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News From 2013

September 17, 2013 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A recent graduate of Mississippi State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics has received a national award for his master’s thesis.

Francis Annan, a native of Ghana, earned the outstanding master’s thesis award at the 2013 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association meeting in Washington, D.C. in August. In February, his thesis earned top honors at the 2013 Southern Agricultural Economics Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Abbott Myers starts working on his 7,138 acre farm at sunrise each day and often works after sunset. He was named Mississippi's winner of the 2013 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
September 17, 2013 - Filed Under: Farming

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- After farming for 42 years, Abbott Myers of Dundee, Miss., has been named the Mississippi winner of the 2013 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. The award is sponsored by Swisher International and the Sunbelt Expo.

Myers said earning the title of Mississippi’s farmer of the year is exciting after so many years of farming, and he sees the award as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture.

Event cancelled due to threat of inclement weather.
September 16, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bulldog fans in town early for the Sept. 21 game can spend the morning getting ideas for their home landscapes at a tour and open house at Mississippi State University’s new trial gardens.

Visitors to the gardens can enjoy 15 minute mini-workshops at six different stations split between the new trial gardens and the existing Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. Hay wagons will transport visitors between the two locations.

Educational topics include summer bedding plants, growing hardy hibiscus plants, soil sampling, rose planting density and more.

Turban squash is a popular, hat-shaped variety that Native Americans grew. The bulb-like top makes a good fall decoration with its bizarre shape and multicolored stripes. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
September 16, 2013 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Pumpkins

Sept. 22 may be the first day of fall, but the best way to know summer is ending is to look at all the colorful pumpkin and gourd displays at local garden centers around the state.

September 16, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H Shooting Sports, Environment, Wildlife

By Mary Grace Eppes
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Mississippi bow hunters eagerly await the first hunt of the season and each year, more of those hunters are women.

Katie Pepper of Canton, a former Mississippi State University student and an ardent hunter, is proof that bow hunting is no longer just a male sport.

September 13, 2013 - Filed Under: About Extension, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University Extension Service is expanding its presence through an increased use of social media to provide information to the public.

Extension offices are already physically located in all 82 counties in the state, but residents of Mississippi and beyond can also follow Extension news and activities through a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

Claude Jones of Brandon sells canned and baked goods at the Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson made in his home-based business, Old Fashioned Taste. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
September 13, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Now that dozens of jars of jams, jellies, pickles and vegetables gleam on his booth’s shelves, it is hard to believe that eight years ago, Claude Jones refused to sell his wares at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market.

“I had come to the market to purchase some items, and I carried a bag of my peanut brittle with me,” Jones said. “I was always handing it out to folks. I never intended to sell it. But I gave a bag to the market director, and a couple weeks later, he called me.”

Rep. Scott Bounds, from left, Jerry Belant and Bruce Leopold of the Mississippi State University Center for Human-Wildlife Conflicts, and Sen. Giles Ward took part in the Mississippi Legislative Wild Hog Summit on Sept. 9, 2013, in Jackson, Miss. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
September 13, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

JACKSON – Mississippi legislators attended a special meeting on Sept. 9 to learn about the “greatest emerging wildlife challenge of the 21st century.”

Holstein dairy cows in Mississippi State University's barns near Starkville, Miss., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, are cooled with sprinklers and fans to reduce the effects of heat stress on their milk production. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
September 13, 2013 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 2013 continues the trend of high feed prices, making it very challenging for Mississippi dairy farms to make a profit.

Lamar Adams, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices farmers are paid for their milk have been higher than in recent years, but feed prices have remained much higher than ever before.

September 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The state’s blueberry growers can gather in Covington County Oct. 10 for a farm tour, demonstrations and exhibits at the annual field day and trade show.

Beginning at 8 a.m., Blue River Farm will host producers, experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service and exhibitors from across the United States.

September 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Peanuts

CLARKSDALE -- Peanut producers learned about irrigation strategies, diseases, insect control and harvest methods at the North Mississippi Peanut Field Day in Clarksdale.

In 2012 Mississippi moved into the seventh spot nationally in peanut production. Demand for peanuts has increased, yet the state’s peanut acreage decreased this year because of oversupply and lower contract prices.

Jason Krutz, Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station irrigation specialist, uses a meter to accurately determine the moisture content of the soil in a soybean field Aug. 30, 2013, at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Bonnie Coblentz)
September 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Irrigation

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Knowing when to say when is key to successful soybean irrigation that conserves water and money while producing peak yields.

As hints of water regulation on the horizon in Mississippi make water conservation a pressing issue, Mississippi State University has stepped up efforts to aid growers with irrigation decisions.

Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said soybean irrigation should stop after there is adequate soil moisture to ensure the seeds reach maximum size.

September 10, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H

JACKSON – Mississippi 4-H’ers will showcase their talents at 4-H Day at the Fair during the Mississippi State Fair Oct. 12.

Competitions, exhibits and hands-on activities will be open to the public beginning at 9 a.m. Competitions will conclude around 1 p.m. Livestock events will continue throughout the day.

All 4-H events and competitions except one will be held in the Trade Mart. Public speaking will be held in the Cattlemen’s Association building, located across from the fairgrounds at 680 Monroe Street, Suite A.

September 10, 2013 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Insects, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

POPLARVILLE – Leisure gardeners and horticulture industry professionals can learn about new plant varieties, insect and disease control and the latest research findings during an Oct. 10 field day in Poplarville.

The 40th annual Ornamental Horticulture Field Day will be at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station.

French marigolds, such as the Bonanza mix, are smaller and have more flower variety than their American counterparts. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
September 9, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

You may be familiar with the saying, “What was old is new again,” as related to clothing and decorating styles, but it’s also true of the landscape.

While fall-flowering mums seem to attract the most attention for fall color, there is a “brand new” plant called the mari-mum being promoted for the fall garden and landscape across the Southeast. Have the plant breeders been working overtime? Actually, a mari-mum is simply a fall-planted marigold.

September 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Crops, Rice

CLEVELAND – Mississippi farmers want to show off their rice crop at its best, served in hundreds of dishes for sampling at the 23rd annual rice-tasting luncheon in Cleveland.

The dishes will be available from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sept. 20 at Delta State University’s Walter Sillers Coliseum.

Laura Giaccaglia, Bolivar County Extension agent and coordinator, said the event attracts about 1,500 people each September, which is National Rice Month.

Trent Irby, left, demonstrated how to determine the maturity level of soybeans Aug. 30, 2013, at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Producers can conserve water and save money on irrigation by correctly timing termination. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Bonnie Coblentz)
September 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Irrigation

STONEVILLE -- A group of soybean professionals met in Stoneville as harvest approached to learn how to be more efficient with irrigation at the end of the growing season.

Tom Eubank, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station soybean agronomist at the Delta Research and Extension Center, said soybean farmers need three pieces of information to know when to terminate irrigation.

September 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farm Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Farming families believe the country is a great place to raise kids, but sometimes familiarity with farming equipment can lead to a false sense of security.

“The farm can be a dangerous place for children because they play where they work, and it’s hard for them to separate the two concepts,” said Ted Gordon, safety specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “They don’t readily recognize the hazards on the farm, and they must be taught how to see the dangers and how to avoid them.”

April Heiselt, director of the new Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence, shares a variety of project options for students to choose from in an Introduction to Mechanical Engineering course at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
September 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some Mississippi State University students are testing their problem-solving skills with real challenges instead of hypothetical situations this semester.

Whether they are graphic design students dreaming up a new logo for the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council’s boxes or communication students developing videos to help 4-H’ers improve their public speaking skills, students are working with community partners to address existing needs.