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Large field of mature, golden wheat with green trees on the far side.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.

Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.

Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.

The leaves of green tomato plants droop on the plants
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

Common Diseases of TomatoesCRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Conditions have been ideal this summer for a disease outbreak that makes tomatoes wilt and look like they are just too dry.

Southern blight is a fungal disease of tomatoes commonly characterized by white, thread-like growth and brown or tan, round structures known as sclerotia at the base of the stem.

Older man holds a fishing pole on the shoreline while watching a red cork on a quiet pond.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Oxygen-related fish kills can completely wipe out otherwise healthy ponds, but there is a strategy pond owners can use to control this problem.

Anoxia -- the lack of oxygen -- can form in deeper water layers of a pond during warmer months. Deeper water is heavier and denser, which prevents it from mixing with warm surface water where air and oxygen-producing microorganisms are found. As deeper water becomes isolated, its oxygen levels are depleted, reducing fish habitat and increasing the risk of fish kills.

Scaevola – Tiny purple, white and orange flowers can be seen among a mass of green leaves.
July 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I am a committed container gardener for both flowers and vegetables, but today I’m focusing on flowering plants. I firmly believe growing in containers is a fantastic way to enjoy a beautiful landscape and garden.

June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians love their air conditioners, but an over-reliance could leave people at greater risks during power outages triggered by heat waves.

The hottest days of summer can tax power grids and individual air conditioning units. Backup plans can ease the discomfort and even save lives if brownouts occur or air conditioners break. Brownouts are drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. They can be intentionally arranged by the power company to reduce the load on the overall power system, or they can be unintentionally caused by overloads or overuse of power.

Looking down on a round pan with various small pieces of plastic.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Marine debris, largely composed of discarded plastic products, is one of the most alarming issues facing the world’s seas today.

Plastics have the advantages of being cheap, lightweight, durable and easy to make. Unfortunately, single-use plastics often serve their intended purposes in a matter of seconds before they enter the endless stream of waste humans generate.

Several people gather to buy produce on display at a farmers market.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-business, Agri-tourism, Local Flavor

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched an Internet microsite that delivers information on each facet of the state’s local foods industry.

A watermelon with a dark green outer shell and light green stripes rests in a field.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Watermelons, Farmers Markets, Food

TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- Before the first batch was picked on June 22, two fields at Ford Farms were covered with red and yellow watermelons. That wasn’t the case a year ago.

Any kind of melon crop at the Smith County farm is an improvement over 2017.

June 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Health, Environment

CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Growers who planted cover crops for the first time last year will share their experiences with other producers at a cover crop field day.

June 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Soils, Soil Health, Beekeeping, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

SAUCIER, Miss. -- Producers and gardeners looking for tips on growing herbs and improving their soil can attend a July 20 field day.

June 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming, but establishing routines is one way to make the process easier.

Judy Breland, county coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Stone County, said planning set times for meals, baths, regular outings and even restroom breaks, helps to lessen the stress on caregivers and their loved ones. Breland is a caregiver for her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

June 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering its annual Forage Field Day July 17 to interested producers and agricultural agents.

Variegated burgundy and chartreuse coleus laves fill a container.​
June 25, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Since we celebrated the first day of summer last week, I think this is the perfect time to talk about one my favorite color plants, the coleus.

Coleus used to be that colorful plant that would grow only in the shadows, never exposed to the sun. One of my favorites of this kind is the sun-bashful coleus group, Kong.

Straight rows of cotton grow toward the horizon.
June 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There's always something for farmers to monitor or manage, and in many row-crop fields across the state, weed control is the big concern of the moment.

Jason Bond, weed scientist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said rains that keep machinery out of the fields allow time for weeds to grow rapidly.

A hand holds a smartphone displaying finance apps on its screen.
June 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Technology, Basic Money Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When there never seems to be enough money to cover the bills, trying to set up and follow a budget can seem like a pointless and stressful activity.

Bekah Sparks, Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor in the Center for Technology Outreach, said a variety of apps and electronic tools can help make it easier to save money and spend wisely.

A floral arrangement with fall colors.
June 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Floral Design
BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts can learn how to make a variety of fall floral arrangements and décor during several workshops from September to December.
 
Jim DelPrince, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and his special guests Julie Poeltler and Wanda Norton will show participants how to design several seasonal arrangements.
 
A gray-haired woman in blue shorts and a multi-colored striped shirt holds a pen over a pocket calendar to check appointments.
June 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Flight attendants instruct passengers to take care of themselves before helping others with oxygen masks for several good reasons that also apply to other caregivers and situations.

June 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Leadership

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Three members of the Mississippi State family have completed a leadership program focused on strengthening relationships and advancing development in the Golden Triangle region.

Hosted by the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, West Point Growth Alliance, and The Partnership of Starkville, the eight-month Golden Triangle Leaders program recently graduated 22 emerging and experienced leaders who were selected from a group of nominated applicants.

 A brown clay pot contains a small bush with pink flowers.
June 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases
I love crape myrtles in the landscape. They flower all summer, and their beautiful exfoliating and peeling bark exposes cinnamon-brown trunks in the winter. It's no wonder that somebody way back when called them the Flowers of the South.
 
Thick, shoulder-high plants growing under tall trees in a wooded area.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People often ask what they can plant to improve wildlife numbers on their property. Before seeking advice on what to plant, the first question should be, "Is food a limiting factor?"

Most often, Mother Nature has provided all the food wildlife need, assuming animals are provided the proper habitat. Still, there is an ecological principle at work called Liebig’s Law of the Minimum.

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