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Photo shows mature, dried soybean pods hanging against a brown, natural background.
September 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Soybeans
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

Official numbers show Mississippi’s soybean crop is ahead of schedule and in good shape, but many fields have actually spent a wet month waiting for harvest.

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist, said this delay -- caused by frequent, heavy rains -- impacted a portion of the state’s crop.

A brown wild hog forages in green grass.
September 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

The number of wild hogs living in an area determines the severity of their impact on wildlife, as these invasive creatures eat any source of nutrition they can find.

Volunteer teenagers use a prop resembling the human brain to demonstrate brain function to children.
September 28, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Junior Master Wellness Volunteer
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- October is Children’s Health Month, but Mississippi’s Junior Master Wellness Volunteers are dedicated year-round to “promoting healthy living through community connections” in the state.

The Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program, or JrMWV, is a community health education and volunteer leader training program offered through the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program in partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UMMC/Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute.

Ann Sansing, MSU Extension community health coordinator, said this is the latest program developed in a five-year partnership with the medical center around delivery of the Community Health Advocate curriculum, which began there under the leadership of Dr. Rick deShazo. 

Backlit Gulf Muhly grass glows like a rich, pink cloud in this landscape.
September 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I know some homeowners who look at ornamental grasses and wonder what is the big deal; these plants are only grass. But when fall rolls around, many of these naysayers change their opinion 180 degrees.

Fall is a great time to appreciate ornamental grasses, as their flower plumes, actually called inflorescences, really pop out in their full glory.

One of the best and showier grasses is not a selection that was bred for any particular characteristic. I’m talking about Gulf Muhly grass, a Mississippi native grass that really struts its stuff in the fall and winter.

Close up of a head of grain sorghum full of tiny brown seeds, along with other plant heads in the field around it.
September 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Grains
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s grain sorghum acreage is at an historic low, and market prices are not much better, but yields should be good.

Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that when market incentives went away after 2015, so did farmers’ desire to plant grain sorghum, also known as milo. State growers may have planted 10,000 acres this year, the fewest since record keeping began in 1929.

A large alligator rests on the shoreline beside water on a sunny day.
September 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Thanks to the careful management and conservation efforts of Mississippi’s state and federal wildlife biologists, alligator populations across the state are thriving.

In fact, Ricky Flynt, alligator coordinator with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, said he considers the healthy alligator populations a conservation success story. From the early 1900s through the 1960s, alligators were not protected and were nearly eliminated, he explained. Now, their numbers are high enough to allow limited recreational hunting. 

September 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Home gardeners and landscape professionals attending the 62nd Ed Martin Landscape Symposium Oct. 18 at Mississippi State University will gain insights on native plants, water use and smart landscapes.

The event lasts from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bost Extension Center at MSU. Registration is $25 until Oct. 1 and $30 at the door. The event is hosted by the MSU Extension Service and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi Inc.

September 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Dairy

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families and students have an opportunity to tour Mississippi State University’s dairy facilities this fall.

The MSU Extension Service will host Breakfast on the Farm Oct. 27-28 at the Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center at 2128 Turkey Creek Road near Starkville. The event is open to preregistered school groups from 9 a.m. until noon on Oct. 27. Families and community members are invited to attend the next morning at the same hours.

September 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Water Quality, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG, White-Tailed Deer
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Wild hogs cost Mississippians millions of dollars each year, but landowners stand to lose more than money if the nuisance animals’ range and population continue to grow. 

Left unchecked, wild hogs have the potential to steal property owners’ investments and cripple the state’s ecosystem in the process. 

Two men on a stage holding a FEMA certificate and looking at the camera.
September 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The leader of a Mississippi-based, national initiative to help families and communities prepare for disasters has earned an additional certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ryan Akers, an associate Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, just graduated from an in-depth course provided by FEMA. The curriculum addressed advanced concepts in disaster management, agency organization, community response and emergency professions.

Red, green, and yellow pods on a Chilly Chili plant, a colorful pod producer without the heat.
September 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Late summer and early fall are among my favorite times of the year because the ornamental peppers are starting to really color up.

More and more fellow gardeners are jumping on the bandwagon and planting these beauties in their landscapes. These plants are hot -- in landscape character and accent -- and they carry the garden through the fall season and maybe beyond.

Most ornamental peppers begin setting fruit as the temperatures rise, so the best show is always saved for late summer and continues through the fall as they keep producing. This means you need to set these plants out in the late spring.

September 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A turfgrass specialist at Mississippi State University is receiving a major national accolade.

