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March 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Avian Flu
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.

Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.

La-Z-Boy Inc. has donated about 130 boxes of discarded upholstery fabric to the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Sylvia Clark, left, an Extension family and consumer sciences associate, and student worker Kamau Bostic unpack the truckload of material March 24, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
March 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer Clubs have a new supply of sewing material thanks to a large donation.

La-Z-Boy Inc. gave the Mississippi State University Extension Service about 130 boxes of discarded upholstery fabric -- enough to fill a 24-foot trailer.

Alternating wet and dry rice production systems allow rice fields to dry to several inches below the surface before adding more water. Research shows such fields maintain yields while cutting water use dramatically. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Lee Atwill)
March 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Rice, Irrigation
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Alternating wet and dry production is a radical new way to grow rice, and some Mississippi producers are finding the idea not only seems feasible in theory, but also works well in practice.

Jason Krutz is an irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He said the technique, known as AWD, grows rice without standing water, which reduces water use by about a third while also maintaining yields.

Supertunia Royal Velvet combines perfectly with Supertunia Honey for a beautiful hanging basket. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
March 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Now is the time to start planting annual color for summer. If I could plant only one group of annuals, it would have to be the Supertunias, as I can’t do without these flowering beauties.

For the past several years, I have watched and written about these fantastic garden performers. Whether used as spreading plants in the landscape or as container and hanging basket plants, Supertunias have performed well in Mississippi.

Erick Larson, corn and wheat specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, takes a photo on March 22, 2017, of freeze damage on the tips of some wheat growing in variety trials at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi. Larson and other MSU agricultural specialists document crop issues to guide growers and consultants throughout the growing season. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
March 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Wheat
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Despite almost everything working against this year's winter wheat, benefits remain on the fields growers managed to plant after last fall's drought.

Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 2016-17 season makes four consecutive years of reduced wheat acres.

"The state's farmers planted about 60,000 acres of wheat late last fall, which was about 5,000 fewer acres than the previous year," Williams said.

Spring is the best time of the year to hang purple martin houses, such as these found at the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge on March 23, 2017. Place houses 15-20 feet in the air on a pole in an open space, preferably near water. These birds will be happy to help reduce the mosquito population from the area. (Submitted photo by Vicki Maples)
March 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The purple martin is one of the most appreciated and desired birds in the state. It is a summer resident found wherever multi-celled or multi-roomed housing is available.

While they lack the notoriety of the colorful and acrobatic hummingbird, purple martins are by far the most beneficial of the backyard birds. One purple martin can consume thousands of mosquitoes in a single day. Since they are heavily dependent on humans for their shelter, purple martins seem to enjoy being around people, as well.

Sandra Jackson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Winston County, helps 6-year-old Akilah Goss assemble a Lego maze March 16, 2017. Jackson was the first agent to teach the 4-H Lego Engineering Club curriculum, which is a STEM program geared toward 4-H’ers aged 5 to 7. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
March 23, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Thirteen Winston County children were the test pilots of a new 4-H program while their schools were on spring break.

After seeing a demonstration of the 4-H Lego Engineering Club curriculum in February, Sandra Jackson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Winston County, immediately wanted to use it during a camp she was leading in March. The program, designed for Cloverbuds, or 4-H'ers aged 5-7, uses Lego bricks as teaching tools for fundamentals of science, technology, engineering and math -- STEM.

March 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Nuts
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Producers interested in season extension for specialty crops and commercial strawberry production can learn about these topics during an upcoming field day.

The Season Extension and Commercial Strawberry Production Field Day will be April 4 at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station, located at 2024 Experiment Station Road in Crystal Springs. It begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

March 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Landowners and hunting clubs eager to earn extra income while improving land management for wildlife are invited to attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop.

The May 16 event will take place at Pecan Hill Farms in Raymond. Daryl Jones, a Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor, is director of the MSU Natural Resource Enterprises program.

A queen bee scurries toward the bottom left corner of a frame of capped cells containing bee larvae. Worker bees have many different jobs within a colony, including caring for baby bees. (File photo by MSU Extension/Keri Collins Lewis)
March 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Beekeeping
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From the outside, a honey bee hive looks pretty simple: bees fly in and out. They fly around flowers, and once inside the hive, they make honey.

