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News From 2024

A yellow upright bract has small white flowers.
April 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

During my Southern Gardening travels across Mississippi, I have observed how plants grow differently across the state. For example, several perennial plants that typically grow in some areas act as annuals in other areas due to colder winter temperatures.

A close-up photo of a pine tree’s damaged bark
April 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Disaster Relief, Forestry, Forest Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Forest landowners in Mississippi can now join the state’s farm owners who suffered production loss due to last year’s drought in applying for federal emergency loans.

April 18, 2024 - Filed Under: About Extension, Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Trent Irby has moved into an administrative role with the Mississippi State University Extension Service after more than 12 years of serving the state’s soybean growers.

A man lectures from the front of a classroom.
April 17, 2024 - Filed Under: Food, Food Safety

Representatives of many of the industries that supply America’s restaurants and grocery stores gathered at Mississippi State University in April to learn ways to perfect their trade and enhance their products. MSU hosted 46 attendees plus presenters and students at the 15th annual workshop “Marination 101: The Flavor of Science,” organized by the MSU Extension Service.

Clutter fills a room.
April 16, 2024 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Spring’s arrival motivates many people to refresh the spaces where they spend their time. This refresh should include removing clutter, which can affect quality of life and lead to serious health concerns if small amounts turn into larger amounts.

Blue flowers with white spots bloom above green foliage.
April 15, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Spring is my favorite season of the year as I enjoy the return of warmer days and the colorful blooms in gardens and landscapes. Among the many flowering plants that grace the spring landscape, petunias stand out as one of my favorites.

As nature bursts into life, now is the perfect time to visit your local nurseries and garden centers to acquire bright and colorful petunias.

A small brown insect has long, white wings.
April 12, 2024 - Filed Under: Termites

Invasive Formosan subterranean termites were first found in the state 40 years ago, and soon, these dangerous pests will swarm and threaten unprotected structures in about one-third of Mississippi’s counties.
Santos Portugal, Mississippi State University Extension Service urban entomologist, said Formosan termites typically swarm in the millions from early May to early June. They have the ability to infest and significantly damage structures much more quickly than native subterranean termites.

Dark leaves with pink centers are edged in bright green.
April 8, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I have always been amazed at the diversity of colorful coleus plants. Their foliage offers a dazzling array of impressive hues and patterns. The most remarkable aspect of coleus plants is undoubtedly their vibrant leaves.

April 5, 2024 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dean Jousan helps the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association select the annual winner of its Paul F. Newell Award, which honors an outstanding Mississippi State University Extension agent for serving in Extension’s 4-H livestock program.

A man shows a Van de Graaff generator to students on a class trip.
April 4, 2024 - Filed Under: 4-H

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Seth Lewis’ father is an electrical engineer, but seeing the capabilities of high voltage in person was no less fascinating for him than anyone else watching the demonstration.

“We saw what would happen to a person if he got too close to a 300,000-watt electrical field, and we saw a demonstration on how lightning would affect metal if it hit it,” Lewis said. “I learned a lot of cool things today, but I think the electrical engineering was my favorite thing.”

April 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi soybean producers may qualify for free nematode testing through the Mississippi State University Extension Service Plant Diagnostic Laboratory. Limited free tests are available between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025.

Dairy cows look directly at the photo lens.
April 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Dairy, Poultry, Avian Flu

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The transmission risk of H5N1 bird flu to humans remains minimal despite a rise in confirmed cases in dairy cows and poultry in several states and the first known case of a person catching the virus from a mammal.

April 3, 2024 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- The public is invited to celebrate part of Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum’s history during the Strawberries & Cream Festival April 14 in Picayune. The event commemorates the Great Depression-era strawberry farm located on the grounds of what is now a premier native plant conservatory.

A man and a woman work together with a box.
April 3, 2024 - Filed Under: 4-H

Mississippi State University’s efforts to offer something for everyone brought educators from eight states together in late March to interact with a coding language designed to interest young learners in STEM topics.

2024 planting intentions figures for Mississippi
April 2, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Market corn prices are more than $2 lower per bushel than a year ago, so row crop producers in Mississippi are planning to plant less corn and more cotton in 2024.

Growers of the state’s three principal field crops -- soybeans, corn and cotton -- intend to plant 25% more cotton this year than they did in 2023 and 25% less corn, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soybean production is forecasted to increase by 3%.

April 1, 2024 - Filed Under: 4-H, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

WEST POINT, Miss. -- Sometimes, supporting veterans can be as easy as showing up for dinner.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a cookout benefitting members of its Veterans’ Horsemanship Program, one of several divisions in its Equine-Assisted Therapy Program. The cookout will take place April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elizabeth A. Howard Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center in West Point.

Four containers hold small, blooming plants.
April 1, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

With their tall stems that proudly display a colorful array of flowers, calibrachoa hybrid plants are some of my favorite annual plants to use in the landscape. Their slender stems reach out gracefully, adorned with small, trumpet-shaped blooms that come in hues from fiery reds to soothing blues, and every shade in between. Each delicate flower carries its own unique pattern, adding an enchanting touch to their overall appearance.

March 26, 2024 - 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 seeking program associates and office associates in Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Warren, Madison, Prentiss, Chickasaw, Rankin, Lowndes and Newton counties.

A black, winged insect has red eyes and markings.
March 25, 2024 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification

The South’s natural background music of the summer will start as soon as cicadas, known for their loud songs, emerge across parts of the state.
Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi is home to at least 24 types of cicadas. These are classified as either annual or periodical cicadas.

Grassy plants grow in a container with flowers.
March 25, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Gardening, to me, is not just about planting pretty flowers or lush foliage. It’s about creating scenes, telling stories and evoking emotions. One way I like to add intrigue and drama to an outdoor space is by incorporating thriller plants. These captivating specimens serve as focal points and bring mystery and excitement to a landscape.