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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

By Steve Cummings

    We are back from the holidays and things are wide open.  Everyone in our office had great holidays, even if they did seem to fly by.  There are several upcoming programs that you, the public, might find of interest.  

    On Tuesday, January 15, at 10 am at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building, the Yalobusha County Homemakers will host a program on “travel.” William Jeffreys and Melvin Ford will present this program and will talk about the numerous trips offered by Renasant Bank.  

     Also, on January 15 starting at 1 pm, Dr. Victor Maddox, MSU Invasive Species Specialist, will present a program via distance  on invasive plants.  Carol Whitsett of Oakland is chairman of the State MHV Environmental Committee and requested Dr. Maddox for this program, due to the public interest in Cogongrass and other invasive plants.  Dr. Maddox will cover Cogongrass and most of the other invasive plants in our area.  This looks to be a really informative program that many of you might want to attend.  Again, this program is free and open to the public.

     There will be a Master Gardener Training scheduled for every Tuesday and Thursday between February 26 – April 3.  If this class has enough interest, it will meet from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  Cost for this class is $85, which includes the manual, refreshments, and other materials.  

    Once you have completed this training you will become a certified Master Gardener.  Yalobusha County has an active Master Gardener group that does numerous horticulture related community activities.  If you are interested in this class, I encourage you to call our office at 675-2730 for further information and sign up by February 15th.

     On January 3, 2008, all members of the Coffeeville Saddle Club were saddened by the loss of Tri-Lakes Western Horse Show Association President, G.A. Liles, of Oxford.  Liles had been active in Tri-Lakes and horse shows long before I came to Yalobusha County.  Horse shows on the local and state levels will certainly be different this year.  Our sympathy and prayers go out to his wife, Jeffie, and son, Brent.


Horticulture Tip:

One of the Invasive plant species that will be discussed at the Invasive Plant Program is the Cogongrass.  Native to Southeast Asia, Cogongrass arrived accidentally as packing material into Mobile Bay, Alabama, in the early 1900’s.  It was later promoted as a forage grass and as an ornamental.  

     Classified as the seventh worst weed in the world, Cogongrass is hardy and tolerant of shade, high salinity, and drought.  It forms dense mats that crowd out native vegetation and forage plants and displaces ground-nesting species, such as turkey and bob-white quail.  

    It can alter the natural fire regime by causing hotter and more frequent fires.  Note: Cogongrass is still sold as an ornamental under the name of Japanese bloodgrass or “Red Baron” bloodgrass.

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