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Feature Story

A woman holds a stalk of grain while standing in a field.
July 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Rice, Soybeans

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.

Catfish swimming above a net.
July 16, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish

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.

Portrait of farmers market produce
July 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farmers Markets

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is working to enhance direct sales, farmers markets, and local food development in northeast Mississippi as part of a new project “From Gravel Roads to City Streets” funded by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

July 8, 2021 - Filed Under: AIM for CHangE

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Only eight teams were accepted into the Society of Public Health Education Writing for Publication Workshop this summer, and one of them is from Mississippi State University.

Katharine Halfacre and Masey Smith, Extension specialists in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, were accepted into the competitive program for their involvement with the MSU Extension program AIM for CHangE.

July 7, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Safety Programs, 4-H SAFETY

Qualifying senior 4-H members will compete in the Mississippi 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. State Invitational July 16 and 17 at the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex in West Point and at the Starkville Gun Club.

A photo of a female Asian horntail wasp.
June 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests

Mississippi is home to several flying insects that can be mistaken for the invasive Asian giant hornet discovered in Washington in 2020. Blake Layton, Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said this insect, also called a “murder hornet,” has not been confirmed outside the Northwest. However, Layton said he has been contacted by people who think they have seen these hornets in Mississippi and Alabama in the last few weeks.

A large, yellow machine lifts downed trees to load onto a log truck.
June 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Timber Prices, Timber Harvest

Although construction costs are through the roof timber prices have not kept pace, and Mississippi forest landowners are waiting for improved markets. Shaun Tanger, a forestry economics specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the recent increase in construction costs is a demand-side phenomena.

Water stands in a corn field
June 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- MSU Extension agents will be assessing agricultural damage from early-June flooding until well into July, but preliminary estimates indicate losses could break records.

The 2019 Yazoo Backwater Area flood caused $617 million in crop damage alone. It looks like the more recent flood will exceed those losses.

Heavy rainfall, primarily north of U.S. Highway 82, throughout the second week of June waterlogged crops during critical growth stages. Flooding caused complete or partial losses in many fields.

A tractor parked outside of a shed at night.
June 24, 2021 - Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative
By Erica Hensley
For the MSU Extension Service

Colby Hardin managed his depression since he was diagnosed at 18. With medication, he kept it under control throughout college, while working at Mississippi State University's dairy farm.

June 23, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A yearly seed technology short course offered at Mississippi State University has expanded its scope to include additional agricultural technologies.

The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station invite seed industry professionals, producers and crop consultants to attend the Seed and Ag Technology Short Course Aug. 3-4 at the Bost Extension Conference Center.

Two people step off a bus.
June 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, AIM for CHangE, Rural Health

Citizens in northern Sunflower County can use a new ride-sharing service to maintain an independent and healthy lifestyle. The service, called Healthy Destination Access, kicked off June 15 with ribbon cuttings in Rome and Drew.

A hand holds a brown snake.
June 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education

Young people with an interest in the outdoors have a chance to engage with nature in Mississippi State University’s 2021 Conservation Camp hosted July 19-23. The weeklong day camp is for rising sixth- through ninth-graders. It is based on the MSU campus, and features wildlife science and outdoor exploration. A $100 fee includes lunch each day and all activity costs. The camp extends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

June 17, 2021 - Filed Under: Soil Testing

Mississippi agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in carbon sequestration can test their soil’s carbon content through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Two watermelons on the vine.
June 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Watermelon production is on track despite cool weather at planting.

“I’ve been in our watermelon fields a good bit over the past several days,” Heath Steede, Mississippi State University Extension agent in George County, said on June 9. “The crop looks really good. We had a slow start with the cool nights this spring, but they caught up later. The watermelons are stacked in there, and we’ll have a good crop as far as the number of melons.”

Continuous rains, however, have Steede a little concerned.

A goat stands in front of a fence.
June 10, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Youth Livestock, Agriculture, Agri-business, Goats and Sheep

Dairy goats make up a niche market of the Mississippi livestock industry, but their popularity is growing across the state. Interest has grown among 4-H livestock program members, people who participate in various other showmanship contests and people who want goat milk products.

Flood waters surround a home in the south Delta.
June 7, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Rural Health

To some people, farming is an idyllic way of life, but producers face some unique stressors that can impact their well-being. In fact, a national poll by the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2019 confirmed that about two in five farmers and farm workers reported experiencing increased stress levels and more mental health challenges since 2014.

June 7, 2021 - Filed Under: Mississippi Well Owner Network

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi homeowners with private wells have two opportunities to learn how to enhance the quality of their drinking water sources.

The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will hold workshops at the Extension offices in Perry County July 15 and at the East Central Community Center in Jackson County July 29. Each workshop begins at 6 p.m.

June 4, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Wildlife Youth Education

4-H’ers can participate in an upcoming camp and have fun while learning about environmental sciences. The 4-H E.A.R.T.H. Camp, or Environmental Awareness through Recreation, Technology and Health, will be held Aug. 2-4 at Lake Tiak-O’Khata in Winston County.

Girl wading knee-deep in water measuring its depth with a yardstick
May 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program, Environment

Like sea levels, expenses related to flooding in communities and businesses along the Gulf Coast are rising.

One student spent last summer investigating ways to mitigate these costs while enhancing approaches to shoreline protection during her time in the Mississippi State University Extension Undergraduate Apprenticeship program. The program is targeted toward high-achieving undergraduates from across the country to give them firsthand experiences in research and extension to understand how research can be applied.

A drone in the foreground being controlled by young students in the background.
May 21, 2021 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Agriculture

As students toss their caps into the air at graduation, some may be wondering how to combine their love of video games with careers that offer financial independence and stability.

Fortunately, a wide range of careers in agriculture await those more inclined toward advanced technology than previous generations might have experienced.

Several times a year, Mississippi State University Extension associates visit high schools across the state to show students how their love for technology intersects with agriculture, the state’s largest economic driver.

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