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News From 2016

September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Food and Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi food producers, buyers, economic developers and marketing professionals can attend an upcoming session of the Local Foods Resource Mapping Project to help strengthen the state’s local food network.

Mississippi is one of six states hosting the pilot project aimed at connecting people interested in the growing farm-to-table movement. Other participating states are Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Grain sorghum acreage was low this year because of low prices and sugarcane aphid problems. Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Erick Larson examined sorghum ready for harvest Sept. 15, 2016, at MSU’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Grains

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grain sorghum acres are very low in the state, a response to prices returning to their usual range and sugarcane aphids continuing to be a scourge to the crop.

Male and female northern cardinals and a mourning dove search for food in a brush pile. (Photo by Chris Taylor,
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Wildlife enthusiasts often ask how to attract more animals to their property, and the answer is more complicated than most people realize.

Wildlife have four basic needs: food, water, cover and space. Typically, most folks have plenty of food and water available for wildlife through natural sources and supplemental sources like bird feeders and baths.

Minerva Graham (left) and Shelia Sanders, co-directors and co-owners of the Rainbow Learning Center in New Albany, receive educational technical assistance and support for school-age children through the Early Years Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. This photo was taken Aug. 25, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alexandra Woolbright)
September 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

NEW ALBANY, Miss. -- School-age programs can take a backseat to activities for younger children at many child care centers, prompting Minerva Graham to change that situation at Rainbow Learning Center.

More than a decade ago, Graham was working as a schoolteacher in Tupelo, Mississippi, and her friend Shelia Sanders was providing in-home child care.

In 2002, the two women decided to go into business together and open Rainbow Learning Center in New Albany. The co-directors and co-owners have been working to provide quality child care at the center ever since.

September 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Gardening enthusiasts and horticulture professionals can learn about the latest plants and gardening techniques during the Fall Flower & Garden Fest Oct. 14 and 15 in Crystal Springs.

“Detective Bachman” examines a struggling plant to figure out how to fix a problem it faced in the landscape. (Photo by MSU Extension Service)
September 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent gardener. This is south Mississippi. My name is Bachman. I’m an Extension horticulture specialist.

Aside from my duties as the Southern Gardener for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, I also serve as a crime fighter. I fight crimes against the garden and landscape.

William Ruffin, a research associate with the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University, mows turf research plots at the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
September 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Demand for turfgrass in Mississippi is stabilizing as housing starts trend up nationally.

Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said favorable weather, coupled with optimism in the national housing market, is welcome news to the state’s sod growers.

September 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Food Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A food safety specialist with industry and public service experience recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Courtney Crist began work as an assistant Extension professor Aug. 16 in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

Use off-road vehicles on designated trails, such as this one at the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex in West Point, Mississippi, to reduce negative impacts on the environment. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Leslie Burger)
September 9, 2016 - Filed Under: ATV Safety, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Speeding along a wooded trail on a bright, chilly morning can bring a lot of enjoyment and excitement. And it sure is a lot easier getting to that back-country deer blind or dove field if you can load up all the gear and head off on wheels.

But the off-road vehicle you may be riding -- whether a 4x4 all-terrain vehicle, side-by-side utility vehicle or dirt bike -- has some downsides. While undeniably fun and useful in transportation, an off-road vehicle can also be an environmental hazard and personal nuisance when used incorrectly.  

September 8, 2016 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dry September weather has Mississippi soybean producers on opposite ends of the irrigation spectrum: Some are done, while others want to water one more time.

Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, has a question for them: What do the soil moisture sensors say?

September 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Natural Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Volunteers can help tidy their beaches and coastal waterways during this year’s Mississippi Coastal Cleanup event Oct. 22.

The 28th annual event begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. at more than 40 cleanup sites in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. Under the direction of Coastal Cleanup zone captains, participants will clear designated areas of debris, such as plastic bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags and food wrappers.

September 6, 2016 - Filed Under: About Extension, Agriculture

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The new Mississippi State University provost and executive vice president, Judy Bonner, toured the university’s off-campus Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station [MAFES] facilities on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

September 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MOUNT OLIVE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing hydroponic produce and selling their crops to institutions during the upcoming Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day Sept. 16.

The on-farm field day will be at Triple Eaton Farm, located at 953 Mt. Olive Road in Mt. Olive.

Farm owner Leon Eaton will share his experience of growing hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables, as well as marketing produce to specialty food stores and restaurants. Attendees will get a tour of Eaton’s hydroponic growing system.

Mississippi State University Extension Service’s own Gary Bachman discovered the variegated beautyberry called Duet in 2000. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
September 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Now that we’re finally into September, I think many of our landscape plants are rejoicing in anticipation of the (hopefully) coming milder temperatures as much as I am. The colorful annuals that survived the hot summer will start to recover, while other landscape plants have been waiting for this season to begin their show.

David Young, left, and Sean Meacham, both with the Mississippi State University Geosystems Research Institute, demonstrate one model of unmanned aircraft in Raymond on Aug. 29 for members of Mississippi’s U.S. congressional staff during a two-day tour of the state’s agricultural industry. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Members of Mississippi’s U.S. congressional staff met with agricultural producers, industry leaders and Mississippi State University experts during a recent two-day tour.

Six congressional staffers from each district toured key aspects of the state’s No. 1 industry Aug. 29 and 30.

September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Dairy

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi dairy farmers have a new specialist to advise them on best management practices and solutions to problems.

Amanda Stone began work on Aug. 16 with the Mississippi State University Extension Service as assistant Extension professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences.

Landowners should consider several factors when preparing hunting leases for their land, including what wildlife species individuals may hunt on the land -- from bobwhite quail to white-tailed deer. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Daryl Jones)
September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There are several things landowners should consider before allowing people to use or rent their land for recreation, such as hunting and fishing.

Important considerations include drafting a legal lease, addressing accident liability concerns and figuring out what to charge. With a recreational or hunting lease, the landowner grants access to his or her land for recreational purposes for a certain period of time in exchange for fees or services.

Mississippi State University field personnel begin the rice harvest on test plots at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Mississippi. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Bobby Golden)
September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Cue the song “Anticipation” for Mississippi’s rice growers because that title and chorus perfectly describe this point in the season.

“The majority of our rice fields are drained, and we are just waiting for conditions to stay dry long enough for harvests,” said Bobby Golden, Extension rice specialist based at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “The weather has made us about 10 days later than normal. Harvest activity should increase rapidly in the first days of September as long as we stay dry.”

September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

CLEVELAND, Miss. -- Business-minded Mississippians who realize that tourism is a lucrative enterprise that reaches far beyond the state’s beaches will have an opportunity for training and funding in October.

Leveraging Cultural Tourism for Community Development is a two-day workshop planned for Oct. 13-14 in Cleveland, Mississippi. It will teach anyone interested and involved in tourism how to design tours, create weekend getaways and capitalize on current tourism trends and resources available in the Mississippi Delta.

Dr. Alicia Olivier, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, prepares to view a histology slide from a necropsy under a microscope. MSU offers this service to help determine causes of death for animals. (Photo by MSU-CVM/Tom Thompson)
September 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Animal Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Thor was an aging but happy English mastiff living in Louisville with Vanessa Beeson, her husband Ray and son Avett, 4. When this once 200-pound dog’s health declined, he dropped to 135 pounds.

“Around May 2014, we noticed that Thor started to be a little less competent on his back legs,” Beeson said. “He started a slow decline with hip dysplasia, a torn ACL and other problems, and he began to lose his mobility and function.”