News From 2021
When members of the Jackson chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority brainstormed ways to serve their community, they decided to start a gardening project. Their plan was twofold: grow fresh produce for members of the community who could not get to the grocery store on a regular basis; and get community members involved and teach them how to grow produce. But they soon discovered they were going to need some guidance.
A crisis exemption that allowed Mississippi rice farmers to control fall armyworms helped them keep this year’s crop in good condition as harvest approaches.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- 4-H Game Day at Mississippi State University will be held before the Bulldogs’ second home football game Sept. 11.
Bost Extension Center Building B on the MSU campus will be the site of the annual tailgate for the state’s 4-H’ers and 4-H clubs. The tailgate features various games, activities, prizes and food leading up to the 6 p.m. kickoff against North Carolina State University. There is also an option to join the tailgate virtually on Zoom.
Lawns, pastures and even winter food plots are at risk as an insect army advances across much of the state in higher than normal numbers. Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fall armyworms are the most damaging insect pests of bermudagrass hayfields and pastures
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading three times as easily as previous strains in Mississippi and unvaccinated patients comprising most of the state’s cases, receiving the vaccine is now more critical than ever to slow the spread.
State health leaders are strongly encouraging Mississippians still grappling with vaccine hesitancy to consult governmental sources when seeking out data to inform their decisions. As of Aug. 5, 39% of Mississippians had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while only a third were fully vaccinated.
All the gardeners I know try really hard to keep their landscapes colorful even when the summer temperatures and humidity are keeping them inside. Smart gardeners use a secret weapon for color in the heat of the summer: colorful foliage.
People can enjoy the annual rice tasting event held in Bolivar County in a different format this year. The Rice Festival will be held Sept. 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the streets of downtown Merigold.
Gardeners who want to give back to their communities can take advantage of an online training opportunity to hone their skills this fall. Registration opens Aug. 15 and ends Sept. 15 for the newest class of Master Gardeners.
Mississippi’s climate has proven to be ideally suited to hosting a variety of introduced, invasive plants and insects, but vigilant residents can prevent these pests from becoming overwhelming problems. One of the latest invaders is the box tree moth. North Mississippi residents are confronting this new challenge, which is a serious pest of boxwood shrubs that began showing up on boxwoods bought in Tennessee this spring.
This summer has been one of the toughest I’ve experienced in all my years in horticulture. The heat and humidity have taken a toll on our garden and landscape plants, as well as the gardeners. I’m getting older, and I’m wilting a lot faster than in the past.
Most soybeans in Mississippi are having a good year to date, with 82% of the crop appearing in good or excellent shape past the midway point in the season.
Prices also look good, with averages above those of recent years.
In late July, 54 stakeholders from across the country met in person and remotely to hammer out their perspectives on the best way to sustain the nation’s sweet potato industry.
When Mississippi’s oppressive heat and humidity drive gardeners indoors, there’s one blooming beauty sure to brings us back outdoors: the Rudbeckia. These flowers, also commonly known as black-eyed Susans, make gorgeous cut flowers for indoor use.
LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Jim McAdory wears many hats. On any given day, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent fields calls from local cattle farmers, teaches kids about the importance of daily nutrition, and tests soil to diagnose front yard and garden harvest problems -- all before lunch.
Based in Winston County, McAdory recently gained an additional role: Mental Health First Aid instructor.
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.
Looking at gardens and landscapes across the South in July, there’s one plant that has most gardeners talking. You may have guessed that I’m referring to the crape myrtle. Who doesn’t love the large, showy panicles with their many small, individual flowers?
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many Mississippi restaurants that serve catfish have had to pay their distributors more to keep the popular Southern dish on the menu this year or go without, but pond inventory is not the primary issue.
Instead, labor shortages at processing plants are more to blame, said Jimmy Avery, Extension aquaculture professor at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Industry data, he said, show processing is down 9% for the first five months of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The amount of trash along Mississippi’s roadways and waterways is distressing. Beer bottles, soda cans, soiled diapers, cardboard boxes and fast-food wrappers are routine. Tires, gas cans and household appliances are not uncommon.
Every day, people discard millions of tons of trash in recycling containers or garbage cans. Unfortunately, people also leave trash in other places where it can harm wildlife, pets and even other people.