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The outer leaves of Pigeon Purple ornamental cabbage maintain a darker green with purplish veins, and new center leaves emerge with a purplish-red color. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
December 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Ornamental kale and cabbage are in a group of my favorite plants for the winter landscape, and I find them to be among the most reliable, as well. They are really easy to grow, and now that we’re getting cooler weather -- as in frost -- kale and cabbage are starting to show some great color.

Garden centers often lump ornamental kale and cabbage together, and it is true that they are the same species. However, there are a few differences that I think should be considered.

Rachel Stout Evans, a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, speaks to Mississippi State University Extension agents at a row crop farm in Shaw, Mississippi.
December 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

SHAW, Miss. -- Efforts are underway to inform producers about incentives to encourage sustainable agricultural practices on farms across Mississippi.

Graphic showing of map a zigzag pattern used to blood trail deer.
December 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Woodsmanship and stewardship are two characteristics of all successful deer hunters as they track down injured deer. 

The initial impulse most hunters have after taking a shot is to bail out of the stand and immediately look for their target. Depending on where the animal was hit, this hasty action could be a terrible mistake. Attempting to trail a deer prematurely can spook the deer even more and make locating it more difficult, if not impossible.

Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, discusses the 2016 MSU Row Crop Short Course with Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith on Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
December 8, 2016 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices, Extension Administration, Crops
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More Mississippi producers are getting the word about how much they can learn in three days at the state’s premier row crop conference.

The Mississippi State University 2016 Row Crop Short Course had more than 600 attendees. Attendance at the Row Crop Short Course has steadily increased since 2009. Approximately 60 people attended the event in 2008.

December 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers have a plan to drastically change the way rice farmers grow their crop while cutting water use by one-third and maintaining yields.

The MSU Extension Service is encouraging Mississippi rice growers to consider using alternate wetting and drying -- or AWD -- management in their rice fields.

About 20 percent of Mississippi farmers use some form of AWD today, but Jason Krutz, Extension irrigation specialist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, wants that number to increase.

A quality garden tool is a good gift idea to encourage a gardening friend to grow vegetables and fruits. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

We're now officially in the Christmas season, and holiday shopping is in full swing. So, instead of an ugly sweater or a pair of reindeer socks, consider gifts that the special gardeners in your life could use in their landscape and garden.

So, here are what I consider some nice gifts for the gardener.

Don’t let the colder weather prevent outdoor adventures this winter. This group is staying comfortable by layering their clothing. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
December 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For many Mississippians, cold and wet conditions make this the least likely time of year to venture outside, but an outdoors lover knows it just takes a little preparation and a positive attitude to hit the trail and enjoy viewing wildlife.Having grown up in a climate much colder than Mississippi's, I learned a valuable skill to help cope with unpleasantly cold weather: layering clothing.

Before I venture outside, warm socks are my first priority. I prefer wool blends with mostly wool for two reasons: comfort and warmth.

A radish cover crop planted in early fall as part of a research demonstration project is thriving at Michael Graves’ farm near Ripley, Mississippi. (File Photo by MSU College of Forest Resources)
December 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

RIPLEY, Miss. -- This winter, a Mississippi farm will serve as a research facility for a multiyear project involving local, state and federal partners.

December 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

WINONA, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its 50th field day Dec. 9 at Roberts Farm in Winona.

David Nagel, Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulture specialist, and Jeff Wilson, Extension regional horticulture specialist, will discuss crop selection, seed acquisition and winter fruit crop activities. Vickie Roberts will share her journey from pharmaceutical sales representative to fourth-generation owner of her family's farm.

Using quick hoops is a good way to cover and protect vegetable crops from potential cold weather damage. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
November 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

We hit December this week, and it seems like we haven't really had a fall season yet. Hot summer weather really overstayed its welcome, infringing on the mild temperatures I know gardeners were expecting.

I've been writing about cool-season color replacing the summer color in my garden, and I recommend that my readers plant them, too. Now, however, I'm being stubborn with my heirloom tomatoes.

Two hunters in Claiborne County take aim at incoming crows. Much like duck hunting, participants wait in blinds overlooking decoys. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Cliff Covington)
November 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss.--Farmers and other birds hate them, but hunters love crows for the productive, fast-paced hunts they can provide.

