News From 2014
GOODMAN -- Fruit and vegetable growers can learn about growing fall crops and building mobile cooling trailers during the Sept. 19 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm Field Day in Goodman.
Bill Evans, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station associate research professor with Mississippi State University, will cover variety selection, planting dates, disease resistance, pest management, crop rotation and more.
As I was browsing through the garden center this weekend, I saw the first display of pansies for the upcoming fall and winter season. I consider this a positive sign as we are all still sweltering with the summer heat.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The first Mississippi State University student to complete degree requirements for a Master of Science in human development and family studies has graduated from the School of Human Sciences.
Kirsten Ferrell of Horn Lake, Mississippi, received her diploma in August and began working with The Early Years Network. She now trains early child care and preschool teachers in northwest Mississippi.
POPLARVILLE -- Horticulture enthusiasts and industry professionals can hear research updates and tour demonstration gardens at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville on Oct. 2.
Scientists with the MSU Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service will deliver information on pest management, variety trial results and landscaping during the 41st annual Ornamental Horticultural Field Day.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Using fast-growing woody crops as a source of energy and fuel may be the key to energy independence in the United States.
The latest Southeastern biofuels research and production methods will be on display for landowners, industry professionals and community leaders during a month-long series of field days in September sponsored by the Southeastern Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many landowners would like to fish for crappie in their ponds and small lakes, but crappie can cause major problems in smaller waters.
The diet of crappie is very similar to the diet of other desired pond species, such as bass and bream. This overlap in dietary needs between species is not a problem when the population of crappie in a pond is low.
STONEVILLE -- Pivot irrigation is no longer a common sight across the Delta, but experts say this system remains a viable and efficient way to water crops.
“I would like to see pivots in the Delta,” said Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “They deliver water more efficiently, so if we have an aquifer problem, which everything indicates we do, they would go a long way towards helping address it.”
RAYMOND -- Although most Mississippi rice growers battled frequent spring rains that delayed planting, hampered fertilization and challenged insect and disease management, early signs point toward a good harvest.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress and Condition Report released Sept. 2 indicated that 58 percent of the state’s rice crop is in good condition and 28 percent is in excellent condition. Five percent is harvested.
TUPELO -- A hands-on event designed to promote an interest in the natural world will be held on Oct. 4 at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is partnering with the Natchez Trace Parkway to host Mississippi BioBlitz, a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Partners of the Early Years Network are taking their services on the road in September to support the state’s child care providers.
The Early Years Network is a system of services provided by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and its partners. The Provider Road Show brings together all the child-care-provider support services funded through the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care and Development.
September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month…
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s childhood obesity rates, like the pounds in an effective weight loss program, are slowly coming down.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released statistics reflecting a slight improvement among Mississippi high school students. From 2007 until 2009, 18 percent of the state’s high school students were considered obese. That peak declined to 16 percent in 2011 and 15 percent in 2013.
My taste buds love hot peppers, but the rest of me really likes the increased use of peppers as ornamentals.
Each year there are more ornamental peppers being introduced to the landscape market. Most ornamental peppers pack heat and are edible. Besides the culinary heat, many of these hot peppers are colorful and have great potential for use in the landscape.
By James E. “Jim” Miller
Professor Emeritus, Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Aquaculture
MSU Extension Service
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The American beaver, the largest native rodent in North America, is an ecosystem engineer, building dams and creating ponds that contribute to plant and animal biodiversity. However, beavers can cause serious property damage and frustrate landowners and managers.
KOSCIUSKO -- They don’t need paychecks, time cards or coffee breaks. They don’t even complain about the August heat in a Mississippi greenhouse.
Parasitic wasps and predatory mites are just a couple of the insect species growers can release to guard against damaging pests in greenhouses.
RAYMOND -- As demand increases for locally grown produce, farmers markets have become a way to take fresh fruits and vegetables directly to customers.
“This segment of agriculture is growing, and I think we are only going to see the need for small-scale producers increase in the coming years,” said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More scholarships are available in 2014 for Mississippi State University students who plan careers in waterfowl management and wetland conservation.
The Thomas A. Plein Endowed Graduate Student Scholarship was established in 2011 and is one of the largest graduate student scholarships in the MSU College of Forest Resources. Over the last three years, the Thomas A. Plein Foundation has increased the funding for this scholarship to more than $75,000.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton is looking good across the state as bolls open and harvest nears, but increased cotton acreage planted across the country means lower prices on this year’s crop.
In its Aug. 24 report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated 17 percent of Mississippi’s cotton is in excellent condition and 54 percent in good condition. Nearly all the rest is in fair condition, and that should lead to a good yield for the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has awarded the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine a grant to support the college’s Mobile Veterinary Clinics.
The $40,000 grant will cover some of the expenses incurred as the Mobile Veterinary Clinics travel to 20 North Mississippi animal shelters, where students spay and neuter homeless animals. The program is funded solely by grants and donations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Very few insect-related deaths occur in the United States compared with the rest of the world, but that does not mean Americans can ignore the risks.
Jerome Goddard, entomology professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said millions of deaths occur worldwide each year from disease agents transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Several diseases are more common among people living in or traveling to tropical regions, but Americans have their share and should maintain their guard to protect themselves.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University fans can cheer for a new food product this fall.
The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Sales Store on the MSU campus has added Bully’s Peanuts to its line of products. The store will carry 5-pound bags and 5-pound boxes of Mississippi-grown, raw, shelled peanuts.