Feature Story from 2016
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All the good smells of the holidays brought into the house by candles, cooking, live greenery and holiday plants can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said indoor air quality affects human health in several ways.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before they prepare for 2017, Mississippi producers will have a chance next month to catch up on recent row crop research being conducted across the Southeast.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers to its annual Row Crop Short Course Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville. Registration is free until Nov. 28 and $40 on site.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- As fall quickly winds down, gardening experts urge Mississippians not to throw in the trowel just yet.
Some pollinators are still active and need nectar for energy to reproduce or migrate to their overwintering locations.
Washington, D.C. -- Mississippi State University and Mississippi Farm Bureau leaders gathered Monday in the Capitol to announce the new Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program developed by the MSU Extension Service.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Quality child care does not require a large budget. Dewberry Daycare and Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care and Preschool prove it.
Both centers attained a four-star classification in Mississippi's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Commonly referred to as Quality Stars, the voluntary program is designed to help licensed care and education centers meet and maintain high standards in five areas: learning environments, professional development, administrative policy, parent involvement and evaluation.
LAUREL, Miss. -- Win or lose, competing in livestock shows would not be possible without the help of others.
"Everyone helps everyone else," said Rustin Anderson, 17, of Jones County. "We're all like family, even though we are competing against each other."
Anderson, who has been showing Brangus cattle since 2009, is highly involved with the Jones County 4-H program. He serves as president of the junior livestock exhibitors for the county. He said the family atmosphere is what makes the program unique.
BROOKSVILLE, Miss. -- Many farmers in east Mississippi are investing heavily in drain tiles that work like French drains in the landscape, and the result is higher productivity on land that previously was too wet.
Dennis Reginelli, a regional agronomic specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Noxubee County, said farmers are installing the flexible plastic tubing in the ground to drain away excess water.
STARKVILLE, Miss.--A new report from the National Science Foundation again finds Mississippi State ranked among the nation's top 100 research institutions and the Magnolia State's leading research university — climbing four spots since the last reporting period.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dawn Morgan's father was an organic gardener before organic was cool, but for years she preferred a more manicured yard and the practices that entailed.
Then she began reading about the decline of bee colonies and remembered her dad's orchard and garden buzzing with pollinators.
"Dad kept bees but in a very primitive way," she said. "No bee suit, no smoker, never used herbicides or pesticides. He did everything naturally."
WINONA, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its 50th field day Dec. 9 at Roberts Farm in Winona.
David Nagel, Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulture specialist, and Jeff Wilson, Extension regional horticulture specialist, will discuss crop selection, seed acquisition and winter fruit crop activities. Vickie Roberts will share her journey from pharmaceutical sales representative to fourth-generation owner of her family's farm.
RIPLEY, Miss. -- This winter, a Mississippi farm will serve as a research facility for a multiyear project involving local, state and federal partners.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers have a plan to drastically change the way rice farmers grow their crop while cutting water use by one-third and maintaining yields.
The MSU Extension Service is encouraging Mississippi rice growers to consider using alternate wetting and drying -- or AWD -- management in their rice fields.
About 20 percent of Mississippi farmers use some form of AWD today, but Jason Krutz, Extension irrigation specialist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, wants that number to increase.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More Mississippi producers are getting the word about how much they can learn in three days at the state’s premier row crop conference.
The Mississippi State University 2016 Row Crop Short Course had more than 600 attendees. Attendance at the Row Crop Short Course has steadily increased since 2009. Approximately 60 people attended the event in 2008.
SHAW, Miss. -- Efforts are underway to inform producers about incentives to encourage sustainable agricultural practices on farms across Mississippi.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- When the new year rolls around, people often resolve to focus on personal fitness goals, but it is a great time to make sure homes are healthy as well.
"There are a lot of hazards our homes can pose that could be harmful to our health," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some of these hazards give no warning signs."
Carbon monoxide, lead and radon are odorless, invisible contaminants that can cause serious health problems and even death if left unchecked.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many people in the agricultural world complain that consumers do not understand what farmers do, but few of them are willing to dedicate their careers to a solution.
Jessica Smith, a senior at Mississippi State University, grew up on a farm in south Mississippi and is majoring in agricultural communications because she sees education as a key element in changing how her peers perceive something as basic as where their food comes from.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A farm crisis may have silently begun in the United States, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service concluded after careful consideration of commodity prices and farm costs.
"2013 was the last year of relatively high commodity prices. At that same time, during the run-up of commodity prices from the mid-2000s to 2013, input costs went up," said Bryon Parman, Extension agricultural economist. "Now, commodity prices have come down, but input costs have not come down nearly as fast."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry remains Mississippi's top agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.
Forestry comes in a distant second with total farm-gate value of $1.4 billion, according to 2016 estimates.
Mississippi State University Extension Service economists just released their estimates for the state's agricultural commodity values in 2016. The top commodities remain poultry and forestry. Soybeans remain in the third spot, dropping 1.7 percent to just over $1 billion.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.
Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.
"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.