDowell holds an alternanthera plant at her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on April 27, 2017. McDowell is a member of the Pine Belt Master Gardeners -- one of more than 60 such groups throughout the state that operate under the supervision of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Master Gardener
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Lida McDowell taught science and math for 30 years at the high school and university levels, and she keeps finding ways to educate while enjoying an interest she had no time to pursue until retirement.

The raised-bed vegetable gardens she and church friend Karen Walker maintain year-round serve as a classroom for a young audience at Thames Elementary School in Hattiesburg.

“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to enjoy nature, be outside and appreciate where their food comes from,” McDowell said.

The Rankin County 4-H robotics team, Wait For It, was in the winning alliance of three teams at the FIRST Tech Challenge in Houston, Texas. Members Lilli Stewart, left, Lauren Blacksher, Noah Gregory, Maisyn Barragan, Jordan Hariel, Logan Hariel and Mathew Blacksher are on the playing field of Minute Maid Park in front of 25,000 people to receive their award on April 22, 2017. (Submitted Photo)
May 3, 2017 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mariah Morgan remembers inquisitive 8-year-olds, just learning how to program beginner robots for 4-H projects. The rest of the world now sees one of them as a team of champion programmers.

Wait For It, the Rankin County 4-H robotics club, just earned top honors at the FIRST Tech Challenge at Minute Maid Park in Houston. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

This north Mississippi robotics team, Challenge Accepted, took part in the world competition in Houston, Texas. Team members from DeSoto and Tate counties are Jon Shidler, left, Jon Rodgers, Zack Sahnger, Skyler Smith, Brandon Hess, Nathan Rodgers and Alex Turner. Members not pictured included Ella Douglas and Cade Holliday. (Submitted photo)
May 3, 2017 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi 4-H offers a unique way to celebrate the unofficial Star Wars Day, May 4, by encouraging support of the state 4-H Robotics Program.

May 4 is recognized for its connection to the famous movie line, "May the force be with you."

"May the Fourth has become a day to celebrate science, technology, engineering and math," said Mariah Morgan, an assistant Extension professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach.

Don’t mulch trees like this. Mulching offers significant benefits, but a layer should only be 2 to 3 inches deep and pulled away from the tree trunk. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
May 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Driving around town this weekend, I enjoyed all the work fellow gardeners have been doing in their yards. I thought our early spring weather brought out the best in our landscapes, but then I saw it.

I couldn't believe my eyes, but there they were: mulch volcanoes.

It's been a couple of years since I've seen a real doozy of a mulch volcano, and I realized again what my duty has to be. I have to convince people that mulch volcanoes are bad for our trees.

Brett Rushing, an assistant Extension and research professor at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station, works with Neeley Norman, left, and Sarah Kountouris on the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi, a program coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful intended to turn Mississippi roadsides into pollinator habitats and tourist attractions. Norman is assistant director of Keep Mississippi Beautiful, and Kountouris is director. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
May 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

A Mississippi State University researcher is helping turn Mississippi roadsides into eye-catching pollinator habitats and tourist attractions.

Dr. Brett Rushing, an assistant Extension and research professor at the MSU Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton, supports Wildflower Trails of Mississippi in its effort to fill available and suitable property across the state with colorful, native wildflowers and grasses. Coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful, this project began in 2015.

Leaving dirty dishes in the sink provides a feast for pests. Integrated pest management emphasizes practical, cost-efficient strategies for keeping rodents and insects out of the home. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Spring has begun, and while that means warmer weather and blooming flowers, it may mean more pests infiltrating your home.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, explained the importance of integrated pest management and the steps that make up the IPM process. He said IPM focuses on common-sense activities around the house, with an emphasis on environmentally friendly and affordable practices over regular application of insecticide.

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