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A man wearing a hard hat talking into a microphone in front of a piece of heavy equipment.
September 27, 2023 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Loggers, foresters, wildlife professionals, trade classes and families were well represented at the biannual Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show on Sept. 22 and 23. Activities, held at Mississippi State University’s John W. Starr Memorial Forest, attracted a range of audiences, all interested in forests, trees and the equipment used to hew them down.

A group of people hold a ribbon in front of a building entrance.
September 26, 2023 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Toy trucks loaded with miniature felt apples idle their imaginary engines in an orchard of building-blocks. A toy kitchen beckons tiny chefs to bake felt apple pies. A row of small lab coats hung neatly along the wall invite little visitors to explore why apples float in a bowl full of water. These are just a few of the apple-themed, hands-on learning opportunities that are engaging children in September at the new Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Center in Hattiesburg. The center held its grand opening Sept. 19.

A garden bust is surrounded by a bush covered with purple flowers.
September 25, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This summer has been exceptionally hot, and during a recent visit with my friend Catherine, I couldn’t help but admire the vibrant purple and blue salvias thriving in her garden despite the scorching temperatures.

A small, garden pond is surrounded by plants.
September 18, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

During my recent visit to the Henington House in Hattiesburg, I came across a stunning garden pond in the backyard. The clever use of plants within and around the pond created a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for unwinding.

A close-up of an ear of corn.
September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The favorable weather that kicked off planting season for Mississippi corn producers stayed in play throughout the growing season and is helping growers wrap up harvest. Mississippi producers planted 790,000 acres of corn, up from the 700,000 acres forecast just before farmers began planting in mid-March. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 770,000 of those acres will be harvested for grain.

September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Mental Health First Aid

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A Mississippi State University Extension instructor has been selected to a national Extension Foundation committee focused on improving mental health.

September 13, 2023 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification, Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Smart Landscapes, Places for Wildlife, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- School groups, nature enthusiasts and the public can enjoy two fun-filled days of exciting, hands-on learning about the environment, ecosystems, wildlife and insects at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune. BugFest offers insect-related displays, interactive exhibits, games and crafts. Biologists, naturalists, entomologists and other experts from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama will host booths and give presentations on butterflies, bats, caterpillars, beetles, crayfish, ladybugs, hissing cockroaches, dancing praying mantises, native and exotic arthropods and more.

People look at plants in a garden.
September 12, 2023 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Garden enthusiasts of all ages are welcome Oct. 21 to Fall Garden Day at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mississippi State University facility.

September 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Individuals interested in working with young children and families are encouraged to apply for job openings with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral at MSU Extension is hiring program associates and office associates in several counties statewide.

Three potted plants have green leaves with stripes or spots.
September 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

During a recent visit with a friend, I admired her stunning indoor plants. She mentioned some of their names, and I realized that a couple of them had outdated names that have been recently updated. Plants, like all living things, are constantly evolving and changing.

September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Community, City and County Government, Economic Development, Rural Development, Small Business

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Tourism employees, city council members, elected officials and others interested in growing tourism in rural areas are invited to attend an upcoming tri-state conference. The Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference will be held Oct. 23-25 in Cleveland, Mississippi. The conference is open to anyone who works in tourism, economic development or public service. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with professionals in the tourism industry and attend multiple educational sessions.

A person’s right hand rests on a computer mouse while their left hand rests on a laptop keyboard.
September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Keys to the Community, Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Economic Development, Rural Development, Small Business

RAYMOND, Miss. -- In Mississippi, 230,000 residents lack access to high-speed internet and the many benefits it offers, but the Mississippi State University Extension Service is working to help change that. Devon Mills, an assistant Extension professor of agricultural economics, is leading an effort to build an inventory of all the organizations in the state working to promote digital skills and literacy. This effort, called the Mississippi Digital Asset Mapping Project, is helping spread the word about a survey to help construct that inventory.

Green plants grow in rows surrounded by brown grass stems.
September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Corn, Healthy Soils and Water

Despite several recognized benefits of growing winter cover crops, this conservation system has limited acceptance, something Mississippi State University researchers are trying to change by identifying and better managing risks.

Among the significant benefits of planting a green crop on farmland otherwise exposed to winter elements are improved soil health, water quality and erosion control. But cover crops grow into the optimal spring planting times for summer crops. This complicates their use and can reduce productivity of the summer crop.

For the last several years, MSU research has addressed various aspects of this issue, primarily focusing on cover crop management and cover crop species.

Bare plants are covered in white cotton.
September 7, 2023 - Filed Under: Cotton

High temperatures and drought since early July left some cotton acreage not worth harvesting, while others with irrigation may still make an excellent crop in Mississippi.

“Statewide, cotton yields are highly variable depending on where you’re standing,” said Brian Pieralisi, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Wayne County, Mississippi 4-H’ers display their first place award plaques earned at the National Wildlife Habitat Education Program contest.
September 6, 2023 - Filed Under: 4-H

WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. -- A team of Mississippi 4-H’ers brought home a first-place award this summer in a national wildlife habitat management competition. The three-member team competed in the National Wildlife Habitat Education Program contest in Milford, Iowa, July 31-Aug. 2.

A stone and steel ant sculpture is beside a path through moss.
September 4, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I recently visited a beautiful moss garden at the home of Jack and Nadine in Petal. As I entered the garden, I was welcomed by a charming moss garden sign and a variety of ant sculptures scattered throughout the area, adding a delightful and whimsical touch.

August 30, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Bolivar County, Mississippi, is the place to be for rice connoisseurs Sept. 21.

Rice Fest will highlight the commodity from 4-9 p.m. in downtown Merigold.  Not only is it National Rice Month, but this year marks the 33rd year Delta Rice Promotions has highlighted the state’s rice producers and industry. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

August 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Insects, Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE , Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist has been elected to the executive board of the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators. Gene Merkl, program manager for pesticide safety education for the state of Mississippi, will serve as president-elect for the nationwide organization. His service on the board is a three-year commitment.

Delicate, pink flowers and tiny, green berries line a branch.
August 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I have noticed that more gardeners than ever are interested in having native plants in their landscapes. This trend just makes sense. Native plants occur naturally in a region without being introduced by humans. They are adapted to their region and do not require a lot of maintenance or upkeep.

One native plant you might like to include in your landscape is the American beautyberry.

A group of goats stands in a temporary holding area in a barn.
August 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages, Livestock, Goats and Sheep

LEAKESVILLE, Miss. -- Most goat meat sold in the U.S. is imported, but a group of Mississippi meat goat producers wants to see that change. A first-of-its-kind test in the state is underway to help them meet that goal. The Southeastern Buck Performance Test aims to improve the profitability of the meat goat industry in the region by improving meat goat genetics.

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