STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most people who enjoy nature and being outdoors are careful to avoid littering -- not only because it is unsightly, but also because it can harm natural resources. Bottles, for example, can become death traps for small critters seeking food and water. Bottles and other trash can clog drainage ditches and waterways, creating additional challenges, especially if they contained toxins or other pollutants.
ROLLING FORK, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers, landowners and professionals in the Delta to a Cover Crop Field Day Jan. 19.
CARRIERE, Miss. -- The Small Farm Training Center will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Jan. 19 in Hancock County.
Farm operators Terry and Elicia Sheldon, along with student apprentices who live and work at the center, will show attendees their techniques for growing organic produce.
What a crazy week we had to start off 2018 as “Freeze-mageddon” came blowing through with several nights of temperatures in the 20s or worse across the state.
I’ve been hearing and reading comments about the extreme cold we’re experiencing and how unusual it is. But to tell you the truth, these temperatures are not that unusual.
VERONA, Miss. -- Produce growers can enhance their operations through an upcoming workshop hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
The 2018 North Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference will be held at the MSU Agri-Center in Verona Feb. 8-9.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Landowners with an interest in the forestry industry are invited to attend the annual conference of the Professional Arborist Association of Mississippi.
The 2018 annual conference will be held at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond Jan. 25-26.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The coldest days of winter do not seem to slow squirrel activity.
One significant reason is that mating season for eastern gray squirrels lasts through January, and babies arrive about six weeks later.
Most squirrels build nests for these babies in the forks of tree branches or in the hollows of tree trunks. Their nests are created mostly out of dry leaves and twigs.
Mississippi gardeners who plan to incorporate more pollinator plants into their landscapes can consider native milkweed and begin gathering seed for indoor propagation.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- An afternoon workshop will help Mississippi commercial blueberry growers brush up on the latest research and training related to their crop.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the 2018 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop Jan. 23 at the Forrest County Extension office in Hattiesburg. Registration is at the door on the day of the event at 1 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop.
As gardeners make New Year’s resolutions for their landscapes in 2018, I want to encourage all of them to resolve to correctly prune crape myrtles from this day forward.
In the current vernacular, severe pruning of crape myrtles is called “crape murder,” reflecting the seemingly random nature of the pruning cuts. To me, this type of pruning is very unattractive in the landscape.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When you invite guests to your private property for outdoor recreation, there are several ways to reduce potential liability concerns that could arise.
First, your duty as a landowner depends on the status of the visitor who is on your property. A landowner owes no duty to trespassers other than not to intentionally harm them.
For the last Southern Gardening column of 2017, I want to take a look back at some of my absolute favorite plants from my home landscape this past year.
I have been talking for several years about what fantastic garden performers Supertunias are. But my absolute favorite -- and it has been my favorite for several years -- is Supertunia Vista Bubblegum. This plant is so reliable it was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In recent years, wild pigs have been a controversial topic in wildlife and agricultural discussions from top government officials to local farmers talking over the fence.
Wild pigs are considered nuisance animals in Mississippi because of their ability to create widespread and devastating damage. Many researchers and wildlife managers have suggested that wild pigs could be North America’s most threatening invasive mammal species in terms of agricultural damage, disease transmission, native plant survival and water quality.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- A daylong Mississippi State University Extension Service workshop Jan. 18 will provide an in-depth look at horticulture and pest management with pecan orchards.
The Pecan Education Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. The $35 cost covers registration, lunch and handouts, and must be submitted by Jan. 11. Late registration is on a space-available basis.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agriculture continues to do its part to boost Mississippi’s economy as it remains a $7 billion industry in 2017.
Agricultural economists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service released year-end estimates Dec. 19 on the value of state crops. The top two agricultural commodities are still poultry at $2.8 billion, an increase of 13 percent, and forestry at $1.4 billion, a decline of 8 percent.
“Early expectations are for good reports in most commodities for 2017,” said Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist. “Poultry, overall crops and livestock totals should all improve over the 2016 values. The exceptions are forestry, catfish and some individual commodities.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The poultry industry is the giant in the state’s agricultural economy, as its estimated 2017 production value of $2.8 billion nearly doubles the value of forestry.
Early figures from the Mississippi State University Extension Service show the industry grew at an estimated 13.4 percent from the 2016 value. Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist, said higher broiler prices are responsible for the value increase.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The 2017 production value of Mississippi’s four largest row crops is forecasted to outperform the previous year by more than 7 percent.
Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, predicted the combined value of soybeans, cotton, corn and rice will be nearly $2.1 billion this year. The total projected value for all agronomic crops is $2.5 billion, which would be a 6.4 percent increase over the $2.4 billion value reached in 2016.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite a slow housing market and other lingering effects of the recession, Mississippi’s forests remain the state’s second most valuable agricultural commodity for 2017.
John Auel, an assistant Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University, estimates the value of forest products is $1.4 billion, which is a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2016. However, 2017 numbers are almost 40 percent higher than they were in 2009, when the industry experienced its lowest valued harvest of the 2007-2009 recession.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host a workshop designed to deliver food science, economics and business expertise to producers.
Anyone who operates or is interested in operating a farm or any other agriculture-based food business can attend the Food as a Business for Producers workshop in the Bost Conference Center auditorium at Mississippi State University in Starkville on Jan. 24, 2018.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Diet and exercise are popular New Year’s resolutions, but sleep is just as important when cultivating healthy lifestyles.
Sleep deprivation can cause a myriad of health concerns in both adults and children, including excess body fat, said Lori Elmore-Elmore-Staton, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences.
“Sleep is related to obesity. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more hormones telling you that you’re hungry, and it releases less hormones telling you that you’re full. It thinks you need more energy because something is wrong,” Elmore-Staton explained.