News From 2021
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When the calendar turns to September, many who call Mississippi home long for cooler temperatures to relieve the summer’s heat, but the state’s cotton growers want high temperatures and dry weather to drag into October.
As I wrote this column, I also was watching the weather as Hurricane Ida aimed for the northern Gulf of Mexico. As such, I spent time in the garden picking and harvesting various crops that I don’t want to lose. One group of plants I harvested were my specialty peppers that I’ve been babying all through this hot and humid summer. I brought in both biquinho and aji charapita peppers.
It seems that wild turkeys don’t like humidity any more than people do. That is a finding of a study conducted by the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, or FWRC, in response to concerns that Mississippi’s turkey season was not timed properly.
As we’re marching through the gardening year, I just knew it was going to happen. I’m not ready for it; it’s still too hot and humid, and I’m behind on the summer projects still on my to-do list. But when I visited a big box store garden center this weekend, I saw them out on full endcap display. Of course, I’m referring to fall mums.
Entrepreneurs can get the resources and training needed to launch a small business in 30 days in an upcoming series of online courses.
StartUp Mississippi participants will learn how to create a small business plan, conduct a market analysis, promote their business on social media, gain necessary resources for establishing a business, and create and maintain a webpage.
Mississippi’s peanut crop is well on its way to a strong finish for 2021.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Recreation in and around water is a great way to get outside in the warmer months and still stay cool. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, wildlife watching, exploring creeks and streams, or paddling coastal bays and estuaries, Mississippi’s waterways have a lot to offer.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the zinnias I’m growing in the hell strip planting bed out by the street. It is gorgeous; judging by the response we’ve had on social media, an awful lot of other gardeners agree.
After mowing my lawn yesterday and cooling off in the shade, I admired the colorful show from the various zinnias.
Curtis VanderSchaaf joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service in the southwest region as a forestry specialist with regional and statewide duties. He also is a faculty member in the MSU Department of Forestry.
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.
- 2023 (11)
- 2022 (187)
- 2021 (177)
- 2020 (212)
- 2019 (223)
- 2018 (276)
- 2017 (338)
- 2016 (383)
- 2015 (457)
- 2014 (498)
- 2013 (490)
- 2012 (492)
- 2011 (356)
- 2010 (323)
- 2009 (313)
- 2008 (273)
- 2007 (263)
- 2006 (252)
- 2005 (278)
- 2004 (273)
- 2003 (279)
- 2002 (228)
- 2001 (238)
- 2000 (243)
- 1999 (233)
- 1998 (232)
- 1997 (239)
- 1996 (58)
- 1995 (36)