High input costs and low milk prices have made it hard to be a dairy farmer anywhere in the U.S., but Mississippi producers have it harder than most. Amanda Stone, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the number of dairy farms in the state continues to dwindle.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Increasing buffalo gnat populations are more than a nuisance to central and south Mississippians; they cause measurable, sometimes fatal harm to chickens and livestock.
Swarms of these insects, also known as black flies, are killing backyard chickens and causing headaches for small-scale poultry producers in central and south Mississippi. At about 3 millimeters long, buffalo gnats breed in flowing water, so outbreaks tend to be in areas near rivers or streams.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summer has arrived, and your pond is heating up!
The surface water of local ponds feels like freshly run bath water, but it gets cold deeper in the pond. In the peak of summer, surface water temperatures in a deep pond can be in the low to mid 90s, while the deepest areas might still be in the lower 70s.
Several years ago, many businesses and organizations began offering digital badges to replace the traditional certificates that signify the successful completion of some specialized, non-accredited course or workshop. These badges are icons or symbols that offer instant recognition of the expertise of the individual. If you’re a fan of social media like I am, then you certainly know about group badge icons.
The U.S. passion fruit industry is small, but a team of researchers want to help it grow through a grant awarded to Mississippi State University. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is leading a research project aimed at gathering input from growers, marketers, consumers and buyers. The research team wants to better understand the current industry and its future direction.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Early May delivered favorable weather conditions for most of Mississippi’s cotton producers, allowing them to get their crops in the ground at the ideal time.
There is a lot of attention being paid to helping Monarch butterflies, and why not? These amazing insects are the only butterfly species known to have a migration pattern much like birds. Using environmental cues, they migrate south in the fall to overwintering grounds in Mexico. In the spring, they migrate north to breeding grounds all across North America.
Mississippi author, host and columnist Gary Bachman will be a featured guest in October at the 2022 Louisiana Book Festival presenting his book, “Southern Gardening All Year Round.”
Bachman is host of the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Southern Gardening television show and author of the weekly Southern Gardening newspaper column.
May is one of my favorite months in the garden and landscape because so many plants are just starting to hit their stride. Bright-green, new foliage seems to be everywhere among my many hibiscuses and other flowering shrubs. One of my May favorites is the daylily.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Gardeners who want to preserve their abundant harvests by canning should make their list and check it twice -- now, before it’s time to begin canning. Home canners should be sure they have the right recipes and equipment for the foods they intend to preserve. They should also make sure they inspect all their equipment.
I visited my daughter who lives in Augusta, Georgia, during the Christmas holidays to help her landscape her new house. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the garden center, picking out great plants that would perform well in her landscape. The best of what we bought that day in December was the Sunshine Ligustrum.
Fourteen Choctaw Central and Neshoba Central high school students got a look at college life April 26 when a 4-H career prep program took them to preview day at Mississippi State University. The young people met with MSU students who are fellow members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, or MBCI. They also examined one of the EcoCAR club’s hybrid vehicles, heard about the admissions process and were given an idea of what the academic experience will be like.
One of the most confusing things when reading about plants in the landscape or talking to other gardeners about them is the use of common names. White it is understandable that we use common names -- remembering and using botanical Latin is hard -- it does lead to confusion. Some plants have two or more common names, and there are other instances where two different species have the same common name. For example, consider the common name, spider lily.
Corn producers who risked current high input costs in hopes of reaping high market prices at harvest are now waiting for a series of warm, sunny days to complete planting. Will Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said high input costs and high market prices have presented challenges to growers trying to decide what crops to plant.
While many of my Northern gardening friends are still dealing with freezing temperatures, I spent this past weekend out in my coastal Mississippi landscape appreciating the fact that my tomatoes are planted and my roses are blooming.
It was the roses that really caught my attention. All of my rose plants are blooming their stems off, even though I missed the ideal pruning period of late January/early February. When I finally had time to prune, all the bushes were already pushing new growth, but the pruning still needed to be done.
Scams come in a variety of disguises, and some of them are very convincing. It can be especially hard to ignore phone calls from what appears to be a legitimate community business, organization or individual. But those calls could be coming from scammers anywhere in the world. Telemarketers out to defraud customers use caller ID spoofing to intentionally hide their identity by falsifying the information transmitted to someone’s caller ID.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is promoting a free water sampling campaign in seven Mississippi Delta counties.
Water samples will be analyzed for coliform bacteria and metals. Any Mississippi resident with a private well is eligible to participate. Test kits and detailed sampling instructions will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants can pick up sampling bottles April 26 to May 10 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the following MSU Extension county offices:
Farm supply stores are full of cute chicks in the spring, and the sight of the fluffy baby birds, combined with future dreams of fresh eggs, prompts many people to impulsively start a backyard flock.
Hydrangeas are among the most popular flowering shrubs in Mississippi and across the country. But when talking to home gardeners, it seems these beautiful shrubs are shrouded in mystery about how to care for them in the landscape.
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