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Feature Story

A woman leads a brown horse in a stable.
February 1, 2023 - Filed Under: Equine

Horses have been part of Mississippi State University programs for years in teaching, research and the student equestrian team, but breeding has not been a significant aspect until recently. In the eight years he has been with MSU, Clay Cavinder, Extension equine specialist, has made equine breeding and sales a priority. The average price for yearling and 2-year-old horses has increased steadily over the years to $8,600 in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design, Flower Gardens

BILOXI, Miss. -- Gardening and floral design enthusiasts and professionals can enjoy a public lecture by Martha Whitney Butler, a Bay St. Louis floral designer. Butler will deliver a floral design demonstration that includes techniques based on sustainable floral design practices, as well as her experience in art history and the use of antique and vintage floral containers.

Group photo
January 27, 2023 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP, TCALP Class News

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Members of the second class of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program have completed the curriculum and assembled one last time Jan. 23 to receive their graduation certificates.

Known also as TCALP, the program provides 22 months of training for emerging leaders in Mississippi agriculture.

Close up of tomatoes and yellow squash in farmers market baskets.
January 25, 2023 - Filed Under: Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Local Food System Economies, Marketing and Business Planning, Community, Small Business

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Current and prospective market vendors can learn valuable marketing skills in a Feb. 9 workshop in Poplarville. Farmers Market Vendor Workshop: Boosting Your Revenue will teach participants valuable skills to help them increase sales. The workshop is open to vendors who sell at festivals, farmers markets and other similar venues.

January 20, 2023 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Natural Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Delta-based agricultural producers in a four-state region are invited to participate in a survey designed to gauge opinions and identify current practices related to water use.

The online “Delta Region Irrigation Producers’ Survey,” or DRIPS, also includes questions related to how producers prefer to receive educational information, which will help the Mississippi State University Extension Service design future programs. Survey results are confidential, and participants remain anonymous.

January 17, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farming, Forages, Livestock, Natural Resources, Forestry, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Producers in Mississippi can provide feedback and input on the agricultural research and educational programs offered by Mississippi State University during the upcoming producer advisory council meetings. Hosted by MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station personnel, the Producer Advisory Council meetings will be held in February. These meetings allow producers to learn about current research and educational opportunities, as well as to communicate their needs in these areas.

January 12, 2023 - Filed Under: Creating Healthy Indoor Childcare Environments, Healthy Water Practices, Water, SipSafe

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A water sampling program conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has encouraging initial data about lead levels in drinking water collected at child care centers around the state.

Preliminary data gathered as part of the SipSafe program paint a reassuring picture for most of the faucets sampled.

A close-up photo of blueberries on a branch of a bush.
January 10, 2023 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Farmers Markets

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host two free educational workshops for blueberry growers in January -- one in person and another online.

The in-person workshop will be held Jan. 24 at the MSU Extension Forrest County office at 952 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg from 1-4 p.m. The virtual workshop will be Jan. 26 from 2-4 p.m.

A woman examines some brown bushes in the landscape.
January 6, 2023 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases

Plants across the state that suffered from the unusually cold weather just days before Christmas will need some help recovering from damage they suffered in the deep freeze. Mike Brown, state climatologist and Mississippi State University meteorologist, said Mississippi’s average late December temperature is 44 degrees on the coast, 38 degrees in central Mississippi and 34 degrees in north Mississippi.

A group of people stand in a shop around a woodwork project.
January 4, 2023 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

What started out in 2012 as a small volunteer project to make two accessible gardens for use by residents of a Hattiesburg nursing home grew and multiplied until the group recently completed its 1,000th one. The Pine Belt Master Gardeners offer a service of making what are known as “salad tables” -- small, wooden-framed gardens raised about 3 feet off the ground. They make about 12-14 tables per month.

A photo montage displays soybeans, a chicken and trees.
December 20, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

Mississippi agricultural producers shattered previous records in 2022 with an estimated $9.7 billion in production value based on high market prices that almost kept pace with higher production costs.

Chicken drinks water droplets from a nipple waterer.
December 20, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry was already Mississippi’s top agricultural commodity before its overall value increased even more in 2022.

The estimated value of production for the state’s poultry in 2022 was $3.8 billion. This 48% increase over 2021’s record production value of $2.6 billion will rewrite the record books if these totals hold when the final numbers are released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture next April.

Sunlight trickles through a stand of timber.
December 19, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Forest Economics, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest

RAYMOND, Miss. -- An increase in both the amount of timber harvested and delivered wood prices landed Mississippi’s forestry industry in third place among the state’s agricultural commodities. At an estimated production value of $1.3 billion, timber is up 15% from 2021. Poultry and soybeans ranked first and second, generating an estimated value of $3.8 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, in 2022.

Close up of an electric space heater sitting on a hardwood floor.
December 19, 2022 - Filed Under: Family, Housing and Homebuyer, Food and Health, Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Space heaters and fireplaces can help keep temperatures comfortable during cold weather. However, all types of heating equipment can be fire hazards if safety precautions are not taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association, home heating fires happen most often in December, January and February, accounting for almost half of all home heating fires.

December 16, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Local Flavor, Specialty Crop Production

VERONA, Miss. -- Current and prospective greenhouse vegetable producers are invited to attend the Mississippi State University Greenhouse Vegetable Short Course March 7 and 8, 2023, in Verona, Mississippi. The short course, formerly known as the Greenhouse Tomato Short Course, will be offered at the MSU North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

December 13, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University has been awarded a grant of nearly $6.6 million for shoreline restoration work on the Gulf Coast.

Sick man lying on sofa checking his temperature at home in the living room
December 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Family, Food and Health, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Flu hospitalizations in the U.S. have reached the highest level in a decade, but it is not too late to get protected during these peak months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rated 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia as having the highest levels of flu activity possible on its scale during the week ending November 26. Mississippi was one of the first states to reach that threshold early that month.

Graphic titled, Why is the census of agriculture important to you?
December 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture

Mississippi farmers and forest landowners have the opportunity to provide data that helps shape future farm policy when they complete the 2022 Census of Agriculture. The deadline to be counted in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s census is Feb. 6, 2023.

November 21, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, End of Growing Season

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Time is running out to preregister for the 2022 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course.

The course, scheduled for Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville, is hosted by the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Online registration is available at http://extension.msstate.edu/row-crop-short-course. Preregister by Nov. 27 for free admission to the conference, which includes all meals. Registration on or after Nov. 28, including at the door, is $40.

A pine stand has small branches laying on the ground near trees.
November 11, 2022 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forest Pests

A variety of pests threaten Mississippi forests, presenting a challenge to landowners who lack experience in managing land or even knowing what problems to look for. Brady Self, a forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that good first step is to simply do a walkthrough and look for things out of place.

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