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October 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

TUPELO, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing and selling produce directly to the consumer during an on-farm field day organized by the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.

The Rose Wing Matrix pansy lets Mississippi State University Bulldog fans show off their school colors. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
October 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

When I woke up Saturday morning, the cool air felt like getting a visit from an old friend. After our latest long and hot summer, it has been way too long since we saw each other.

Fall chrysanthemums are right behind these blooming pansies, and both will be available at the Mississippi State University horticulture club’s annual fall plant sale. The sale will take place from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 at the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Flower Gardens
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Gardeners can add fresh color to their landscapes with plants purchased at the Mississippi State University horticulture club’s annual fall plant sale.

This year’s sale will take place from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 at the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility.

Popular flowering plants, such as chrysanthemums, pansies and snapdragons, will be available for purchase. Pumpkins and flowering kale also will be for sale.

Cattle benefit from good pasture management that minimizes weed development during dry periods and helps pastures ahead of the dormant season. These beef cattle were photographed on the Mississippi State University H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center near Starkville on Sept. 29, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Beef
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- News that China is lifting a 13-year import ban on U.S. beef is not helping prices as much as some cattlemen would have hoped.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the news has not resulted in any long-term impact on cattle markets.

September 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Deer hunters should not take safety for granted while enjoying the benefits of using tree stands.

The best way to get Jan Cook Houston off her tractor may be to start taking pictures of small or scuffed sweet potatoes destined for processing instead of the large, blemish-free No. 1 grade sweet potatoes. This photo was taken Sept. 20, 2016, in a Vardaman, Mississippi field. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- After 30 years behind a desk, Jan Cook Houston has returned to her first love and her second career, this time seated on a tractor pulling a sweet potato digger.

“Growing up here, I never thought farming was an option for a woman,” Houston said. “Dad didn’t expect me to farm, but he knew I could.”

Houston returned to her roots in 2009, a year that lives in infamy for growers in the heart of Mississippi’s sweet potato country.

September 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Beef
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The North Mississippi Beef Expo and Cattlemen’s College will offer producers opportunities to hear from a variety of industry experts on Oct. 28 in Batesville.

Mississippi State University Extension Service is coordinating the program with the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m. at the Batesville Civic Center. Lunch is provided.

Agritourism offers opportunities for entertainment -- such as this corn maze shown at Mitchell Farms in Collins, Mississippi -- that also educate about agriculture and add to local revenue streams. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

DUCK HILL, Miss. -- Mississippi is one of many states to proclaim October as Agritourism Month, but the industry’s peak season has already begun in earnest.

Katie Robinson, owner of Bull Bottom Farms in Montgomery County and president of the Mississippi Agritourism Association, opened her family farm’s seventh annual fall festival to the public Sept. 23. She and her husband, Nic, a row crop producer, will host families, students and church groups for the next five weekends.

September 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Two Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists are among featured speakers at this year’s Mississippi-Tennessee-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 24-26.

The annual meeting will provide marketing and communication strategies to assist groups involved in creating attractions and tourism events in their communities. These groups include tourism professionals, fair boards, festival committees, garden clubs, community volunteers and local elected officials.

September 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Having access to and knowledge of digital devices and Internet use opens up community economic development prospects, and a new report from the Mississippi State University Extension Service offers county-level insights.

Fall mums are a useful bridge crop between summer and fall. They can be treated as seasonal annuals to provide an easy and reliable display of color for the in-between period. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
September 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I always enjoy the shift from summer to fall, but determining when the seasons actually change can be a bit confusing.

Angie Crawford, left, and Mari Alyce Earnest of the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Quitman County deliver a nutrition education program Sept. 13, 2016, at the community center in Lambert, Mississippi. Extension works with several area organizations to provide food for about 800 underserved families every other month. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

LAMBERT, Miss. -- Ask anybody in Quitman County, and they will describe the food pantry that opened there in 2014 as one of the rural town’s most important resources.

“Sometimes after my husband and I pay our bills, we don’t have enough money to buy enough food for us,” said Archie Bell, a longtime resident of Lambert, one of several communities in the area served by the pantry. “The food we get here is a blessing because sometimes, it’s what gets us by.”

September 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Whether you want to provide additional nutrition during stressful times for wildlife or to increase hunting success, food plots are valuable tools.

Food plots can provide wildlife with quality forage throughout most of the year and help landowners reach management goals. Producing successful food plots is not difficult but is often complicated by failure to pay attention to small details.

This tractor creeps across a Vardaman, Mississippi, field Sept. 20, 2016, digging sweet potatoes while workers sort them based on size and quality. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- After two challenging years in Mississippi sweet potato fields, farmers are hoping for a problem-free harvest over the next few weeks.

Stephen Meyers, Extension sweet potato specialist based at the Mississippi State University Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, said growers are cautiously optimistic as harvest begins.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service offers many programs to help Mississippians battle obesity and associated health risks. (Photo by Can Stock)
September 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Health
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Recent data suggests Mississippians are learning that more is not always better when it comes to body weight.

The adult obesity rate has been increasing in the state for many years, but a recent report by the State of Obesity organization shows that a lot of hard work by many Mississippians is making progress. However, much work remains to be done. According to the Sept. 1, 2016, report, Mississippi remains tied with Alabama, West Virginia and Arkansas for second to last with an obesity rate of 35.6 percent.

September 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Landscape and Garden Design
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Creative landscape experts will offer advice and inspiration to professionals and home gardeners alike at an Oct. 19 design symposium at Mississippi State University.

The 61st Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Design Symposium is a half-day event held in the MSU Bost Auditorium from 9 a.m. until noon. The event is presented by the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi. It is coordinated by MSU Extension professor Bob Brzuszek.

September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host a winemaking tutorial next month.

The Growing, Making and Improving Wines Workshop will be held Oct. 21 at the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Laboratory in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park across from the MSU campus in Starkville.

Adding hardscape materials such as treated lumber to build sides keeps raised-bed gardens looking tidy. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Many people are interested in having home vegetable and flower gardens, but many urban homes have small lots. Home gardeners in this situation may not think they have enough room. Others, especially inexperienced gardeners, may be discouraged by the amount of time and work required to build a new garden bed.

A good solution to this problem is to grow vegetables and flowers in compact, raised beds. By using an intensively cultivated area, you need less time and space to produce vegetables that taste great and flowers that feed the soul.

September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Food and Health
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi food producers, buyers, economic developers and marketing professionals can attend an upcoming session of the Local Foods Resource Mapping Project to help strengthen the state’s local food network.

Mississippi is one of six states hosting the pilot project aimed at connecting people interested in the growing farm-to-table movement. Other participating states are Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Grain sorghum acreage was low this year because of low prices and sugarcane aphid problems. Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Erick Larson examined sorghum ready for harvest Sept. 15, 2016, at MSU’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grain sorghum acres are very low in the state, a response to prices returning to their usual range and sugarcane aphids continuing to be a scourge to the crop.

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