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Lime green, ruffled leaves have reddish centers.
August 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

August 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice, Culinary Tourism

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.

A woman holding a gardening tool stands in a green landscape.
August 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

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.

Numerous tiny, white insects with brown heads dot a surface full of holes and crevices.
August 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests, Invasive Plants

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.

A single bloom has white petals with thin red stripes.
August 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Fuzzy, green pods grow on a soybean plant.
August 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Soybeans

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.

A group gathers around a table-top planter growing small plants.
July 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

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.

Three large, yellow flowers with dark centers bloom on green stems.
July 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Man in a maroon shirt and baseball cap in a greenhouse.
July 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, AIM for CHangE, Mental Health First Aid

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.

Ruined watermelons lie in a muddy field.
July 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

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.

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.

Small pink flower clusters bloom at the end of branches.
July 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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?

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.

Bucket full of trash.
July 16, 2021 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Animal Health, Health, Environment

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.

Pink flowers bloom on a green plant
July 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the best flowering annuals we can have in the second half of the summer season is the flowering vinca. I made a brief comment a couple of weeks ago about replacing petunias with flowering vincas

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 round, black plastic head faces a plant.
July 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

When summer temperatures soar, remember that irrigation is required for optimum plant growth and proper maintenance of Mississippi gardens and landscapes.

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.

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