The word “termite” strikes fear in the hearts of homeowners because this insect is the most economically damaging pest in Mississippi, is very common and requires constant vigilance. Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the cost of termites is so large that it is hard to pin down.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi 4-H health and wellness program is expanding after receiving a $100,000 grant from a large health care and insurance company.
UnitedHealthCare awarded the grant to the Mississippi State University Extension Service to expand the Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program -- or JrMWV. This program equips young people with health messages that help improve health literacy and lead to choices and lifestyle changes for a healthier Mississippi.
As we move further into the fall season, I wonder if there is a more fitting and fun fruit than a pumpkin? Pumpkins have become a major part of any autumnal or Halloween decoration. And who can resist a fresh pumpkin pie? I know I can’t!
A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist was recently reelected to the National Board of Public Health Examiners board of directors. Initially elected in 2020, David Buys, Extension health specialist and associate professor in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, will now serve a second two-year term.
One of the sights I look forward to each year is goldenrod in full bloom. Beginning in late August and peaking about the third week of September, goldenrods seem to be along the roadsides of every highway and in in every natural area and field. The masses of bright yellow are gorgeous, and it’s hard for me to consider the goldenrod as a weed.
The state’s corn crop suffered through a very hot and dry summer after a later-than-usual planting season, so yields will be lower this year -- but not much lower overall. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the crop was 71% harvested as of Sept. 11. Frequent rains in late August and early September slowed harvest considerably, but growers have been making tremendous progress when sunny weather allows.
COMO, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will cohost a collaborative field day in Panola County Sept. 29 to share information about cover crops and reduced-till farming, soil and water health, and pasture soil and water management.
The Mississippi Land Stewardship field day runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and begins at Buckeye Farms at 3251 Tom Floyd Road in Como. Attendees will then travel to two different fields, one row crop and one pasture. The field day will conclude at Home Place Pastures. A complimentary lunch is included for participants.
Deer hunters are urgently needed to participate in the battle to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease among the state’s prized white-tailed deer population. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a 100% fatal, transmissible, neurogenerative disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that deer infected with this disease should not be eaten. One challenge of detecting the disease is that until deer enter the last stages of CWD, they often appear completely healthy.
If you are a sports fan -- or even if aren’t but don’t want to let that secret out -- one way to show off your allegiance is in the garden. There may not be a better way to combine interests than through a creative display that can include blooms, foliage and even garden art.
September and October have many home gardeners wondering what to do with their landscapes for the next couple of months. Summer annuals are nearly worn out, and the weather is still too warm for winter color to be established. I have found fall mums to be an ideal bridge crop.
Angus Catchot assumed the role of interim head of the Mississippi State University Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center Sept. 1. Catchot, who is currently the associate director of operations for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, will provide temporary leadership for the center’s faculty and staff, as well as the region’s branch experiment stations.
Gary Jackson, who has served as director of the MSU Extension Service since 2011, has been selected to fill a new leadership position focused on university outreach and engagement activities.
Jackson will fill the newly created position of associate vice president for outreach and engagement, effective Sept. 1. Steve Martin, currently associate director for county operations, will serve as interim Extension director.
A few sassafras trees across Mississippi have started to show signs of dieback, and Mississippi State University is asking for help in identifying affected trees. The trees are suspected of having laurel wilt, a disease caused by a fungus that has already proven deadly to the state’s redbay trees. The fungus is carried by the redbay ambrosia beetle, an invasive species native to Asia.
Most cotton in Mississippi got off to an excellent start in May, received the heat needed in June and July, and now is ready for sunny skies so growers can harvest a potentially above-average crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 56% of the crop is in good or excellent shape, with another 38% estimated at fair. As of Aug. 28, bolls were opening on an estimated 25% of the crop.
Over the weekend, we had a most welcome visitor return to my home garden and landscape after an absence of several months. Our first hummingbird of the fall season arrived, and this was an indicator of lots of activity in the next few weeks. I get excited to see the first fall hummingbirds because it means they’re going to start gathering all along the Gulf Coast in preparation for their fall migration.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Portions of central Mississippi and the lower Mississippi Delta saw more than 1 foot of rain between Aug. 21 and 25, and flash flooding will affect some agricultural commodities in these areas.
Torrential downpours dropped 8-13 inches of rain in much of Leake, Neshoba, Scott, Kemper, Hinds and Newton counties, as well as parts of surrounding counties, prompting road closures and evacuations.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Late summer and early fall are when many growers begin thinking about when to make their last cut of hay each year, but safety should always be the top priority of anyone operating a baler, whether it is May or October.
Regular equipment maintenance and inspections are the best ways to prevent hay baler fires, but disaster can sometimes happen regardless of good upkeep and storage practices.
Even though we’re still in a very warm August, now is the time to start thinking about fall color. It can be a garden challenge trying to maintain a variety of color in the coming cool-season landscape. In my opinion, dianthus is one good choice to help keep your garden interesting, and it is an easy choice for that extra splash of cool-season color.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Delta Agricultural Weather Center stations typically record historical weather data and help growers make production decisions, but now they are also key components of a new honeybee study at Mississippi State University.
Esmaeil Amiri, an assistant professor of apiculture with the MSU Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is using the facilities and datasets provided by the weather center for his research team’s study on the effect of weather on honeybee health.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The presence of a water source on private land can make a property much more desirable for several reasons. Whether it’s a lake, pond, stream or river, a water source provides opportunities for recreation, development, agricultural production, and wildlife and fisheries habitat.
A key aspect of maintaining the value of the water resource is ensuring that it is protected and used wisely.
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