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A pair of hands pull rich soil from the ground with green grass around it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment
By Dr. Beth Harlander Baker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recent survey revealed that thousands of farmers are planting cover crops and reporting benefits from the practice.

While only a few respondents to the fifth annual cover crop survey were from Mississippi, the study revealed more landowners appreciate the practice of growing crops to protect and enrich the soil. Most respondents were from the Midwest in the survey conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center.

A glass donation jar filled with dollar bills and coins has more money scattered beside it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians display their generous hearts through their high rate of charitable giving, but thieves sometimes take advantage of these soft spots in a variety of holiday scams.

“The Chronicle of Philanthropy” indicates Mississippians give an average of 5 percent of their annual gross incomes to charity each year. That generosity ranks them second in the country, just slightly behind Utah, in charitable giving.

Two beef cattle grazing in a green pasture.
November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Beef
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

Producers of grass-fed beef cattle will learn the latest recommendations for producing high quality and profitable livestock.

November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day will be Nov. 17 at Yokna Bottoms Farm in Oxford. 

Farm owner Doug Davis will show attendees the sustainable practices he uses on his 6-acre vegetable farm. Topics include late fall production, washing and storing, overwintering crops, cover crops, pest control and community-supported agriculture. 

The field day is free, but preregistration is required. Onsite check-in begins at 10 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Yokna Bottoms Farm is located at 26 County Road 471 in Oxford.

A close-up of a pink pansy with a dark maroon blotch in the center.
November 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

These days, I have to wear my hoodie sweatshirts and long pants for anything below 60 degrees. But the falling temperatures also signal something great: racks and racks of great, cool-season color as pansies fill local garden centers.

November 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Environment
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers interested in protecting natural resources on their land to attend an upcoming conservation landowner workshop.

Bats roosting in the cavity of large tree.
November 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler fall weather leads bats and other wildlife in search of shelter for the winter months.

Bats are an integral part of Mississippi’s ecosystem balance, consuming large quantities of unwanted insects and supporting forest communities. However, they can become nuisances when groups of bats, called colonies, take up residence in homes or other buildings.

November 3, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Leadership and Citizenship, Keys to the Community
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Elected officials recently helped Port Gibson High School students get a better grasp on local government through a new 4-H citizenship program.

A green combine rolls through a peanut field. In the foreground, peanuts waiting to be harvested rest on the ground.
November 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Peanuts
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

Growers managed major disease problems in the peanut crop this year to produce high yields and good profits.

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

The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum will host the Piney Woods Heritage Festival on Nov. 18.

The 15th annual event celebrates the region’s heritage with presentations, displays and demonstrations of historical skills and crafts, including blacksmithing, spinning, basket making, quilting and more.

Still life arrangement of a pair of knitted infants booties, a hospital ID band and a pacifier.
October 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

Identity theft takes many forms, but theft of a child’s identity is one of the most difficult frauds to detect and can go unnoticed for years.

The Federal Trade Commission defines child identity theft as another person using a child’s personal or financial information to make purchases, get benefits, file taxes or commit fraud.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County, said this theft often goes unnoticed until the child gets ready to enter college.

A head of cabbage grows in the center of a gorgeous red cabbage plant.
October 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

This year, I’m getting an early start on my ornamental kale and cabbage planting for the fall.

A couple of weeks ago, I found these plants being marketed in variety packs, so I picked up a selection of kale and cabbage. What an easy way to select plants for your landscape this weekend.

A brown marmorated stink bug with numerous small spots on its body and two white lines on its dark, brown antennae sits on top of a red and yellow apple.
October 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Fruit, Household Insects, Insects-Pests
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

Brown marmorated stink bugs took up residence in the Northeast nearly 20 years ago, but established populations of the destructive pest are now confirmed in the Southeast, including two reports in Mississippi.

Blake Layton, an entomology specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is asking homeowners and producers to report any sightings of the insect. These insects are on a different level than other stink bugs in the South because of the damage they cause in fruit and the issues they cause when they invade buildings, he said.

Two young men wearing camouflage sit in a small boat with a black dog, all looking out on the water on a sunny day.
October 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife
By Mr. Andrew Lane Smith
MSU Extension Service

Hunting is a wonderful, fulfilling pastime that helps friends and family forge lifetime relationships that might not emerge to the same extent in other settings.

In addition to a withdrawn and disconnected outdoor user base, we have a wide diversity of ideals and beliefs of the people who participate in outdoor activities.

About a dozen large, 50-pound bags of unshelled pecans are piled on top of a wood palet.
October 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

As the time for pecan harvest approaches, some Mississippians are contemplating adding new orchards or expanding or renovating old ones.

Eric Stafne, fruit and nut crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers want to capitalize on the demand for pecans, which is increasing domestically and overseas.

Defoliated cotton plants are ready for harvest.
October 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops
By Ms. Leah Barbour
MSU Extension Service

The Delta Agricultural Weather Center launched its real-time weather data website just as cotton producers were completing the 2017 harvest and anticipating next spring’s planting season.

Once cotton reaches maturity, farmers apply a harvest aid to force the plants to drop their leaves and open their bolls. They harvest the crop about two weeks later.

Confederate rose is an heirloom plant that blooms prolifically in late summer and fall.
October 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service
I have weekly favorite plants, as you may know, and one of my favorites started blooming in earnest over the last couple of weeks. The sheer number of flowers on the Confederate rose makes this plant a must-have in our Mississippi landscapes.

Confederate rose is sometimes called Cotton rose and Cotton rosemallow. Despite the references to cotton, this plant is actually a hibiscus that originated in Asia.
October 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Healthy Homes Initiative
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

A program designed to teach early childhood teachers and center directors how to provide a safe and clean environment for young children recently received national recognition. 

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences selected the Healthy Homes for Child Care program, developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, as the Southern Region winner and a national winner in the Clean and Healthy Families and Communities category. 

A teenage boy proudly holds up a catfish on his fishing line.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The first settlers of North America did not realize all that they were going to find in the New World.

When European settlers came to North American, they wanted things to be different in their new country. History books tell us the promise of religious freedom, cheap land and economic opportunities gave them courage to make the long, dangerous and expensive trip. 

A small brown bat looks into the camera as it hangs upside down.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects-Pests
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

 Mississippi’s climate is ideal for a wide range of insects, many of which make nuisances of themselves when they gather outside buildings.

Blake Layton, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said homeowners can take steps to minimize their houses’ attractiveness to insects.

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