Mississippi’s diverse soils, abundant rainfall, and moderate climate allow producers to plant a wide variety of agricultural crops. From iconic cotton to cutting-edge energy crops for biofuels, MSU scientists support the state’s agricultural commodities in a variety of ways.
Extension agents and specialists address growers’ immediate needs and challenges and help producers use university-based research to determine the most efficient production methods, best management practices, and most effective seed varieties for their unique needs.
For the most up-to-date information on the state’s agricultural crops, visit the Mississippi Crop Situation blog.
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.
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.
If you have a home garden, you know the headache of dealing with garden pests. Insects can damage the produce, both directly and indirectly. There are a multitude of different insects that can wreak havoc on your vegetables. We asked MSU Extension Entomology Specialist Blake Layton what are the five most common insects he sees in gardens. Here’s his list:
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.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Watermelon production is on track despite cool weather at planting.
“I’ve been in our watermelon fields a good bit over the past several days,” Heath Steede, Mississippi State University Extension agent in George County, said on June 9. “The crop looks really good. We had a slow start with the cool nights this spring, but they caught up later. The watermelons are stacked in there, and we’ll have a good crop as far as the number of melons.”
Continuous rains, however, have Steede a little concerned.
Variety trials exemplify Extension’s service to growers through pandemic
For 10 years, a small portion of Moody Farms in Tishomingo County has been sectioned off for cotton variety trial plots. That streak continued in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vardaman producer named Farmer of the Year
When Joe Edmondson surveys his farming operation at Topashaw Farms, he thinks about his more than 40 full-time employees and the hundreds of seasonal workers who work the acres.
Rice is one of Mississippi’s only commodities to be grown, milled, packaged, sold, and eaten right here in the state. And, for decades, the annual Rice Tasting Luncheon in Cleveland, Mississippi, has allowed local residents to show off their best rice-based dishes at Delta State University in Bolivar County, which produces more than 1.5 million hundredweight of rice annually.
John McKee refers to the Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course as a “convention of rock stars.”
In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.