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News From 2014

Thai Black banana is one of fastest growing landscape bananas, and it can reach more than 15 feet tall in Mississippi landscapes. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
August 25, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

A lot of people are interested in creating a tropical feeling around their homes, and growing bananas is an easy way to accomplish this goal.

If you think bananas can be grown only in coastal Mississippi, I want to try to change your mind. There are selections that are hardy for all landscapes in Mississippi.

Corn, browntop millet and sunflowers, such as these on a Prentiss County property owned by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, will attract doves. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dove hunting season is quickly approaching, and many Mississippians are eager to participate in the traditions of family and fellowship involved in hunting the nation’s No. 1 game bird.

But before dove hunters take to the fields, they should be aware of certain regulations.

Multiple types of forage can benefit cool-season food plots, but ryegrass can take over, such as in this food plot originally planted with red clover. (Photo courtesy of Bronson Strickland)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Forages, Environment, Wildlife

As fall approaches, many hunters and landowners begin to turn their attention toward planting cool-season wildlife food plots. If you’re like me, it’s something you enjoy doing, and it’s a good excuse to get outside and play in the dirt.

But while you’re out there having fun, you might as well get the most for your time and money. Here are some often overlooked, but important, tips and suggestions for making the most of your cool-season food plots this fall and winter.

Trapjaw ants can snap their extremely large and powerful mandibles together to catch prey or perform a defensive maneuver that allows them to jump several inches away from danger. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A large, jumping ant has reached large enough numbers that its slow invasion of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is starting to be noticed.

Odontomachus haematodus -- native to South America and commonly known as the trapjaw ant -- was first identified in the state in August 2000. These large brown ants can reach almost a half-inch long. Trapjaw ants have elongated mandibles for catching prey, and they have a very painful sting.

August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Community, Technology

Football players across the state are ready to start the 2014 season as practices and scrimmages give way to game days, and faithful followers can get ready for all the action through a variety of websites and apps.

Staying physically active and eating healthy foods are lifestyle choices that pay big dividends over time, including being well enough to keep up with the grandkids. (Photo by Thinkstock)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

Sept. 7: National Grandparents Day

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Getting older can make chasing after the grandkids tougher, but positive choices now can make it possible to keep up with them for years to come.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that physical, mental and social wellness each play an important role in aging well.

Physical …

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist, checks the maturity stage of soybeans planted at the R.R. Foil Research Center on the MSU campus Aug. 21, 2014. Mississippi soybean growers are expected to harvest a record yield this year. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Soybeans

JACKSON -- Mississippi soybean growers are on track to harvest a record yield this year despite the cool, wet weather that kept most producers behind schedule by two to three weeks.

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist, said growers are optimistic about potential yield this season. The state’s average yield is currently projected to be 48 bushels per acre. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Aug. 12 Crop Production Report estimates Mississippi will harvest 2.2 million acres of soybeans.

Mississippi State University horticulture experts will lead educational seminars, answer gardening questions, and offer walking and wagon tours of the gardens at the annual fall flower and vegetable tour at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on Sept. 20, 2014. (File Photo)
August 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

VERONA -- The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center will host a fall event for vegetable and flower gardeners.

Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host this yearly event on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Verona.

MSU horticulture experts will lead educational seminars, answer gardening questions, and offer walking and wagon tours of the vegetable and flower gardens at the facility located at 5421 Highway 145 South.

August 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The horticulture club at Mississippi State University took home top honors at the American Society for Horticultural Science annual conference held in late July in Orlando, Florida.

Mississippi State University scientist Gaea Hock evaluated student satisfaction with a class that required them to summarize as social media tweets news articles written about grain crops. She presented her findings at the 60th Annual North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Conference in June. (Submitted Photo)
August 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Grains, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A professor at Mississippi State University wanted his students to gain a real-world perspective about grain crops, so he challenged them to head straight to the news.

Brien Henry, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, used the weekly Delta Farm Press to educate students about the current climate of the grain crops industry. He also incorporated the principles of the social media tool Twitter to help students sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills.

