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A member of the snapdragon family, the Serena Angelonia will grow to 1 foot tall and spread up to 14 inches. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
June 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Whenever I see Angelonias in a landscape, I'm reminded of my other favorite flowering annuals for the cool season: snapdragons.

Angelonia, a member of the snapdragon family, thrives in the full sun during the summer heat and humidity. This stamina is a requirement for our Mississippi gardens and landscapes and why I consider it one of the best plants for my hot summer garden.

Flood waters from the Mississippi River cover this Warren County soybean field north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on June 2, 2017. Recent excess rains and river flooding have some corn, cotton and soybean fields under water. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Although favorable spring weather helped many producers plant their corn, cotton and soybean crops early, most growers now need fields to dry out.

Well-timed early spring rains helped corn producers avoid irrigating their crops, but flooding from recent excess rain will force some to think about replanting with soybeans.

Young people enjoy canoe excursions on Bluff Lake in the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, located south of Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As a child, some of my favorite times were spent outdoors. Sadly, spending time outside is no longer the norm for many people.

Ryan Akers (left), an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, helps 4-H members examine items in a disaster preparedness backpack. Madison Crawford (second from left) and Leigh Anne Walley, both of Greene County, joined Caleb Walley and Bo Henderson, both of Wayne County, in the workshop on June 1 at the 2017 State 4-H Congress in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- June kicks off hurricane season, but every community in Mississippi is vulnerable to a variety of disasters throughout the calendar year.

Representatives of the Mississippi State University Extension Service have been on the front lines of preparedness and recovery efforts since the organization’s earliest days.

Rankin County 4-H member Robert Herrington takes a close look under the hood of a tractor as he identifies engine parts during a portion of the tractor competition on June 1, 2017. More than 700 4-H members took part in contests, workshops, tours and entertainment during their annual state meeting at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi 4-H competitions continue to help "make the best better" more than a century after the first corn clubs for boys and tomato clubs for girls were formed in the state.

Hundreds of 4-H members converged on Mississippi State University for three days of competitions, workshops, tours and entertainment from May 31 to June 2.

Although common in Southern landscapes, the Lady Banks rose dates back to the late 1790s and came from China. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I wrote earlier about my 40-year struggle with growing roses. But during that time, there was one rose that was a great performer for me: a climbing rose called Blaze.

Jersey cows huddle outside the Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center in Sessums, Mississippi in February. Primarily due to a lower number of dairy cows, the state’s milk production in the first quarter of 2017 was down from the previous year. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Dairy
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fewer dairy cows than last year roam Mississippi pastures, so the state's milk production continues to steadily decline.

In the first quarter of 2017, milk production was down 7 percent from that time a year ago. From January to March of 2016, producers collected 42 million pounds of milk compared to 39 million pounds this year.

Computerized hole selection provides furrow irrigation of rice with water from a tailwater recovery system in the Mississippi Delta. (MSU Extension Service file photo)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As temperatures rise and rainfall declines over the hot summer months, it is important to use our water resources efficiently.

Luckily, there are technologies and innovative strategies that farmers can employ to make every drop of water count.

May 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing
By Ms. Leah Barbour
MSU Extension Service

New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency."

"My primary goal is to provide accurate soil analysis in a timely manner," said Jones, an Extension associate who has worked in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences since 2016. "I hope to improve the overall efficiency of the lab as well as update soil nutrient application recommendations."

An upcoming Farm Fresh and Healthy Tour in and around Starkville, Mississippi, will show participants where their food comes from before it ends up at a local market. Here, Debra Shafer and her grandson Sam Shafer of Starkville browse produce at the Starkville Farmers Market May 2, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a mom's day out with a farm twist on June 13.

A group of 15 mothers of school-aged children will participate in a Farm Fresh and Healthy Tour in and around Starkville. The event includes a tour of a local producer's farm and a visit to a livestock production facility, such as a beef, poultry or dairy operation.

After the tours, Chef Jay Yates from the Veranda will offer a cooking demonstration.

May 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Row crop producers can learn best practices for adding auxin herbicides to their weed control tool box at a field day June 29.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Hwy. 15 South in Pontotoc.

May 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Organic Fruit and Vegetables
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

VERONA, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University vegetable expert is part of a project designed to support and strengthen organic farming in the Southeast.

Casey Barickman, an assistant horticulture professor with the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is working with colleagues from Tuskegee University, Auburn University, North Carolina State University, the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network and Oregon State University to give organic growers the information they need to develop efficient production systems.

Real gardeners know the work is hard, but they consider sweat equity a reasonable price to pay to be able to enjoy their landscapes. (File Photo by MSU Extension)
May 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

In early April, my wife and I had the honor of being part of the 2017 Garden Clubs of Mississippi Spring Pilgrimage, as our little urban farm was one of the tour's stops. It was a treat to open our doors to allow more than 170 visitors to peek behind the curtain at how we garden.

During late spring and early summer, spectators and photographers should limit stress for nesting birds, such as this Canada goose near a pond in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, on May 7, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
May 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Late spring and early summer is the time when wild animals are raising their young, but it also the time when people gear up for outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, playing baseball, riding all-terrain vehicles and visiting beaches.

We are fortunate to have ample green space in our state, but with this great resource comes the responsibility of respecting wildlife that use these spaces to raise young. The phrase "respect the nest" is an easy way to remember this responsibility.

These blueberries at the Blueberry Patch in Starkville, Mississippi, are shown in a fruit coloring stage on May 17, 2017. Mostly warm winter conditions caused this year’s harvest to be unusually early in most parts of the state. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

WAYNESBORO, Miss. -- The demand for fresh Mississippi blueberries may grow this year after a mid-March freeze hampered production in neighboring states.

Freezing temperatures during the crop's early growth stage on farms east of the state, especially in Georgia and North Carolina, caused production losses of up to 50 percent.

Meanwhile, 85 percent of Mississippi's blueberry crop was either in good or excellent condition as of May 15, according to a weekly crop progress and condition report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

May 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Economic Development
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Mississippians trying to turn the highest business profit from the beautiful architecture of their historic homes can learn ways to maximize the landscape through a Mississippi State University Extension Service course.

The MSU Extension Service is offering the daylong Know Your Roots: Grow Your Business workshop in Vicksburg June 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. The registration deadline is June 1.

May 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Three Mississippi State University Conservation Camps are giving Mississippi middle and high schoolers a chance to explore wildlife, the outdoors, and careers in science and nature this summer.

The MSU Extension Service and the MSU College of Forest Resources have offered the Conservation Camps since 2005.

May 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Technology, Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Educators planning for next year can participate in a free, online train-the-trainer course that will help them teach children and adults how to recognize and combat cyberbullying.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service partnered with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools to develop the program.

Law enforcement officers, school resource officers and other interested adults can also participate.

Annual flowering vincas perform well in the landscape and in containers. This Mediterranean Hot Rose has a spreading growth habit that allows it to spill over the edge of a hanging basket. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
May 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Now that our gardens and landscapes are heating up, it is the perfect time to plant annual flowering vinca. This beauty provides hot summer color you just can't beat.

Annual flowering vinca is a solid performer in Mississippi gardens, so I always make sure to plant some in my landscape.

Botanically speaking, annual flowering vinca is Catharanthus rosea. In garden centers, the pot tags sometimes call it Madagascar periwinkle.

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.

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