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Thick, shoulder-high plants growing under tall trees in a wooded area.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People often ask what they can plant to improve wildlife numbers on their property. Before seeking advice on what to plant, the first question should be, "Is food a limiting factor?"

Most often, Mother Nature has provided all the food wildlife need, assuming animals are provided the proper habitat. Still, there is an ecological principle at work called Liebig’s Law of the Minimum.

A butterfly gathers nectar from a yellow flower in a group of yellow flowers.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Places for Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Pollinators are important to flowering plants and the food supply, but dwindling numbers of some of these creatures, including monarch butterflies and bees, have captured the public’s attention.

Many people want to help. But what can homeowners do to support these important pollinators?

Jennifer Buchanan, senior curator at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, shared her top three tips for creating a pollinator-friendly garden.

These early stage blueberries are green with a pink center.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Fruit, Local Flavor, Specialty Crop Production, Farmers Markets

 Blueberry growers in Mississippi are having a successful season thanks to good harvesting conditions, crop quality and market prices.

June 14, 2018 - Filed Under: Nutrition

Kelli Whitten recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Office of Nutrition Education as a regional registered dietitian for the Delta. She will help in the fight against obesity and chronic disease in Mississippi.

June 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Precision Agriculture

Seed-applied technologies and seed treatment processes will be among the topics covered at this year’s MSU Seed Technology Short Course.

A pair of orange trimmers is about to snip off a spent flower.
June 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past Saturday and Sunday turned into a typical work weekend in my garden and landscape.

It was hot and humid, and, of course, I was soaking wet. As I sat on a 5-gallon bucket taking a break, my mind wandered as I took a visual inventory and looked at the next job that needed doing. I have 25 15- and 25-gallon containers, 136 subirrigated containers and a bunch of 3- and 5-gallon pots.

June 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, White-Tailed Deer

Two of the biggest current threats to wildlife in our state are wild hogs and chronic wasting disease.

The current wild hog problem and confirmation of a CWD-positive deer this year in Issaquena County are examples of how the selfish actions of a very small segment of the hunting population can set off a negative chain of reactions that reach beyond the initial impact to wildlife species.

Image displays colorful gardening posters.
June 8, 2018 - Filed Under: The Story of Plants and People

Geoff Denny, an MSU Extension horticulturist, launched the storytelling series, The Story of Plants and People, hosted by the Mississippi State Trial Gardens. Monthly sessions cover such topics as azaleas, African crops in Mississippi gardens, and William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak.

A man’s hands are pictured holding a stem of grass.
June 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests

A long, cool spring put Mississippi hay production about two weeks behind schedule, but a long, hot summer can give producers the chance to catch up.

Rocky Lemus, Mississippi State University Extension Service forage specialist, said he expects a good year for forages.

Orange marigolds grow in a bed with purple blooms and green elephant ears.
June 4, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Design and Management

Marigolds are my go-to hot weather color annuals. Marigolds are great in-ground or in containers, and they add a cheerful and colorful brightness wherever they are planted.

White V-shaped waves trail behind a boat on a sea of blue.
June 1, 2018 - Filed Under: Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- In everyday life, “don’t make waves” means don’t cause trouble. On the water in no-wake zones, it means basically the same thing.

Wakes are waves created as vessels travel through the water. A no-wake zone is an area where vessels are expected to travel slowly to minimize wakes.

Several black and white cows look toward the camera while standing in milking gates.
June 1, 2018 - Filed Under: Farming, Dairy

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Depressed market prices, increased production costs and labor challenges continue to force generational dairy farmers to seek greener pastures.

 

A woman holds a brown and white chicken while a young girl looks on.
June 1, 2018 - Filed Under: Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than a million backyard chicken flocks provide Americans with eggs, meat or companionship, a trend Mississippians embrace, but hobby farmers must learn proper care to keep them healthy.

May 31, 2018 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Two Mississippi State University Extension Service experts have contributed to a new book updating The Extension Worker’s Code.

Sunlight reaches a portion of mostly shaded light green foliage.
May 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One landscape plant I wish I grew more of is coral bells, known botanically as Heucheras.

I absolutely love the colorful foliage with a seemingly unlimited variety of textures that add interest in any garden or landscape. Some have ruffled margins, some have deep cuts, and others feature smooth margins. Texture is certainly on display with coral bells.

Rows of small green plant, some near disturbed soil, in a large field.
May 25, 2018 - Filed Under: Peanuts, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

ABERDEEN, Miss. -- Peanut growers are experiencing a mixed bag of conditions across the southeastern United States in general and Mississippi in particular.

Small body of water with tall grass nearest the camera and mostly bare trees on the other side.
May 25, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Coastal areas are dynamic in nature, which means they are constantly changing.

A fitting example of the dynamics of coastlines can be found by looking at historical, but relatively recent, aerial photos of Pelican Island off Dauphin Island, Alabama.

A young girl and her mother are pictured with their horse.
May 22, 2018 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Youth Livestock

It was inevitable that Lauren Bryant would at least try 4-H.

Her father’s family has been active in the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Program for two generations. And she has attended 4-H events since she was a toddler.

Now, the 11-year-old is showing her own livestock and participating in various 4-H activities through the Extension Service in Tippah County.

“Lauren is a third-generation 4-H’er,” explained her mother, Leigh Bryant. “Her granddad and her daddy were both 4-H’ers.”

Light pink blooms has dark pink centers.
May 21, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One day right after we moved to Mississippi, I got a call from a homeowner with a question about her althea plant. I was stumped, but soon found that the plant she was referring to was commonly called rose of Sharon.

Green baby cotton plants poke through soil.
May 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Cotton

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growers may be on their way to planting more cotton in Mississippi soil than they have in 11 years, despite a late start.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, estimated that growers will plant 700,000 acres of cotton this year. If that much gets harvested, it will be the best total since 2006, when the state produced 1.2 million acres of cotton. Last year, Mississippi cotton producers harvested 625,000 acres.

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