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News From 2015

May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

GREENVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners and hunting clubs eager to earn extra income while improving land management for wildlife are invited to attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop on June 4 in Greenville.

May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

GOODMAN, Miss. -- Small-scale producers can learn online marketing skills and techniques for profitable one-acre production during a series of field days at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.

Although half the state's anticipated rice acreage was planted by late April, frequent rains have halted most planting in recent weeks. This rice field in Washington County, Mississippi, was photographed April 28, 2015. (Photo by Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station/Richard Turner)
May 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On paper, Mississippi’s rice crop is right on schedule, with half the crop planted by late April, but the reality is that recent rains have left planting at a near standstill.

In the Crop Progress and Condition Report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated 49 percent of the state’s rice was planted and 30 percent emerged by April 26.

Pond owners may want to consider using fertilization programs to increase fish production. However, discontinuing the program can lead to an unhealthy fish population. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications)
May 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

RAYMOND, Miss. -- One of the most common questions people ask about lakes and ponds is whether they need to apply fertilizer to promote fish population growth.

“Do I have to fertilize my lake and if so, what should I use and how much of it should be used?” I get these questions every year, and my response typically is, “How much fishing pressure does it receive? Are there any weed/invasive plant issues?” If there are just a few folks using the lake and not much fishing pressure, fertilizer may not be necessary.

Andy Berry
April 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Beef

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Andy Berry of Magee has been selected to lead the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association as the organization’s new executive vice president.

A 1998 graduate of Mississippi State University, Berry has been active in cattle programs since he began showing polled Herefords in the Lawrence County 4-H program. He was a charter member of the Mississippi Junior Cattlemen’s Association.

Alli George, a junior from Memphis, Tennessee, and Eventing Team vice president, competes with her horse, Belle of the Ball, in the show jumping phase of an eventing competition in Fairburn, Georgia, held April 4-5, 2015. (Submitted Photo)
April 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Working with horses is not uncommon for Mississippi State University students, but competing with them is.

The Eventing Team, or “Equestrian Triathlon,” is MSU’s newest equestrian club sport, founded in the fall of 2014. The introduction of the Eventing Team to MSU follows that of the introduction of the Equestrian Team in 2001.

Butterfly weed, also commonly known as milkweed, is beautiful, low maintenance and deer resistant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design

Home gardeners are showing more interest in planting native plants in the landscape. This makes a lot of sense because native plants have a greater tolerance to local environmental conditions. What holds them back is the fact that many have a limited ability to create excitement in the landscape.

One that defies that stereotype is the butterfly weed. This native plant was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012, an award given to plants selected for their superior and outstanding garden and landscape performance.

Frequent rains pushed both corn planting and corn emergence behind schedule in Mississippi. This corn was photographed April 21, 2015, in Starkville at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Corn

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Almost three-fourths of the state’s corn crop has been planted, but many areas -- especially farms outside the Delta -- still have been too wet to plant.

“Rainfall has definitely delayed corn planting this spring and been our major production limitation,” said Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We’ve got areas of the state where they were able to plant most of their intentions, and other areas where they haven’t even gotten their machines out of the shed yet.”

Most fire ants found in Mississippi are a hybrid between the red imported fire ant, pictured here, and the black imported fire ant. (Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum/Joe A. MacGown)
April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Fire Ants

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tell Mississippians that fire ants have completely invaded the state, and they’ll probably shrug and say they already know that. Tell them the pain actually comes from a sting rather than a bite, and they’ll say it still hurts. But tell them how to get rid of the nasty critters, and they’re all ears.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is organizing efforts to help residents Bite Back against fire ants. The solution is a simple two-part attack, but success comes in the long-term follow-through.

April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children with an interest in robots, snow and problem-solving are invited to a robotics camp at Mississippi State University.

The Cloverbud Robotics camp, a program of the MSU Extension Service and 4-H Robotics, is for students from age 5 to 8. The camp will be July 6-8 from 8 a.m. to noon each day at the Bost Conference Center.

In Mississippi, most venomous snakes, such as this copperhead, have a triangular-shaped head with vertical, cat-like pupils in their eyes. The only exception is the coral snake. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Hannah)
April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Warmer weather means wild creatures of all shapes and sizes are on the move, which makes it a whole lot more likely you will encounter a snake during the spring or summer.

Kay Whittington, director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Office of Land and Water Resources, speaks to Mississippi State University faculty and administrators during MDEQ's visit to MSU Monday, April 20, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University project updates and future programs to address environmental issues were the focus of a campus visit by officials from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Keenan Watkins (left) and J.D. Rodgers check tree seedlings they planted in the forestry course offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility near Houston, Mississippi. This photo was taken on April 20, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
April 22, 2015 - Filed Under: Community

HOUSTON, Miss. -- Warden Brand Huffman wants his inmates to learn a lesson or two while they are spending time in the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility.

Beyond learning not to commit more crimes when released, Huffman wants them to discover ways to make positive contributions to their future communities. This goal drew him to programs offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

“The people who are locked up are eventually going back into communities,” Huffman said. “We want to give them something they can use when they get out.”

April 22, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has appointed Steve Martin as its interim associate director for agriculture and natural resources.

April 22, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After decades of service to Mississippi State University, a long-time scientist and administrator is retiring.

Joe Street, associate director for agriculture and natural resources with the MSU Extension Service, will retire April 30.

Sun coleus has moved from an obscure shade plant to a popular full sun plant that thrives in Mississippi summers. Plant breeders have developed rich and highly variegated sun coleus selections. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Even though we’re still early in spring, we need to get ready for the sweltering temperatures we know are on the way. This means we have to start planting two of my favorite summer plants that pack a powerful punch of summer color: SunPatiens and sun coleus.

SunPatiens love growing in full sun during the hottest parts of summer. SunPatiens are an improvement of New Guinea-type impatiens that can be grown in full sun. They have beautiful variegations and bloom from the time they are planted in late April or May through the fall.

April 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Young people and adult coaches interested in honing their livestock judging skills have several opportunities at upcoming Mississippi State University camps.

The MSU Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will hold two residential camps and two half-day camps in May and June.

Participants will judge sheep, meat goats, hogs and beef cattle, and they will learn to develop oral reasoning skills.

Horses, riders and volunteers involved in the Mississippi State University therapeutic riding program, such as these pictured in 2014, will take part in performances at 6 p.m. April 14 at the Mississippi Horse Park. (MSU Ag Communication file photo)
April 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- About 40 riders involved in Mississippi State University’s therapeutic riding program will exhibit their skills in a special event at 6 p.m. April 14.

Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the MSU Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, is planning this first-ever exhibition to showcase riders and volunteers. The program will take place south of Starkville at the Mississippi Horse Park, located at 869 East Poorhouse Road.

Poor weather conditions often stretch out Mississippi's row crop planting season as overly wet or cool fields keep planters in the barn. (File Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
April 17, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Crops, Soils

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Seeing planters in the field is an expected part of spring in rural areas, but a lot of effort goes into making sure they run at the right time.

Planting season in Mississippi begins with corn in late February to early March and often runs into July as the last of the soybeans are planted after wheat harvest. The long planting window allows producers the opportunity to get a crop in the ground even when the weather is not ideal at typical peak planting times.

Baby wild animals, such as this robin, may appear abandoned, but usually a parent is nearby. Humans should let nature take its course. (Submitted photo)
April 17, 2015 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- April showers bring May flowers, as the old adage tells us. However, spring also brings baby wild animals.

Longer days and warmer temperatures are triggers that cause birds and other wildlife to mate and have young. Winter conditions are harsh, but spring has softer days and plentiful food, conditions more ideal for raising offspring.