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A man kneels on a football practice field beside a football.
January 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Since the best-managed sports fields are the safest, the Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering two workshops in February to improve the skills of field managers.

Field management workshops will be held Feb. 11 in Booneville and Feb. 18 in Columbus. Each event lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. with lunch provided. There is no cost to attend.

Maroon veins stand out on a sea of chartreuse leaves.
January 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of introducing the 2020 Mississippi Medallion Winners at the Gulf States Hort Expo in Mobile, Alabama. This is a special group of selections, as the Mississippi Medallion program is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.

The plants selected for 2020 include Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry, Luscious Series lantana and Garden Gem tomato.

January 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Rural Health

High school juniors interested in health care and other science-related careers can apply to participate in an exploratory, four-week summer program at Mississippi State University.

Different varieties of pink and white dianthus flowers.
January 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I don’t think you can go wrong with some dianthus in your landscape in 2020.

I love the flower colors that include pink, red, lavenders, white, and bicolors. The foliage of these plants ranges from being grass-like to broader strap-like linear leaves. Plus, the foliage provides contrast with colors ranging from bright green to steely blue-gray.

There are some great selections that will do a fantastic job in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes especially in the cooler months of the year.

A red fox with a white neck.
January 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife

Encounters with wildlife are becoming more common in towns and neighborhoods.

Habitat loss to fragmentation, urbanization, and expanding agricultural production means urban and suburban areas will increasingly become options for wildlife searching for homes. Song birds, snakes, lizards, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, deer and even bears are not uncommon visitors to urban and suburban backyards.

A multicolored orange bloom is fully open over green leaves.
January 13, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Now that we’re fully into January, it’s time to get serious about planning our gardens for 2020.

I’ve made a long list of vegetable, flower and herb seeds I’ll be ordering in the next several weeks. Many of these will be strictly for one season.

January 10, 2020 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While the Rotary Classic Rodeo is a competitive tournament featuring bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and other contests, the event offers something for the whole family.

Hosted by the Starkville Rotary Club, the annual rodeo sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is returning to the Mississippi Horse Park Feb. 7-8.

General admission is $15 at the door and $12 in advance.

January 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts

Blueberry growers and others interested in growing blueberries commercially can learn more about the crop during an upcoming workshop.

January 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture

Mississippi farmers and gardeners who want to learn about plant propagation and seed starting are invited to attend the next Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day.

January 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Environment

Renee Collini began her role with the Mississippi State University Extension Service as a climate science educator Jan. 1.

A curving brick walkway lined with plants leads up to a porch.
January 6, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

In the gym this morning, I noticed there were many, many more people exercising than usual. It struck me that these folks were following through on their New Year’s resolutions to improve themselves for 2020 -- at least for a while.

Small planters in a row overflow with young lettuce plants.
December 30, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

As we approach the end of the year 2019, I’ve been reflecting on gardens and gardening in general. I wrote several weeks ago about the changing attitudes and current perceptions that home gardeners have about their landscapes and gardens

Dozens of blue flowers bloom over green leaves.
December 23, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Our Mississippi landscapes and gardens really had a tough year in 2019.

A silver fish is released into green water.
December 19, 2019 - Filed Under: Other Aquaculture Species, Fisheries

When most people think about tarpon, they probably picture a giant, shimmering, 6-foot fish leaping up towards the sky from the crystal-clear waters of southern Florida. What many people don’t know is that tarpon are also found just off our beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Although tarpon are not considered table fare in the United States, they are prized by recreational anglers because of their large size and acrobatic behavior. Tarpon generally swim in schools and make long coastal migrations from the southern Gulf of Mexico to the north in the late spring before migrating back south in the fall.

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December 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Poultry, Timber Prices

In 2019, Mississippi’s agricultural industry faced the prospect of dipping below $7 billion for the first time in eight years, but federal payments pushed its value up enough to post a slight gain over 2018.

The estimated value of Mississippi agriculture in 2019 is $7.39 billion, a 0.2% gain from last year’s $7.37 billion. Included in the total is an estimated $628 million in government payments, the largest amount of federal assistance Mississippi producers have seen since 2006

A white chicken sits among a flock of chickens in a poultry house.
December 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Poultry

Overcoming every challenge that comes its way, Mississippi’s poultry industry maintained its 25-year streak in 2019 as the state’s No. 1 agricultural commodity.

Pine trees surround a small clearing in a Mississippi forest.
December 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Marketing, Timber Prices, Forest Management, Timber Harvest

Mississippi’s timber industry remained its second highest producing agricultural commodity again in 2019.

Coming in with an estimated production value of $1.15 billion, timber followed the state’s poultry industry, which generated an estimated value of $2.78 billion in 2019. Timber’s value of production is estimated by monthly severance taxes collected by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

A cluster of green kale plants with white centers.
December 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Greens

I’m continuing to catch up with my landscape and garden work after an extremely busy fall and early winter season. This past weekend was perfect to get some much-needed cool-season color planted.

Purple, red and yellow stems are topped by rich green leaves.
December 9, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Winter is finally here, whether you go by the meteorological date of Dec.1 or the upcoming astrological date of Dec. 21. To me, it means that I’m going to enjoy the freshly harvested cool-season greens from my little urban farm.

December 4, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites growers and  financial professionals in the agricultural industry to the 2020 Agricultural and Rural Outlook Conference.

The conference will be held Jan. 7 at the Bost Extension Center auditorium on the main MSU campus in Starkville. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes by 3:30 p.m.

Financial management, farm policy, trade and agricultural commodity outlooks will be among the topics covered.

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