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News Filed Under Agriculture

June 18, 2024 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Private pesticide applicators will have new training requirements beginning July 1. The Mississippi Pesticide Safety Education Program has updated its online and face-to-face certification programs to meet this demand.

The new mandated training and competency requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are for applicators who use restricted use pesticides on farmland and need to renew or obtain certification.

Honey in a jar.
June 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Food Safety

There is nothing like the taste of a sweet spoon of honey. The versatility of honey makes it a very useful item to have around the kitchen, and for that reason, raising honeybees and selling the honey has become increasingly popular.

A cluster of small plants have green leaves on reddish stems.
June 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Cotton

Cotton planting has all but drawn to a close in Mississippi for the year, with the state seeing an increase to an expected 500,000 acres in 2024. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made that acreage estimate and said the crop was 94% planted by June 9, 2024. Of that acreage, 80% was either in good or excellent condition, with 19% in fair and just 1% in poor condition.

Two men are photographed outdoors.
June 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Catfish, Farm Stress

While every job has stress points, few people go to work knowing they could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in any given day. That is a reality for many in the agricultural sector, and mental health struggles are a frequent result.

Boxes of soil are arranged in rows.
June 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Soils

Young people with an interest in soil science are encouraged to sign up now for a June 21 event that explores many aspects of this topic. Mississippi State University will host its first-ever Youth Soil Science Field Day at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. The half-day event is designed for students ages 8-12.

Small soybean plants grow in a crowded row.
May 23, 2024 - Filed Under: Soybeans

Mississippi’s 2 million-plus acre soybean crop is mostly planted and looks to be in good shape early on, with the only lingering acres yet to be planted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that the crop was 86% planted as of May 19, 2024, and 13% in excellent condition and 62% in good condition. The crop is typically close to three-fourths planted by this time of the year.

Several cows and calves stand in a pasture.
May 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Beef

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Beef cattle prices are the best they have been in nearly a decade for Mississippi’s producers, but they face some tough management challenges to ensure their operations are profitable.

Buckets of peppers stand on a table at a market.
May 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Community

One of summertime’s treats in the South is the prevalence of farmers markets, community social events that allow shoppers to leave with a variety of fresh, local fruits, vegetables and other goods.

Rows of corn stalks in a field with the sky in the background.
May 20, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite wet spring weather that pushed planting beyond the typical window, Mississippi corn producers have essentially completed planting and the crop is in good condition.

Closeup of a dial on a pressure canner.
May 17, 2024 - Filed Under: Fruit, Food and Health, Food, Food Safety, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

Home canning is an economical way to preserve the bounty of your garden. This Q&A may answer some questions for you, whether you’re new to canning or you’ve been canning for years.

Close-up photo of rice
May 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s rice crop is poised to be bigger and healthier than it has been in four years -- the result of increased planting to meet demand and favorable weather conditions during its emergence.

May 14, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University is hosting a field day at one of its research stations on June 5 for row crop growers interested in learning more about high-speed planting and advanced planting technologies.

The MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will present the Advanced Planting Technologies field day and training at the MAFES Black Belt Experiment Station in Brooksville.

Adults do paperwork at tables.
May 7, 2024 - Filed Under: Master Irrigator, Irrigation

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is taking irrigation education a step further than before by offering Master Irrigator status to those who complete a course of training.

There is no cost to growers to participate in this training, which includes eight hours of online classes and 16 hours of in-person training. Drew Gholson, MSU Extension irrigation specialist and coordinator of the National Center for Alluvial Aquifer Research, said the goal is for participants to put into practice the skills acquired in the program.

A cucumber leaf with disease lesions rests on a hand.
April 25, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Plant Disease and Nematode Diagnostic Services, Vegetable Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

Did you know the Mississippi State University Extension Service has a laboratory that is designated to diagnose plant diseases and nematodes? Yes, it does! Learn how the Mississippi State University Extension Service Plant Diagnostic Laboratory and its scientists protect the crops that provide our food and fiber along with other home and garden crops.

An irrigation structure rises over a corn field.
April 25, 2024 - Filed Under: Irrigation

Knowing when and how to irrigate are questions every grower with the ability to water their farmland on demand face each year.
Irrigation costs per acre are among the highest inputs growers face. In a state with the capacity both for extreme drought and high temperatures as well as prolonged rainy periods, the question of whether or not to irrigate is very important.

A close-up photo of a pine tree’s damaged bark
April 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Disaster Relief, Forestry, Forest Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Forest landowners in Mississippi can now join the state’s farm owners who suffered production loss due to last year’s drought in applying for federal emergency loans.

Honey Bee Swarm
April 10, 2024 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

Have you ever seen a honey bee swarm? Seeing hundreds of bees clumped together on a tree, shrub, fence, house, or other object can be both fascinating and scary. If you’re like me, it can also be intimidating! 

April 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi soybean producers may qualify for free nematode testing through the Mississippi State University Extension Service Plant Diagnostic Laboratory. Limited free tests are available between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025.

Dairy cows look directly at the photo lens.
April 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Dairy, Poultry, Avian Flu

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The transmission risk of H5N1 bird flu to humans remains minimal despite a rise in confirmed cases in dairy cows and poultry in several states and the first known case of a person catching the virus from a mammal.

2024 planting intentions figures for Mississippi
April 2, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Market corn prices are more than $2 lower per bushel than a year ago, so row crop producers in Mississippi are planning to plant less corn and more cotton in 2024.

Growers of the state’s three principal field crops -- soybeans, corn and cotton -- intend to plant 25% more cotton this year than they did in 2023 and 25% less corn, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soybean production is forecasted to increase by 3%.