You are here

Feature Story

August 16, 2021 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forest Economics, Forest Management, Timber Harvest

Curtis VanderSchaaf joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service in the southwest region as a forestry specialist with regional and statewide duties. He also is a faculty member in the MSU Department of Forestry.

People stand in a garden.
August 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community, Food and Health, Food, Vegetable Gardens

When members of the Jackson chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority brainstormed ways to serve their community, they decided to start a gardening project. Their plan was twofold: grow fresh produce for members of the community who could not get to the grocery store on a regular basis; and get community members involved and teach them how to grow produce. But they soon discovered they were going to need some guidance.

August 12, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- 4-H Game Day at Mississippi State University will be held before the Bulldogs’ second home football game Sept. 11.

Bost Extension Center Building B on the MSU campus will be the site of the annual tailgate for the state’s 4-H’ers and 4-H clubs. The tailgate features various games, activities, prizes and food leading up to the 6 p.m. kickoff against North Carolina State University. There is also an option to join the tailgate virtually on Zoom.

A single caterpillar rests on a blade of grass.
August 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects-Forage Pests, Management - Forages, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests

Lawns, pastures and even winter food plots are at risk as an insect army advances across much of the state in higher than normal numbers. Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fall armyworms are the most damaging insect pests of bermudagrass hayfields and pastures

Two medical ampoules of COVID-19 vaccine with a syringe.
August 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading three times as easily as previous strains in Mississippi and unvaccinated patients comprising most of the state’s cases, receiving the vaccine is now more critical than ever to slow the spread.

State health leaders are strongly encouraging Mississippians still grappling with vaccine hesitancy to consult governmental sources when seeking out data to inform their decisions. As of Aug. 5, 39% of Mississippians had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while only a third were fully vaccinated.

August 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice, Culinary Tourism

People can enjoy the annual rice tasting event held in Bolivar County in a different format this year. The Rice Festival will be held Sept. 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the streets of downtown Merigold.

A woman holding a gardening tool stands in a green landscape.
August 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

Gardeners who want to give back to their communities can take advantage of an online training opportunity to hone their skills this fall. Registration opens Aug. 15 and ends Sept. 15 for the newest class of Master Gardeners.

Numerous tiny, white insects with brown heads dot a surface full of holes and crevices.
August 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests, Invasive Plants

Mississippi’s climate has proven to be ideally suited to hosting a variety of introduced, invasive plants and insects, but vigilant residents can prevent these pests from becoming overwhelming problems. One of the latest invaders is the box tree moth. North Mississippi residents are confronting this new challenge, which is a serious pest of boxwood shrubs that began showing up on boxwoods bought in Tennessee this spring.

A group gathers around a table-top planter growing small plants.
July 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

In late July, 54 stakeholders from across the country met in person and remotely to hammer out their perspectives on the best way to sustain the nation’s sweet potato industry.

Man in a maroon shirt and baseball cap in a greenhouse.
July 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, AIM for CHangE, Mental Health First Aid

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Jim McAdory wears many hats. On any given day, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent fields calls from local cattle farmers, teaches kids about the importance of daily nutrition, and tests soil to diagnose front yard and garden harvest problems -- all before lunch.

Based in Winston County, McAdory recently gained an additional role: Mental Health First Aid instructor.

Ruined watermelons lie in a muddy field.
July 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

One month ago, watermelon production in southeast Mississippi was on track. Now, growers there have lost much of their crop to the summer’s wet weather.

A woman holds a stalk of grain while standing in a field.
July 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Rice, Soybeans

Researchers are learning how to manage rice fields when paraquat drifts onto them early and late in the season, but what impact this herbicide has on grain quality and what happens when drift occurs midseason are still unknowns.

Catfish swimming above a net.
July 16, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many Mississippi restaurants that serve catfish have had to pay their distributors more to keep the popular Southern dish on the menu this year or go without, but pond inventory is not the primary issue.

Instead, labor shortages at processing plants are more to blame, said Jimmy Avery, Extension aquaculture professor at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Industry data, he said, show processing is down 9% for the first five months of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020.

Portrait of farmers market produce
July 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farmers Markets

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is working to enhance direct sales, farmers markets, and local food development in northeast Mississippi as part of a new project “From Gravel Roads to City Streets” funded by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

July 8, 2021 - Filed Under: AIM for CHangE

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Only eight teams were accepted into the Society of Public Health Education Writing for Publication Workshop this summer, and one of them is from Mississippi State University.

Katharine Halfacre and Masey Smith, Extension specialists in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, were accepted into the competitive program for their involvement with the MSU Extension program AIM for CHangE.

July 7, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H

Qualifying senior 4-H members will compete in the Mississippi 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. State Invitational July 16 and 17 at the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex in West Point and at the Starkville Gun Club.

A photo of a female Asian horntail wasp.
June 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests

Mississippi is home to several flying insects that can be mistaken for the invasive Asian giant hornet discovered in Washington in 2020. Blake Layton, Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said this insect, also called a “murder hornet,” has not been confirmed outside the Northwest. However, Layton said he has been contacted by people who think they have seen these hornets in Mississippi and Alabama in the last few weeks.

A large, yellow machine lifts downed trees to load onto a log truck.
June 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Timber Prices, Timber Harvest

Although construction costs are through the roof timber prices have not kept pace, and Mississippi forest landowners are waiting for improved markets. Shaun Tanger, a forestry economics specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the recent increase in construction costs is a demand-side phenomena.

Water stands in a corn field
June 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- MSU Extension agents will be assessing agricultural damage from early-June flooding until well into July, but preliminary estimates indicate losses could break records.

The 2019 Yazoo Backwater Area flood caused $617 million in crop damage alone. It looks like the more recent flood will exceed those losses.

Heavy rainfall, primarily north of U.S. Highway 82, throughout the second week of June waterlogged crops during critical growth stages. Flooding caused complete or partial losses in many fields.

A tractor parked outside of a shed at night.
June 24, 2021 - Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative
By Erica Hensley
For the MSU Extension Service

Colby Hardin managed his depression since he was diagnosed at 18. With medication, he kept it under control throughout college, while working at Mississippi State University's dairy farm.

Pages

Feature Story Archive