August 18, 2014 - Filed Under: Fruit

CARRIERE -- The Muscadine Field Day scheduled for August in Pearl River County has been moved to Sept. 13.

The field day will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Mississippi State University McNeill Research Unit near Carriere. The event will allow growers to learn from MSU researchers and examine the grape vines growing at the research unit.

The pink flowers of hardy hibiscus Sultry Kiss can measure up to 11 inches wide and bloom on lobed, burgundy foliage. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
August 18, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

I think hardy hibiscuses are must-have summer plants guaranteed to brighten our gardens and landscapes after a long, hot summer. But to many gardeners, the hardy hibiscus is a well-kept secret.

These plants are very different from tropical hibiscuses. The hardy hibiscus is winter hardy, and its foliage is not as glossy as the tropical hibiscus. Despite these differences, both varieties have bright, beautiful flowers.

August 15, 2014 - Filed Under: Crops

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi producers and consultants recently received late-season updates and recommendations from Mississippi State University scientists as the 2014 growing season nears its end.

About 40 people toured fields at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville Wednesday, examining row crops and gaining information on late-season management.

Pintails are among the first ducks to migrate south in the fall, just in time for the start of Mississippi's waterfowl hunting season. (Photo by iStock)
August 15, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Waterfowl

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Every July, waterfowl biologists from the Mississippi Flyway Council, comprised of 14 states and 3 Canadian provinces, look at many factors to predict the total number of ducks available for harvest in the fall flight forecast. Then they use this number to determine the framework of seasons, dates and bag limits for the fall hunting season.

This year we are expected to have an annual fall flight of 49.2 million birds, which is an 8 percent growth in population from last year and 43 percent higher than the long-term average for North American waterfowl.

Jeff Gore, an entomology expert with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, surveys white sugarcane aphid damage in a grain sorghum research plot near Stoneville, Mississippi, on Aug. 13, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Bonnie Coblentz)
August 15, 2014 - Filed Under: Grains

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crops almost never go from potentially record yields one year to drastic acre reductions the next, but catastrophic aphid infestations coupled with low prices may force grain sorghum growers into that situation.

Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said if not for the white sugarcane aphid, the state would have one of the largest grain sorghum crops in recent history.

Butterflies, such as this buckeye butterfly, and other plants, animals and insects will be counted during the Mississippi BioBlitz on Sept. 13, 2014, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson. BioBlitz is a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible. (MSU Ag Communications/File Photo)
August 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources

JACKSON – A hands-on event designed to promote an interest in the natural world will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is partnering with the museum and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation to host the 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.

Linda McGrath, a board-certified lactation consultant and La Leche League leader, adds National Breastfeeding Month campaign materials to the nursing mothers' room on the first floor of the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University on Aug. 12, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents can help their children establish healthy food habits long before their toddlers spit out vegetables and beg for cookies instead.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said improving the health of Mississippians begins with healthy choices from infancy, through childhood and into adulthood.

August 12, 2014 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts recently announced the addition of two new staff members to address the growing challenge of controlling the state’s wild hog population.

Mississippi State University student Madeline Hawes of Sikeston, Missouri, receives a design critique at July's American Institute of Floral Designers symposium in Chicago from Hitomi Gilliam, an internationally renowned floral artist. (Photo by MSU Plant and Soil Sciences/Jim DelPrince)
August 11, 2014 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some students realize there is more to a college education and preparing for future careers than just going to classes.

Five Mississippi State University students on the floral design team recently took part in a competition and symposium revealing insights into the variety of paths their careers could take.

Five horticulture majors -- Madeline Hawes, Renee Wright, Jena Koren, Kailie Dunlap and Camille Tedder -- competed in the Student Design Competition of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in Chicago in July.

August 11, 2014 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit

GOODMAN -- Fruit and vegetable growers can learn about extended production methods, risk management and insurance during an Aug. 15 field day in Goodman.

The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm will host the field day.

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