News From 2022
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.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The rollout of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers more hope to individuals dealing with mental-health-related distress. That population includes farmers and farm workers, who are among those most at risk for suicide and mental health distress.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male agricultural workers have the fourth highest suicide rate among men in all industries.
Mississippi rice producers and crop specialists are optimistic about the state’s 2022 harvest despite a high population of rice stink bugs that were difficult to treat.
As the time nears for summer to turn to fall and temperatures drop, I get excited thinking about the changes this will bring to the landscape. Depending on where you garden in Mississippi, September, October and November can be filled with some of the brightest colors of the year.
After last week’s discussion of growing sunflowers in the fall season, I was inspired to consider what is involved in growing yellow flowers all year in most Mississippi gardens and landscapes. Obviously, different plants need to be selected for the different seasons, so I’ve put together a list of yellow flowers that you can enjoy through the year.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Over-the-counter medications and supplements seem safer than prescription drugs, but a dramatic rise in pediatric melatonin overdoses serves as a warning that these products can be dangerous and must be stored safely.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 530% increase in melatonin overdose in children from 2012 to 2020. Most of these ingestions were unintentional and occurred among children 5 or younger in their homes.
I think sunflowers fall into the category of sunny, summer royalty. One of the most striking sunflower sights I have ever seen was while driving through North and South Dakota on the way to Sturgis and Bike Week. There were miles and miles -- acres and acres -- of yellow sunflowers blooming for as far as the eye could see.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The condition of Mississippi’s soybean crop in early August literally depends on where you stand.
“We have some really good-looking irrigated soybeans that were planted in the optimum planting window and have made it to this point of the season with very few issues, other than extreme heat,” said Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We even have some nonirrigated soybeans that could fall into that same description after catching several timely rains.
Mississippi pastures, hay fields and lawns are threatened annually by fall armyworms, and close observation and quick action are the only ways to successfully battle the pests again this year. Keith Whitehead works in Franklin County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He said no one knows each year how bad the fall armyworm problem will be or when the insects will show up.
The state’s sweet potato growers will have a wealth of information available to them in a half-day event Aug. 25 in Pontotoc. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are hosting the 2022 Sweet Potato Field Day at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station. There is no cost to attend. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the station tour starting at 8:30.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dates for the fall 2022 session of the Master Gardener course have been set.
Registration for the asynchronous online seminars will be open from August 15 to September 12. The sessions will be available from October 3 to December 2. Once registration opens, it can be accessed at http://msuext.ms/mg.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Though monkeypox is not as easily spread as COVID-19, it has become a public health concern as documented case counts approach 4,000 nationwide.
The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder. Infections in this outbreak are from the West African type, which has an infection fatality rate of 1% and is considered the milder of the two types of the virus.
Following last year’s significant fall armyworm outbreak, hay producers should be careful not to overlook another important pest -- the Bermudagrass stem maggot -- while watching for armyworms. While farm armyworms attack hay fields, home lawns, golf courses and more, the non-native Bermudagrass stem maggot is primarily a pest of hay fields.
A producer with 40 years’ experience growing high-quality rice using environmentally sustainable practices has been named Mississippi’s 2022 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. Mike Wagner grows top-quality rice while preserving the soil and environment on his Two Brooks Rice farm in Tallahatchie and Leflore counties. He also grows non-genetically modified soybeans.
CARRIERE, Miss. -- Individuals interested in muscadine production can attend an upcoming field day dedicated to the fruit. The 2022 Muscadine Field Day will be held Aug. 25 at the Mississippi State University McNeill Research Unit.
Simply walking out the front door each day, we’re reminded that it is a blistering hot summer season. But believe it or not, now is the time to start planning and getting ready for the fall vegetable garden. We’re only 36 days from the meteorological start of the fall gardening season.
BILOXI -- Across Mississippi, bats provide incredible ecosystem benefits as the primary predators of night-flying insects, while also being one of the most misunderstood mammals in the world.
Bats evoke different feelings and thoughts within different folks when they appear in the evening sky. Some are in awe of the flying mammals’ acrobatics, while others are hesitant to appreciate their nightly presence. But there’s no mistaking that bats are vital players within the environment.
A Mississippi State University Extension Service program is organizing a list of qualified child care centers and schools in anticipation of funding for addressing lead in drinking water. Facilities with sample results that show elevated levels of lead in drinking water will be flagged for funding on a first-come, first-served basis in order of participation date and highest levels of lead exposure.
Mississippi State University and Sea Grant’s efforts to help coastal communities prepare for expected sea level rise has now produced an application guide to assist decision-makers and community planners. https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/sealevelrise/sealevelrise-tech-report-sections.html#application-guideThe recent 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report projects an average of around 1.5 feet of higher waters along the Mississippi coastline by 2050. The report was released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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