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Spores of the Macrophomina phaseolina pathogen can be seen as transparent ovals in this microscopic image taken from an infected corn plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/ Clarissa Balbalian)
January 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Ornamentals Diseases
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- When impatiens planted as part of a Mississippi State University variety trial died within two weeks, researchers acted quickly and described a pathogen never before seen in this flower.

"We were growing SunPatiens, which are hybrid impatiens immune to downy mildew. This disease has been a big problem for the industry," Broderick said. "The plants were doing really well, but in July they started to look like they were wilting. The stems were collapsing and dying, and in a two-week period, they went from looking relatively healthy to dead."

Jameka Coffey Harkins, left, and her mother, Rose Coffey-Graham, represent two generations leading an Oktibbeha County 4-H Club. Adult volunteers are keys to the youth develop program’s success. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Even adults benefit from involvement in 4-H, the largest youth development organization in the nation.

Rose Coffey Graham became a 4-H volunteer leader in 1982 because she saw a need for young people living in rural Oktibbeha County. She discovered much more.

"I love having opportunities to work with children but also with the other adults. We learn together and have so much fun," she said.

The Controller's Generation II 4-H Club focuses on the essential elements of 4-H, including belonging, independence, mastery and generosity.

January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its first field day of the New Year on Jan. 20 at Ole Brook Organics in Brookhaven.

Speakers will include Bill Evans, associate research professor with Mississippi State University; Girish K. Panicker, associate professor and director of the Center for Conservation Research with Alcorn State University; and Al Buie, farm owner.

January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Community
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Local craftsmen will display their metalworking skills during this year's Forge Day at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum.

Artists will demonstrate blacksmithing and metalworking techniques at the event on Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interested individuals can learn how to begin these hobbies.

Some artists will allow adults and children to try out metal forging. Signed waivers are required and protective gear will be provided.

Knife sharpening will be available. Some artists will offer products for sale.

Temperatures as low as 12 degrees in Tupelo and 23 degrees in Ocean Springs froze many plants this past weekend. These Quad Color Clerodendrons were scorched brown by the freeze. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
January 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Wasn't this past weekend’s cold something else? We've had some cold snaps already this winter but nothing like those low temps. That kind of cold brings our attention front and center to winter.

The previous warm weather had gotten many gardeners a little complacent, including me.

January 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

VERONA, Miss. -- Produce growers can learn the latest research on production methods and disease management at a two-day workshop Feb. 9-10.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the North Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Conference at the Lee County Agri-Center at 5395 Miss. Hwy. 145 in Verona.

The conference will be held at the facility's Magnolia building.

As winter weather brings cold and ice, waterfowl will leave Northern habitats to find suitable resources down South. (Submitted photo)
January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Every waterfowl hunter anticipates the cooperation of winter weather to turn the skies black with incoming ducks and geese as migratory journeys deliver the birds to decoy-laden waters in the South.

Southern hunters frequently watch the forecast in hopes that winter weather up North will finally have the ducks packing up and heading our way.

January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Family Financial Management
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.

The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.

Professional florists can learn to make arrangements for bouquets like this one during a two-day wedding floral workshop on Jan. 30 and 31offered by Jim DelPrince, floral design specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jim DelPrince)
January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Miss. -- Professional florists and others who want to begin or expand businesses can learn about wedding floral design during an upcoming two-day workshop.

Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will conduct the Wedding Floral Design Workshop Jan. 30 and 31 in Biloxi.

Herb plants make excellent gifts, as they can add beauty to indoor décor and good flavors to holiday meals. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
January 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Since the Christmas holiday season started last month, gardeners across Mississippi have been giving and receiving plants as gifts: poinsettias, begonias, cactuses and cyclamens -- oh my!

Oh my, indeed. Having plants inside during the winter adds beauty and a sense of charm and serenity. Herb plants also should be included as a gift choice, as they add good flavors to holiday meals.

Mallard drakes are beautiful up close, but they are also stunning as they migrate across Mississippi skies in V formations. (Submitted photo)
December 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Few things are as stirring as the sight of long strings of high-altitude, migrating geese. Soft calls from on high beckon us to stop and marvel at their flight, their apparent freedom and their single-minded purpose to reach their winter home.

Geese are members of a large group of birds known as waterfowl. These large-bodied birds depend on wetlands, lakes and other watery habitats. Ducks and swans are also members of this group. Webbed feet, flattened bills and waterproof feathers are characteristics shared by most waterfowl.

Bright Lights Swiss chard is a cool-season plant that does double duty as a beautiful landscape attraction that is edible and tasty. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
December 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

As we prepare to head into a new year of gardening adventures, I've been thinking about a variety of landscape questions and quandaries that pop up from time to time.

A common question in the spring concerns starting plants from seed.

Strong winds and fires can ruin an otherwise beautiful day. Before you light a fire, consider conditions and control options if the fire begins to move in unwanted directions. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Andrew Smith)
December 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Burn bans such as the ones recently imposed in Mississippi are not unusual, especially in the fall when dry leaves are abundant.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission will issue a burn ban, typically at the request of a county board of supervisors. Once approved, the ban prohibits all outdoor burning until local authorities deem that conditions have improved enough to allow safe and responsible burning.

December 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Local gyms are popular places in January, but good nutrition is just as critical as exercise in achieving New Year's fitness resolutions.

Food consumed after workouts -- known in sport dietetics as recovery nutrition -- has as much of an impact on improving well-being as the workouts themselves.

The Mississippi native yaupon holly can be seen popping out of woodland edges everywhere. Its distinctive berries have a translucent quality that imparts a gem-like appearance. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
December 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

The Christmas season is a time for decorating, as we put up wreaths, poinsettias and trees. But Mother Nature is always in on the plan, too. I love the timing that allows our landscape hollies to get into the decorating action with their bright and colorful berry displays.

The most prevalent holly berries we see right now in Mississippi are on our native yaupon holly.

The Delta National Forest can provide the perfect sunrise setting for duck hunters. (MSU Extension Service photo submitted)
December 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While hunting on public land can be difficult and overwhelming at times, just knowing a few tips can help increase your success.

There are plenty of places throughout Mississippi to get a taste of some of the finest hunting anywhere in the country. Residents in the southeast part of our state enjoy hunting opportunities in the DeSoto National Forest. This semicoastal national forest provides just over 500,000 acres of open-canopy pine forest habitat.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Poultry
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.

"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."

Chicks and Forest
December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry, Forestry
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry remains Mississippi's top agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

Forestry comes in a distant second with total farm-gate value of $1.4 billion, according to 2016 estimates.

Mississippi State University Extension Service economists just released their estimates for the state's agricultural commodity values in 2016. The top commodities remain poultry and forestry. Soybeans remain in the third spot, dropping 1.7 percent to just over $1 billion.

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