Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Dry Spell Needed To Complete Planting

By Steve Cummings

The rainfall deficit for Yalobusha County has been cut the last couple of weeks.  We have certainly gotten some rain.  Our farmers need a little dry spell in order to complete corn planting.  Lakes and reservoirs should be filling up, which will help the fishing.  I believe it is the wettest it has been in several years.  There is a lot going on in the Yalobusha County Extension office, and I encourage you to take advantage of some of these programming opportunities.

On April 12th there will be a Tri Lakes Western Horse Show at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  Judged events will start at 3pm and the speed events will begin no earlier than 7:30 pm.  Admission is free and everyone is encouraged to come see some of the finest horses in the state.

There will be a forestry program on forest economics on April 14th at 7pm.  Dr. James Henderson, MSU-ES Forest Economics Specialist, will conduct the program on current timber prices, the future outlook, and trends on the timber industry.  If you own timber land, this program will benefit you.  For this program we are asking you to call the Extension office at 675-2730 by April 10th to make reservations to attend.

Have you ever been to or participated in an Iris show?  There will be one at the Multipurpose Building on April 26th.  However, Brother Truman Scarborough will conduct a program for the Yalobusha County Homemaker’s Council on how to groom and present your Iris for show.  If you are interested in participating in the Iris show on April 26th, you need to attend this workshop.  The Iris show will be open to anyone that would like to show their Iris’.  Even if you do not plan to show, the program on April 15th will be of interest to all flower lovers.  It is free and open to the public.

Would you like to save money on your Auto Insurance?  The AARP Driver Safety Program is an eight-hour classroom driver refresher course for drivers aged 50 and older.  There is a class scheduled at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building on April 16th and 17th from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.

The course will explain how the aging process affects your driving and provides tips on handling these changes.  It also serves as a refresher for general driving rules and conditions and provides an update on driving laws.  Participants age 55 and older with a clean driving record will get an insurance premium discount.

There is a minimal fee of $10 for materials.  Non-AARP members are welcome to attend.  Please call 675-2730 to register or be there before start time on class day.

Horticulture Tips:

Dealing with Drainage Dilemmas

During the past several weeks many parts of the state have enjoyed ample rain fall. After a heavy rain is a good time to take a stroll around your property to see where the drainage problems are. What can you do with wet spots on your property? The simplest and most practical is to choose plants for that area that can take the wet soil. If it is a full sun area choose plants such as Japanese iris, cannas, hibiscus and Joe-pye-weed. If it is a shady area choose plants such as ferns, elephant ears and cardinal flower.

Another approach is to raise the soil level by either creating a raised bed with wooden or stone sides or simply mounding the soil into a berm. There are many benefits to raised bed gardening besides solving a drainage problem.  These types of beds warm up quicker in the spring, are more accessible and usually easier to maintain than ground beds.

The last approach you can take to remedy a drainage problem is to channel the water into some type of drainage system. You can install drainage tile, a French drain, or create a stone-lined drainage ditch than can double as a landscape feature when you install water-loving plants among the stones and along the banks.

Recent rains have also caused fire ants to build mounds. Be sure to treat the area around the mound and not just sprinkle or pour insecticide on the mound. Fire ants have several underground passages to escape through when the mound is disturbed and all it takes is one fertile queen to develop a new mound.

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