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A brown marmorated stink bug with numerous small spots on its body and two white lines on its dark, brown antennae sits on top of a red and yellow apple.
October 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Fruit, Household Insects, Insects-Pests
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

Brown marmorated stink bugs took up residence in the Northeast nearly 20 years ago, but established populations of the destructive pest are now confirmed in the Southeast, including two reports in Mississippi.

Blake Layton, an entomology specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is asking homeowners and producers to report any sightings of the insect. These insects are on a different level than other stink bugs in the South because of the damage they cause in fruit and the issues they cause when they invade buildings, he said.

Two young men wearing camouflage sit in a small boat with a black dog, all looking out on the water on a sunny day.
October 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife
By Mr. Andrew Lane Smith
MSU Extension Service

Hunting is a wonderful, fulfilling pastime that helps friends and family forge lifetime relationships that might not emerge to the same extent in other settings.

In addition to a withdrawn and disconnected outdoor user base, we have a wide diversity of ideals and beliefs of the people who participate in outdoor activities.

About a dozen large, 50-pound bags of unshelled pecans are piled on top of a wood palet.
October 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuts
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

As the time for pecan harvest approaches, some Mississippians are contemplating adding new orchards or expanding or renovating old ones.

Eric Stafne, fruit and nut crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers want to capitalize on the demand for pecans, which is increasing domestically and overseas.

Defoliated cotton plants are ready for harvest.
October 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops
By Ms. Leah Barbour
MSU Extension Service

The Delta Agricultural Weather Center launched its real-time weather data website just as cotton producers were completing the 2017 harvest and anticipating next spring’s planting season.

Once cotton reaches maturity, farmers apply a harvest aid to force the plants to drop their leaves and open their bolls. They harvest the crop about two weeks later.

Confederate rose is an heirloom plant that blooms prolifically in late summer and fall.
October 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service
I have weekly favorite plants, as you may know, and one of my favorites started blooming in earnest over the last couple of weeks. The sheer number of flowers on the Confederate rose makes this plant a must-have in our Mississippi landscapes.

Confederate rose is sometimes called Cotton rose and Cotton rosemallow. Despite the references to cotton, this plant is actually a hibiscus that originated in Asia.
October 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Healthy Homes Initiative
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

A program designed to teach early childhood teachers and center directors how to provide a safe and clean environment for young children recently received national recognition. 

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences selected the Healthy Homes for Child Care program, developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, as the Southern Region winner and a national winner in the Clean and Healthy Families and Communities category. 

A teenage boy proudly holds up a catfish on his fishing line.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The first settlers of North America did not realize all that they were going to find in the New World.

When European settlers came to North American, they wanted things to be different in their new country. History books tell us the promise of religious freedom, cheap land and economic opportunities gave them courage to make the long, dangerous and expensive trip. 

A small brown bat looks into the camera as it hangs upside down.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects-Pests
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

 Mississippi’s climate is ideal for a wide range of insects, many of which make nuisances of themselves when they gather outside buildings.

Blake Layton, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said homeowners can take steps to minimize their houses’ attractiveness to insects.

Two young girls sit on a colorful quilt among leaves in the grass as they play with a white and an orange pumpkin.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Pumpkins
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

Pumpkins are a minor agricultural crop in Mississippi, but demand increases every year as consumers use them mostly for decoration.

Casey Barickman, Mississippi State University Extension Service vegetable specialist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, said the state has an estimated 500 to 600 acres of pumpkins.

October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

Wild hogs are known to cause external damage to land, property and wildlife, but the internal diseases they carry are equally dangerous.

More than 40 known diseases are traced to wild hogs, but the two most common in Mississippi are pseudorabies and swine brucellosis. Each can be deadly to livestock and domestic animals. The best way to prevent these infections is to trap and kill hogs rather than simply building fences to keep them out.

Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

American beautyberry, a native shrub with tiny flowers and prolific berries, is excellent in home landscapes.
October 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service
After cleaning the mess from Hurricane Nate, I had the chance to participate in two outstanding field days in Mississippi and Louisiana. I really enjoyed the plantings at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station and the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

These events inspired me to share ideas over the next several weeks for great plants to put in your garden and landscape that you will enjoy next fall.
Two men kneel over a square test plot and feel the texture of the sod.
October 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops, Turfgrass and Lawn Management
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

Mississippi’s sod producers experienced good news and bad news from 2017 weather conditions. Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the good news was a modestly warm spring with timely rainfall provided good growing conditions for most of the state’s sod farms. The bad news was the same weather promoted the growth of weeds and fungal diseases.

The cut across the tip of this gray cat’s right ear is visible as it looks at the camera while standing in a barnyard.
October 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Feral cat control has been hotly debated in recent years because of concerns over lethal measures to limit the numbers of animals many consider to be pets.

Many of us have experienced the feel-good act of feeding or housing a stray cat. With so many cats roaming freely, how can we tell if a cat is wandering, homeless or feral? Knowing the difference can allow you to take the most humane action in helping the cat. 

An orange wild hog with large black spots stands in a trap with two black wild hogs in the background.
October 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

The first rule of transporting wild hogs is to not transport wild hogs. Bronson Strickland is the Mississippi State University Extension Service wildlife biologist and management specialist. He said the best way residents can help eradicate wild hogs is to hunt them while also trapping and killing them. Hunters who bring wild hogs into the state or relocate them for hunting, however, are committing a crime.

October 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Environment
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Miss. -- The 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup has been rescheduled for Nov. 18 in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate. 

“Authorities have closed all beaches for the cleaning that has to be done after the hurricane,” said Eric Sparks, event co-coordinator and assistant professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “It is illegal for anyone to be on the beaches until authorities reopen them, so we had to postpone our cleanup event.”

 Several blue containers in this colorful landscape garden are blown over after heavy storm winds.
October 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

While Hurricane Nate was obviously not in the same class as Katrina, the last hurricane to hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it did provide gardeners a lesson in getting their landscapes ready before a storm.

I know it’s a bit backwards to wait until after the storm to make a list of tips to get your garden ready ahead of time. But this was the first hurricane I’ve experienced since moving to the Gulf Coast, and I’ve been thinking what I could have done better in advance.

A bird dog is on point in tall grass as it detects quail.
October 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As hunting season begins, there are several issues landowners need to keep in mind when they allow sportsmen to use their property for hunting, fishing or other recreation. 

Landowners should consider accident liability, lease fees and a legal contract for the arrangement. In a recreational hunting lease, the landowner grants access to his or her land for a certain period of time in exchange for fees or services rendered. 

A sweet potato with a pink and brown outer surface is shown close up.
October 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi producers are growing 28,100 acres of sweet potatoes this year, but not one of those is below the northern third of the state.

What keeps growers in south Mississippi from planting the increasingly popular crop? Weevils are mostly to blame.

“Sweet potatoes grown in south Mississippi require more inputs to exclude weevils from fields and have stricter regulations as far as how and where sweet potatoes can be shipped and marketed,” said Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

October 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Management, Environment
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

Gardeners can purchase hard-to-find native plants during the Crosby Arboretum’s popular Fall Native Plant Sale.

The semiannual sale will be Oct. 21 and 22 at the arboretum. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Arboretum members can enter at 9 a.m. Admission is free.

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