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February 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University agricultural economist, who has spent his career helping farmers develop management plans, recently earned a lifetime achievement award from his professional organization.

Lawrence Falconer received the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization's highest award for significant and enduring contributions to the agricultural economics profession, at its annual meeting in Mobile on Feb. 7.

February 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Technology
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippians can apply to participate in an upcoming workforce development program to help them get work-from-home jobs.

The program recruits, trains, places and mentors participants for full-time or part-time customer service jobs. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is implementing the program in partnership with community colleges, WIN Job Centers and public libraries.

The pilot program initially will be offered in Verona, Mathiston, Scooba/DeKalb and Biloxi.

Mississippi State University Extension specialists will be on hand to present seminars for home gardeners on how to create landscapes like this one. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
February 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

This past weekend was glorious and I appreciated puttering around my yard and landscape. It's not often that we can enjoy a Saturday and Sunday in February with temperatures in the mid-70s and bright sunny skies.

But I had to take a step back and remember that our last frost free date on the coast is about April 1, so I continued to transplant curly kale and Bright Lights Swiss chard in my EarthBoxes and harvested some fresh red and green romaine lettuce for salads.

This is a tailwater recovery system on a row-crop farm in the Mississippi Delta. (MSU Extension Service file photo)
February 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Water
By Mr. Austin R. Omer
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With spring around the corner, gardeners and farmers are beginning to plan for the upcoming planting and growing seasons.

One important way to ensure success during the Mississippi growing season is to have a plan for irrigation. Water keeps plants alive during the hot Mississippi summers, so irrigation is often vital during times of limited rainfall.

Dale Weaver of Noxubee County leads the grain crops discussion at the Producer Advisory Council meeting in Verona, Mississippi, on Feb. 16, 2017. Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station host the annual meeting. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
February 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Other Aquaculture Species, Crops, Livestock
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

VERONA, Miss. -- Mississippi State University specialists and researchers met with northeast Mississippi agricultural producers in Verona on Feb. 16 to provide updates and hear requests for future programs.

Jane Parish, newly appointed head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting reflects the close relationship between area producers and the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

February 16, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H Livestock Program, Equine
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host four clinics for 4-H'ers interested in competing in two new performance classes at the 2017 Mississippi 4-H Horse Show.

Extension equine specialist Clay Cavinder will be the primary instructor at the workshops, which will teach 4-H members the rules and scope of the two classes: Ranch Handling and Cow Horse Boxing.

Eliminating clutter is one way to prevent bed bugs from becoming a problem. Once these parasites are introduced into a home, extermination requires professionals. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
February 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, Insects-Human Pests
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Housecleaning and decluttering efforts can go a long way in preventing home-invading bed bugs from setting up residence where they can feed at night on human hosts.

Bed bugs are nuisance pests that often live, as their name suggests, in beds. Once the bugs are introduced into a home, their extermination requires professional services. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, through the Healthy Homes Initiative, is equipping residents with the knowledge to keep this problem out of their houses.

February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi agronomic crop producers now have an important insect control reference guide available on their mobile devices.

"Insect Control Guide for Agronomic Crops," a publication of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, helps farmers estimate the performance of various insecticides on cotton, soybeans, corn, grain sorghum, small grains, rice and peanuts.

February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts and other interested individuals can learn techniques for designing floral arrangements for casual entertaining during a March 8 class.

In observation of International Women's Day, Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will demonstrate fresh flower design using materials from the yard and garden.

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.

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