They must be hard workers -- after all, the phrase "busy as a bee" had to come from somewhere.

Like many natural phenomena, a hive of honey bees is incredibly complex. Some scientists even classify a beehive, also called a colony, as a superorganism, an insect society made up of individuals that create a functioning whole.

Indian hawthorns are typically small shrubs, but the Rosalinda selection can grow up to about 15 feet if left unpruned. It produces bright-pink flowers in late spring and early summer. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
March 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Azaleas have been magnificent this spring. I love seeing the mounds of pink, red and white flowers dotting our Mississippi landscapes. But to tell you the truth, I've been waiting for another of my favorite spring-flowering shrubs that doesn't get as much attention: the Indian hawthorn.

Molly and Brad Judson of Clay County are one of four couples who recently earned the National Outstanding Young Farmers award. They were nominated by Charlie Stokes, right, their Mississippi State University Extension Service agent, for the recognition from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
March 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

National Agriculture Week: March 19-25, 2017

WEST POINT, Miss. -- Mississippi's agricultural future is safe in the hands of some of the nation's best farmers. Brad and Molly Judson of Clay County have the award to prove it.

Charlie Stokes, area agronomy agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, nominated the winning couple for the National Outstanding Young Farmers award. The National Association of County Agricultural Agents sponsors the recognition program.

Natasha Haynes, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Rankin County, hosts the weekly video news feature series, “The Food Factor.” (Photo Illustration by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
March 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- National Ag Day celebrates Food for Life on March 21, but a video series by the Mississippi State University Extension Service promotes nutrition, food safety and healthy lifestyles every week of the year.

"The Food Factor" is a series of 90-second videos hosted by Natasha Haynes, a Rankin County Extension agent. These spots air weekly on a variety of television outlets, in addition to being available online.

Now that it is legal to feed corn all year and hunt over grain on private lands during deer season, hunters may see fewer deer moving around after sunrise. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)
March 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

By Bill Hamrick and Chad M. Dacus
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Some hunters complain about a lack of deer every year, but the concerns this season seem to be more widespread. Since early January, radio programs, newspapers and online forums have featured much discussion about hunters statewide seeing and harvesting fewer deer during the 2016-17 season.

March 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Forages
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cattle producers in the North Mississippi area are invited to the Mississippi State University campus April 4 for an evening cool-season forage tour.

The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at MSU’s Henry H. Leveck Research Farm, sometimes called South Farm. It is sponsored by the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
March 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Poultry
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.

What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.

Lichen are an unlikely combination of fungi and algae living in a symbiotic relationship on the bark of plants. This type of lichen resembles highly branched balls of fuzz. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
March 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Spring is always a busy time in my garden and landscape, as I'm sure it is in yours. It's when we start walking around and planning what we're going to plant this year, but it's also a time when landscape damage is most noticeable.

March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Estate and Financial Planning

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Homeowners have until March 31 to file for a homestead exemption, which may help lower their annual tax bills.

Jason Camp, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, said qualified homeowners may fall into one of three exemption categories, based on age, disability or veteran status. They may be eligible for a substantial tax exemption if they met these requirements on Jan. 1.

Mississippi State University Extension Service equine specialist Clay Cavinder will assist in the Horse Management: 101 classes from April 11 to May 16 at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Equine
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

VERONA, Miss. -- Horse owners and riding enthusiasts can learn the basics of riding and equine care at evening classes each Tuesday from April 11 to May 16.

Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the six-week course at the Lee County Agri-Center, located at 5395 Highway 145 in Verona. Nutrena is cosponsoring Horse Management 101: Ranch Horse Series.

Extension equine specialist Clay Cavinder said the lessons will be suitable for all ages.

Turkey season in Mississippi takes place from March 15 to May 1. The fourth, fifth and sixth weeks, collectively, have been reported as having the most gobbles heard in seven of the last 10 hunting seasons. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With spring comes turkey season and the countless hours spent listening for the chill-inducing gobble of a big tom.

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