News From 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In Mississippi, more than 200,000 deer are harvested each year, providing families with a source of free-range meat. However, hunters must exercise care when processing deer to ensure good-tasting, high quality, safe meat products.
After the heat we’ve had this summer, thank goodness fall officially arrives this week. Fall was always a favorite season for me growing up in Michigan because it meant cooler weather, going to the cider mill and, of course, the beautiful red and orange tree colors.
Living in Mississippi, I still like fall, but I miss the foliage colors. A few red maples scattered about will put on a fiery orange show some years, but it’s not the same as in the North. If you want fall foliage color in the South, here are a few of my favorite plants that should make you happy.
STONEVILLE -- The thousands of dollars farmers invest in equipment, seed and labor to produce row crops, such as soybeans, cotton and corn, is wasted if they do not have quality soil.
“Everything ties back to how well the soil is maintained,” said Bobby Golden, an agronomist and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at Stoneville. “If we didn’t have a strong, stable foundation, which is the soil, the crop yields we produce wouldn’t exist.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Anticipating the return of manufacturing to the U.S., Mississippi State University’s Franklin Furniture Institute is hosting the Mississippi Reshoring Summit on Sept. 24.
Higher labor costs in China and technological advances that aid in U.S. production are partly responsible for increasing domestic manufacturing. The summit will help attendees answer the question for their industries, “Is it time to reshore?”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University graduate student is using a centuries-old teaching method to plant the seeds of success in would-be gardeners.
Kandiace Gray of Fulton is working on her master’s degree in horticulture. She has created a hands-on workshop series designed to share the how-to side of the pretty pictures found on Pinterest gardening boards.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Whether you are a small-scale gardener, a large agricultural producer or somewhere in between, you probably know that soil health is just as important to your success as water and sunshine.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High demand for hay last winter, a wet spring and heavy insect pressure have all challenged the state’s pastureland, which means hay may be scarce this winter.
Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said these factors pushed the state’s hay inventories 20 percent lower than the three-year average.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University is bringing three influential designers to campus in October to give professional and hobby gardeners new ideas about landscape design.
The 59th Edward C. Martin Landscape Design Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 15 at the MSU Bost Extension Center Auditorium. Bob Brzuszek, Extension professor of landscape architecture, is the symposium program chair.
Speakers this year are Eric Groft, John Mayronne and Sadik Artunc.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some travelers may be afraid of lions, tigers and bears, but the real health threats come from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said people traveling outside the United States should consult doctors, local health departments, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for disease risks and recommendations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The newest technology and machinery used to advance the South’s timber industry will be demonstrated Sept. 19-20 at the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Held at the John W. Starr Memorial Forest off of Highway 25 south of Starkville, the show is sponsored by Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, Hatton-Brown Publishers Inc., the Mississippi Loggers Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.
Nature always gives us signals as seasons change. When summer starts to shift toward fall, the leaves begin to change colors. Another sure sign that fall is right around the corner is the arrival of colorful and beautiful fall mums in garden centers.
Now is the time to plan how and where to use these plants effectively around your home and landscape. A newer trend for growers is to mix colors in containers, so be ready for even more decisions.
JACKSON -- More than 130 students, teachers and community members combed the grounds of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson on Sept. 13 during the state’s first BioBlitz.
Scientists from the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the museum led participants through the facility’s trails during the 13-hour event to inventory insects, spiders, birds, aquatic animals, mammals, trees and mushrooms.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Michael Hingson will soon visit Mississippi State University to explain how the human-animal bond saved his life during the terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.
Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle, were among those working in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Through trust and teamwork, Hingson and Roselle escaped from the 78th floor of Tower One moments before it collapsed.
By James E. “Jim” Miller
Professor Emeritus, Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Aquaculture
Mississippi State University
People discard millions of tons of trash daily in recycling containers or garbage cans, but unfortunately, many people leave trash in other places, where it can harm wildlife and pets.
Whether it is carelessly tossed out of car windows or off the sides of boats, left on the ground from routine farming or construction activities, or casually dropped while walking down the street, litter is more than an unsightly nuisance.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Childhood visits to grandma’s farm, complete with a mean rooster, piglets on the loose and homemade apple pie, led one Mississippi State University graduate into full-time farm living.
Brittany Reyer of Reyer Farms in Lena grows seasonal produce, free-range chickens for egg production, and pasture-raised heritage breed pigs and cattle with her husband, Jody. When they were expecting their first child, they began investigating options that would allow Brittany to stay home full-time.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ample rains helped dryland corn close the yield gap between irrigated and nonirrigated fields, leading to what should be a new state yield record.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a crop production report on Sept. 11 indicating strong yield expectations.
“This year’s state record yield is forecast at 180 bushels per acre, 4 bushels per acre higher than a year ago and 2 bushels per acre higher than last month’s estimate,” said Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS -- Leisure gardeners and horticulture professionals are invited to attend the Southeast’s most popular gardening show Oct. 17 and 18 at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Experiment Station.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dog owners may be surprised to find out that certain ticks can paralyze their beloved pets.
These tick species carry a nerurotoxin that affects the mobility of animals. If the animal is not treated, their limbs may become paralyzed.
PICAYUNE -- Families and school groups can learn about some of Mississippi’s insects and their plant companions during the annual Bugfest Sept. 26 and 27 at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Row crop producers interested in quality soil should sample fields after harvest and apply recommended lime in the fall.
Larry Oldham, a soil fertility specialist and professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said lime is an important component of soil fertility management because it sets the environment in which plants live and grow.