The black clouds of birds can do a number on a pecan orchard in a short amount of time. Similarly, they are known to dig up seeds in corn, peanut and other row crop fields. That is why farmers hate them.

Dawn Morgan manages more than 20 hives at FloBaby Farms and sells raw honey, comb honey and beeswax from her home in Starkville, Mississippi on Nov. 22, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
November 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Beekeeping
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dawn Morgan's father was an organic gardener before organic was cool, but for years she preferred a more manicured yard and the practices that entailed.

Then she began reading about the decline of bee colonies and remembered her dad's orchard and garden buzzing with pollinators.

"Dad kept bees but in a very primitive way," she said. "No bee suit, no smoker, never used herbicides or pesticides. He did everything naturally."

Red poinsettias are the traditional choice for many holiday gardeners, but other possibilities include these Jingle Bells poinsettias. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
November 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I've noticed over the last couple of weeks that a few early-season poinsettias are showing up on garden center shelves. And while we're celebrating Thanksgiving this week, the appearance of the poinsettia means we are in the full swing of the Christmas season.

Traditionally, the red poinsettia is the first choice of many holiday gardeners.

November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A new report from the National Science Foundation again finds Mississippi State ranked among the nation's top 100 research institutions and the Magnolia State's leading research university — climbing four spots since the last reporting period.


Dylan Yost feeds plastic tubing into equipment that buries drain tile in a deep furrow in fields. This Noxubee County field was being tiled Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

BROOKSVILLE, Miss. -- Many farmers in east Mississippi are investing heavily in drain tiles that work like French drains in the landscape, and the result is higher productivity on land that previously was too wet.

Dennis Reginelli, a regional agronomic specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Noxubee County, said farmers are installing the flexible plastic tubing in the ground to drain away excess water.

November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The best fishing holes may begin with good fish genetics, but they continue with proper pond management.

Since the early days of farm pond management, MSU Extension Service specialists have made fish stocking recommendations based on the idea that if it's set up right in the beginning, the pond will provide quality fishing opportunities for decades to come. I have told many landowners there's no need to restock bass or bream unless there is a fish kill or someone wants to intentionally start over by draining or poisoning the pond.

Jones County 4-H member Rustin Anderson, 17, exhibits his grand champion Brangus heifer on Oct. 22, 2016 at the State Fair in Jackson, Mississippi. (Submitted photo by Brianna Stroud)
November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H Livestock Program, Family

LAUREL, Miss. -- Win or lose, competing in livestock shows would not be possible without the help of others.

"Everyone helps everyone else," said Rustin Anderson, 17, of Jones County. "We're all like family, even though we are competing against each other."

Anderson, who has been showing Brangus cattle since 2009, is highly involved with the Jones County 4-H program. He serves as president of the junior livestock exhibitors for the county. He said the family atmosphere is what makes the program unique.

November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Quality child care does not require a large budget. Dewberry Daycare and Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care and Preschool prove it.

Both centers attained a four-star classification in Mississippi's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Commonly referred to as Quality Stars, the voluntary program is designed to help licensed care and education centers meet and maintain high standards in five areas: learning environments, professional development, administrative policy, parent involvement and evaluation.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, center, celebrates the establishment of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, a collaboration between the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Farm Bureau. Joining him are, from left: MSU President Mark Keenum, Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee members Jay and Kim Jayroe, MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Associate Vice President Bill Herndon, Sen. Cochran, MSU assistant Extension professor and program director Laura
November 16, 2016 - Filed Under: About Extension, Agriculture
By Ms. Leah Barbour
MSU Extension Service

Washington, D.C. -- Mississippi State University and Mississippi Farm Bureau leaders gathered Monday in the Capitol to announce the new Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program developed by the MSU Extension Service.

A butterfly visits flowers at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville in this photo taken in June. Pollinators still need sources of nectar in late fall as they prepare to reproduce or migrate to their overwintering locations. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Insects, Lawn and Garden, Natural Resources
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As fall quickly winds down, gardening experts urge Mississippians not to throw in the trowel just yet.

Some pollinators are still active and need nectar for energy to reproduce or migrate to their overwintering locations.