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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Mark Your Calendars, March 6 Is Date Of Ag Banquet

By Steve Cummings

Mark your calendars for March 6, as this will be the date of the Yalobusha County Agriculture Recognition Banquet.  Kent Hull, former Buffalo Bills football player and Mississippi cattle producer, will be the speaker at this year’s Ag Banquet.  Complete information will be coming in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout and make plans to attend.

Just like everybody else, I am ready for this weather to settle down.  Temperatures have been seventy degrees one day and in the twenties the next.  Yalobusha County has been lucky so far, dodging both tornadoes and ice.  Straight line winds have caused problems too, as I have had a couple of trees blown down on fences.  On the positive side, the rainfall amount is up, which helps with the moisture deficit.  

Often we overlook resources right next to us, but not the case for the Yalobusha County Homemaker’s Council.  Next Tuesday, February 19, the council will have local artist, Pat Rodrigue, conducting a program on basic art.  I am not sure what Pat has planned, but I can assure you, it will be interesting and entertaining.  The program will begin at 10 am at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  Like all other homemaker educational programs, this program is free and open to the public.  If you are interested in art, then you need to come see what Pat and the MHV ladies have in store.

Our work at the Extension office covers a wide range of activities and services.  Our mission is to “serve the people”.  Every once in a while, however, a request comes in that is extremely unusual, and one such request has come through recently.  Steve Thompson of Water Valley brought us a copy of his new CD, Porch Funk, by his band, Thompson Ward.

April Kilpatrick, our secretary, and I never thought we would be asked to review a CD, but we have enjoyed listening to it.  Steve and his partner, Brian Ward, make up the name “Thompson Ward”.  I showed my age when I recognized their cover song Amos Moses.  There is no doubt Steve wrote most of these songs as I picked up on places mentioned like Enid Lake and Plum Point.  April and I gave Thompson Ward’s CD, Porch Funk, a very good review and encourage you to support these local artists.          

Horticulture Tips:  

Most of us are delighted that our warm-season species lawns have gone dormant and we are enjoying a reprise from our weekly or more often mowing chore.  But we shouldn’t forget our lawn completely at this time.  There are a few things we can do that will ensure a more aesthetic and healthy lawn this spring.  With the recent rains and cold wet soil we can much easier determine poor drainage areas and begin filling these with topsoil or determine some drainage options. Continue the removal of any leaf litter from your lawn. Control of winter weeds now before they reach maturity will be much easier to control and the danger of any turf injury will be greatly reduced while the turf is dormant. Someone asked for my opinion on fertilizing warm-season lawns now. My response was simply Don’t do it!  The one exception is if you have over-seeded the lawn with a cool season species such as perennial ryegrass and the cool season grass needs a boost. Warm-season turf species are now dormant.

The only plants in the lawn benefiting from fertilization at this time will be the winter weeds present, and we do not want to encourage rampant growth and seed production of these.  Warm-season turf species will not benefit from fertilization until they are actively growing.  Applying lime to raise the soil pH (acidity) is a different matter however.  If you have taken a soil sample and found that lime is recommended, then by all means, get it out any time during the year.  Lime will improve the soil acidity and make nutrients more available when needed as it generally takes months for lime to react and dramatically change the soil pH.

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