Jay McCurdy is the latest young professional recognized by the Crop Science Society of America for making significant contributions to the field within seven years of completing a final academic degree. He will accept the CSSA 2017 Early Career Award and accompanying $2,000 stipend late next month at the organization’s annual meeting in Tampa, Florida.

A Tennessee native reared on a sod farm in the Gibson County city of Dyer, McCurdy came to MSU two years ago after completing an Auburn University doctorate in agronomy and soils. He earned earlier degrees at University of Tennessee campuses in Martin and Knoxville.

September 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Environment
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Coastal Cleanup moved to Nov. 18 after Nate!

BILOXI, Miss. -- Volunteers can help tidy Mississippi’s beaches and other coastal areas during the 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup on Oct. 21.

The 29th annual event begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. at more than 40 sites in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties. Participants will help remove plastic bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts and other trash.

Organized by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, this event has helped remove millions of pounds of trash from the state’s beaches, waterways and barrier islands since 1988. Last year alone, volunteers removed 14 tons of litter from about 200 miles of coastal area.

Two men move cases of bottled water in a storehouse.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Response
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. – First responders and disaster experts know that good intentions can lay the foundations for disastrous conditions after hurricane winds and floods subside.

Through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Anne Howard Hilbun conducts disaster response training for citizens and emergency workers. She is an instructor with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development.

September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Rural Water Association, Water Quality
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

BATESVILLE, Miss. -- Private well owners in seven Delta counties can get water samples pH tested and screened for bacteria and lead at an educational workshop in Batesville. 

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is cohosting a free well-owner workshop at the Extension office in Panola County Oct. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Residents of Panola, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Bolivar, Leflore, Quitman and Coahoma counties can get their private well water screened for free. The workshop is open to all well owners. Attendance is not required to participate in the water testing.  

A gopher tortoise walking in one of south Mississippi's remaining longleaf pine forest.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Thousands of years ago, mastodons, giant ground sloths, saber-tooth cats and short-faced bears roamed the land now called Mississippi. More recently, Carolina parakeets, passenger pigeons and eastern elk lived in the forests and fields surrounding the homes and towns of European settlers living in the Southeast.

All of these animals are now extinct, which means no living individuals remain on the planet. Although climatic changes aided in the extinction of some of these species, others were lost to habitat loss and overharvest.

These are just a few of the many species in the U.S. and around the globe that are extinct. Others are on the brink of extinction. Unless we act, these endangered species may follow the same path as the mastodon and passenger pigeon.

A closed boll is seen on a cotton plant growing in a field.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Cotton
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rain, cool weather, more rain and some wind have slowed cotton maturation, but since the crop was a little behind schedule, the damage may be less than if harvest were already underway.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said recent weather is causing some yield loss, but it is hard to estimate how much.

“Being late to a degree helped the crop because rain did not string out open cotton, but given that we are running out of heat, we may have been better off with an earlier crop that had been defoliated and was standing up when the rain came,” Dodds said.

A child’s hands poised above a collection of colorful insect specimens, pinned to Styrofoam blocks.
September 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Insects
By Ms. Lindsay Caroline Pace
MSU Extension Service

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Students and families can explore and celebrate the insect world during the Crosby Arboretum’s 11th annual Bugfest Sept. 22 and 23 in Picayune.

The arboretum, a public garden operated by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, sponsors Bugfest to allow the community to foster curiosity and an appreciation of nature and adventure.

Participants can collect and identify insects alongside Extension entomologist John Guyton and others from the MSU Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.

September 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

GREENVILLE, Miss. -- Pecan producers can learn the latest updates in their industry during an upcoming field day. 

The Mississippi Pecan Growers Association will host the 2017 Fall Field Day on Oct. 6 at Tri-Delta Pecans Inc., located at 537 Broadway Extended North in Greenville.

Topics include marketing, harvest, pecan grading, and food safety and quality control practices. Attendees will also tour the Tri-Delta Pecans cleaning and processing facility.

The Pinecote Pavillion stands in the background of the pond at the Crosby Arboretum.
September 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Environment
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum celebrates its formal, 20-year partnership with the university on Sept. 15. 

On that date in 1997 the facility was incorporated into the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. Managed by the MSU Extension Service, the arboretum is an award-winning, internationally recognized native plant conservatory dedicated to research, education and preservation of plants found in the Pearl River Drainage Basin. 

"The arboretum is regarded as the premier conservatory in the Southeast, and it is an important keystone of Piney Woods heritage,” said Pat Drackett, arboretum director. “It is a wonderful educational tool that helps teach people about our local ecosystems and preserves them for future generations. We are honored every day to help fulfill the vision shaped by the Crosby family and the Crosby Arboretum Foundation almost 40 years ago."

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