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Grain sorghum emerges in this Oktibbeha County field June 14, 2017. Mississippi growers are projected to plant 10,000 acres of the crop this year, which would be a record low. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Grains
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Insect pressure and a stagnant market are pushing Mississippi growers away from planting grain sorghum.

Compared with 2015, when the state had 120,000 acres of sorghum, producers harvested only about 11,000 acres of the crop in 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasted they would plant only 10,000 acres this year. If that prediction holds, 2017 will mark an 88-year low for sorghum production.

June 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food Safety
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Electric pressure cookers can help home chefs get meals on the table in just minutes, but food science experts said preserving fruits and vegetables in these appliances can be risky.

June 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Forages, Lawn and Garden, Natural Resources
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

NEWTON, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites anyone interested in growing the state wildflower, Coreopsis, and other beauties to the July 13 Wildflower Field Day.

The event will be at the Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton and will include morning seminars and an afternoon field tour. It is sponsored by Keep Mississippi Beautiful, which is providing lunch.

Topics include native seed production, backyard habitats and milkweed management. Speakers are MSU Extension Service specialists and an industry representative.

June 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Rural Health, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Rural Water Association, Water Quality
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

GULFPORT, Miss. -- The first 40 registrants for a private well workshop next month can have their well water screened free of charge.

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will be held 6-9 p.m. July 13 at the MSU Extension office in Harrison County, located at 2315 17th Street in Gulfport.

Containers can be planted at any time of year. This summer combination has tall Salvia Playin’ the Blues in the back, Gaura Karalee Petite Pink providing interest in the front, and Supertunia Bordeaux filling in all the extra space. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
June 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Once we get into the summer months, it can be hard to plant and be successful with in-ground landscape beds. But I've found that putting together container plantings gives me a way to add variety to my garden and landscape, even when it's really hot.

Once you start gardening in containers, you’ll find it's never too late in the season to try something new. You may even join me in doing most of your gardening in containers all year.

But let's just start with one container and see how it goes.

June 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Office of Nutrition Education, administered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, recently recognized several team members with awards for excellence in education, community partnerships, communication and years of service.

Dannie Bolden of Wilkinson County was named the Educator of the Year for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, or EFNEP. Bolden and her fellow educators teach program participants how to create nutritious meals, use a budget for planning food purchases, and properly store, serve and prepare foods.

This 2016 rice field is growing the Thad variety of foundation seed stock at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, Mississippi. Most of the 2017 rice crop is at or beyond this growth stage that is ready for floodwaters. (File photo by Mississippi Foundation Seed Stock/Randy Vaughan)
June 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Rice
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi growers have flooded many of their rice fields now, but not before rains caused crop management challenges.

Bobby Golden, a rice and soil fertility agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that even though rice is flooded for the majority of the growing season, excess rains and wet weather can complicate crop establishment and management.

The deer tick and the American dog tick, shown here, are two of the five most common tick species found in Mississippi. The state is home to about 19 tick species. (File photos by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
June 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects-Pet Pests, Insects-Home Lawns

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While hunting, working in the yard or garden, taking early morning walks or hikes, or just cruising around the property on all-terrain vehicles, people are likely to pick up ticks in some fashion.

Ticks are typically found in areas of dense vegetation and along game or human trails. Contrary to popular belief, they do not typically live in trees.

Russell Carroll, a maintenance supervisor with the Canton Housing Authority in Canton, Mississippi, checks batteries in a smoke detector in one of the housing units he services. Carroll participated in a Healthy Homes Initiative training and shares information with his colleagues and clients to help them improve their environments. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative

By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is celebrating National Healthy Homes Month by equipping Mississippians with knowledge to solve housing challenges.

The month-long celebration, coordinated by MSU Extension's Healthy Homes Initiative, provides opportunities to engage in local activities and empowers families to protect themselves from hazards in their homes.

