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Feature Story

Passion fruit grown on a vine.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Local Food System Economies, Marketing and Business Planning, Specialty Crop Production

The U.S. passion fruit industry is small, but a team of researchers want to help it grow through a grant awarded to Mississippi State University. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is leading a research project aimed at gathering input from growers, marketers, consumers and buyers. The research team wants to better understand the current industry and its future direction.

A cotton plant in a field.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Early May delivered favorable weather conditions for most of Mississippi’s cotton producers, allowing them to get their crops in the ground at the ideal time.

A man sits at a table with books.
May 17, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Mississippi author, host and columnist Gary Bachman will be a featured guest in October at the 2022 Louisiana Book Festival presenting his book, “Southern Gardening All Year Round.”
 Bachman is host of the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Southern Gardening television show and author of the weekly Southern Gardening newspaper column.

Canned salsa in a basket with other produce
May 10, 2022 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Gardeners who want to preserve their abundant harvests by canning should make their list and check it twice -- now, before it’s time to begin canning. Home canners should be sure they have the right recipes and equipment for the foods they intend to preserve. They should also make sure they inspect all their equipment.

A group holding sports gear gathers around a monument.
May 4, 2022 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Projects

Fourteen Choctaw Central and Neshoba Central high school students got a look at college life April 26 when a 4-H career prep program took them to preview day at Mississippi State University. The young people met with MSU students who are fellow members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, or MBCI. They also examined one of the EcoCAR club’s hybrid vehicles, heard about the admissions process and were given an idea of what the academic experience will be like.

A man looks out the back window of a tractor in the field.
April 29, 2022 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

Corn producers who risked current high input costs in hopes of reaping high market prices at harvest are now waiting for a series of warm, sunny days to complete planting. Will Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said high input costs and high market prices have presented challenges to growers trying to decide what crops to plant.

Hands holding a mobile phone.
April 22, 2022 - Filed Under: Technology, Family, Family Financial Management, Fraud and Identity Theft

Scams come in a variety of disguises, and some of them are very convincing. It can be especially hard to ignore phone calls from what appears to be a legitimate community business, organization or individual. But those calls could be coming from scammers anywhere in the world. Telemarketers out to defraud customers use caller ID spoofing to intentionally hide their identity by falsifying the information transmitted to someone’s caller ID.

April 21, 2022 - Filed Under: Rural Health, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Rural Water Association, Water Quality

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is promoting a free water sampling campaign in seven Mississippi Delta counties.

Water samples will be analyzed for coliform bacteria and metals. Any Mississippi resident with a private well is eligible to participate. Test kits and detailed sampling instructions will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants can pick up sampling bottles April 26 to May 10 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the following MSU Extension county offices:

Chickens feed inside a fenced enclosure.
April 20, 2022 - Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Poultry

Farm supply stores are full of cute chicks in the spring, and the sight of the fluffy baby birds, combined with future dreams of fresh eggs, prompts many people to impulsively start a backyard flock.

White chickens gather at a feeder.
April 18, 2022 - Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Keeping buffalo wings on menus is a supply chain issue that goes all the way back to procedures farm workers follow to protect the health of commercially grown chickens.

April 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Other Vegetables, Livestock, Beef, Beekeeping, Goats and Sheep, Poultry, Forestry, Marine Resources

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Agricultural producers and industry professionals met with Mississippi State University personnel in the coastal region to discuss research and education priorities at the 2022 Producer Advisory Council meeting. The annual event aims to help clients improve their productivity. Attendees gathered in small commodity groups at each event to share their ideas with agents, researchers and specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

A row of white or black animal skulls.
April 13, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Plants and Wildlife

Two conservation camps this summer offer students in grades six through 12 the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in wildlife science, outdoor recreation and conservation careers. Conservation Camp 2022 has a residential edition June 5-8 for rising eighth through 12th graders. The day camp edition is June 13-15 for rising sixth through eighth graders.

A woman holds a net while standing in a field.
April 11, 2022 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Tucker Miller has a list of row crop producers who depend on him to manage insects in their fields, and every year brings a different pest challenge that threatens crop profitability.

Miller, an independent crop consultant with Miller Entomological Service Inc. in Drew, Mississippi, said there is always uncertainty in insect matters.

“We try to be on top of the situation by scouting and looking for the insects that usually appear at certain times of the crop growth stage,” Miller said.

A fenced area encloses several beehives.
April 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Beekeeping, Apiculture: Honey Bee Health

Beekeeping classes at Mississippi State University will be held in a new, improved apiary beginning this summer.The 768-square-foot facility, which houses at least 12 beehives, will be used for beekeeping workshops and research. Located at the Clay Lyle Entomology Complex, the apiary is a joint endeavor of the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Graphic of planting intentions
April 1, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Wheat

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than half of the 4.29 million total acres of row crops expected to be planted this year in Mississippi are soybean fields, but the growth in cotton acreage may be the most significant increase over 2021.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released its annual prospective plantings report March 31. Surveys are conducted with farm operators nationwide during the first two weeks of March to collect data on planting intentions for the upcoming season.

April 1, 2022 - Filed Under: Extension Administration, Regional Extension Coordinators

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Mississippi State University Extension Service has a familiar face directing its outreach efforts in the coastal region.

LaTawnya Holliman has been named regional Extension coordinator for the coastal region’s 21 counties effective April 1. She began the role on an interim basis in April 2020.

April 1, 2022 - Filed Under: About Extension, Extension Administration, Regional Extension Coordinators, Research and Extension Centers

Theresa Hand has been selected to lead the efforts of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in the central region. Hand assumes the regional Extension coordinator position on April 1. She has served as interim in the position since April 2020.

shrimp boats in the dock
March 30, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Marine Resources, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

RAYMOND, Miss. -- For Mississippi’s commercial fishermen, stress is part of daily life, but the typical stressors they face have been intensifying for more than 10 years.

Environmental disasters, global markets, strict fishing regulations and the increasing average age of working fishers is bearing down on the industry, threatening its long-term viability.

All of these factors have Ryan Bradley concerned for the future of the Mississippi fishing industry. So, he is taking action to help fishers stay in the industry and draw young people to the business.

Dye, eggs and dyed eggs on a counter.
March 25, 2022 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Food Safety

Eggs are a traditional part of Easter décor and celebrations, and it is risky to eat or use these hard-boiled eggs for recipes after the festivities are over.

Frozen food at shelves in cold warehouse
March 24, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Beef, Local Food System Economies

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Two years have passed since the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the U.S., but problems the virus caused in the country’s grocery supply chain could remain well into 2022, which will likely mean higher beef prices for consumers.

Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said labor reductions caused beef shortages, which have increased the price of this commodity across the country.

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