June 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Precision Agriculture
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cover crop economics and seed mixture considerations will be two of the many topics covered at this year's Seed Technology Short Course.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station invite seed industry professionals, producers and crop consultants to attend the course Aug. 1-2 at the Bost Extension Center.

Termites swarming on this decaying tree stump are a healthy part of nature, but homeowners must take steps to make sure they do not infest houses. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Household Insects, Termites, Insects-Pests
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service judged that the most economically important insects in the state should have their own website.

The site, https://extension.msstate.edu/termites, is the go-to place for information on termite biology, identification and control. The site describes the different species of termites found in the state and provides answers to common questions about the pests.

A member of the snapdragon family, the Serena Angelonia will grow to 1 foot tall and spread up to 14 inches. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
June 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Whenever I see Angelonias in a landscape, I'm reminded of my other favorite flowering annuals for the cool season: snapdragons.

Angelonia, a member of the snapdragon family, thrives in the full sun during the summer heat and humidity. This stamina is a requirement for our Mississippi gardens and landscapes and why I consider it one of the best plants for my hot summer garden.

Flood waters from the Mississippi River cover this Warren County soybean field north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on June 2, 2017. Recent excess rains and river flooding have some corn, cotton and soybean fields under water. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Although favorable spring weather helped many producers plant their corn, cotton and soybean crops early, most growers now need fields to dry out.

Well-timed early spring rains helped corn producers avoid irrigating their crops, but flooding from recent excess rain will force some to think about replanting with soybeans.

Young people enjoy canoe excursions on Bluff Lake in the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, located south of Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As a child, some of my favorite times were spent outdoors. Sadly, spending time outside is no longer the norm for many people.

Ryan Akers (left), an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, helps 4-H members examine items in a disaster preparedness backpack. Madison Crawford (second from left) and Leigh Anne Walley, both of Greene County, joined Caleb Walley and Bo Henderson, both of Wayne County, in the workshop on June 1 at the 2017 State 4-H Congress in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- June kicks off hurricane season, but every community in Mississippi is vulnerable to a variety of disasters throughout the calendar year.

Representatives of the Mississippi State University Extension Service have been on the front lines of preparedness and recovery efforts since the organization’s earliest days.

Rankin County 4-H member Robert Herrington takes a close look under the hood of a tractor as he identifies engine parts during a portion of the tractor competition on June 1, 2017. More than 700 4-H members took part in contests, workshops, tours and entertainment during their annual state meeting at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi 4-H competitions continue to help "make the best better" more than a century after the first corn clubs for boys and tomato clubs for girls were formed in the state.

Hundreds of 4-H members converged on Mississippi State University for three days of competitions, workshops, tours and entertainment from May 31 to June 2.

Although common in Southern landscapes, the Lady Banks rose dates back to the late 1790s and came from China. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

I wrote earlier about my 40-year struggle with growing roses. But during that time, there was one rose that was a great performer for me: a climbing rose called Blaze.

Jersey cows huddle outside the Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center in Sessums, Mississippi in February. Primarily due to a lower number of dairy cows, the state’s milk production in the first quarter of 2017 was down from the previous year. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Dairy
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fewer dairy cows than last year roam Mississippi pastures, so the state's milk production continues to steadily decline.

In the first quarter of 2017, milk production was down 7 percent from that time a year ago. From January to March of 2016, producers collected 42 million pounds of milk compared to 39 million pounds this year.

Computerized hole selection provides furrow irrigation of rice with water from a tailwater recovery system in the Mississippi Delta. (MSU Extension Service file photo)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As temperatures rise and rainfall declines over the hot summer months, it is important to use our water resources efficiently.

Luckily, there are technologies and innovative strategies that farmers can employ to make every drop of water count.

May 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing
By Ms. Leah Barbour
MSU Extension Service

New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency."

"My primary goal is to provide accurate soil analysis in a timely manner," said Jones, an Extension associate who has worked in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences since 2016. "I hope to improve the overall efficiency of the lab as well as update soil nutrient application recommendations."

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