Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Horse Program Important Part of Yalobusha 4-H

By Steve Cummings

Yalobusha County has always been known throughout the state for its big 4-H Horse Program.  Last year the county 4-H Horse Program had 96 entries and 11 exhibitors.  This year’s numbers are up considerably.  There are 188 entries, 24 exhibitors, and 4 pre-4-Her’s. These numbers should keep Yalobusha County in the running for the high point county at the State 4-H Horse Show. Last year the county 4-H Horse Club placed third in the state only behind Rankin and Warren counties. Population wise, there is no other county 4-H horse program close to ours.

The Northwest District 4-H Horse Show will be in Batesville at the Lee Garner Arena just west of Batesville on June 25, 26, and 27.  Roping, cutting, and goat tying classes are on June 25 starting at 6 p.m.  Halter, showmanship, and all western judged classes will be on June 26 starting at 9 a.m. Gaited, English, and all running classes will start on June 27 at 9 a.m.  Yalobusha County will be well represented all three days, and I encourage everyone to come out and support our young people.  

If you can’t make it to the 4-H shows in Batesville, maybe you can make it to the horse shows at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building in June.  There will be a timed event horse show on June 5 at 8 p.m.  Training barrels will start at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a timed event show starting no earlier than 7 p.m. As always, there are no admission fees for these horse shows.

The Annual Wildflower Tour at the Jamie L. Whitten Center near Coffeeville will be June 17.  There will be wagon tours of wildflower fields and native grasses held throughout the day starting at 8:30 a.m.

In addition, there will be presentations on backyard wildlife habitats, pollinators, decorating with wildflowers, green gardening tips for flowers and vegetables, and wildflowers in the landscape. You can also bring a plant and trade for another one at our Plant Swap, and Mississippi Native Wildflower seeds will be available for purchase.

Admission will be $3 per person, and lunch will be served to those who call 601-354-7645 or the Yalobusha County Extension Service at 662-675-2730 by June 12th.

Horticulture Tip:

If you have a lawn or garden in Mississippi then no one needs to explain to you what fire ants are. Even first time observers learn quickly what fire ants can do.  With the recent rains fire ant mounds have become quite visible in many lawns.  Not only are these mounds unsightly but the sting from fire ants can be extremely painful and for some people even life threatening.  Therefore, controlling fire ants should be as much a part of your lawn management activities as fertilizing, watering, and mowing. There are several methods of controlling fire ants but applying baits is probably the most convenient and easiest. Baits can be very effective when applied according to the following tips.

• Only use baits that are specifically labeled for fire ants.

• Read the label twice, once before you buy and again before you treat.

• Apply fire ant baits by broadcasting them over the entire yard.

• Don’t apply too much. The rate for most baits is only one to two pounds per acre.

• Use a spreader specifically designed for fire ant bait.

• Avoid irrigating for at least two days after applying baits.

• Try to avoid applying baits just before rainfall.

• Treat again if rainfall occurs within 12 hours after a bait application.

• Use fresh bait. Ants don’t like old bait that has gone rancid.

• Be patient. Baits are slow-acting.

• Apply fire ant baits preventively. Don’t wait till you see large mounds.

• Apply baits one to three times per year, depending on location.

• Use the holidays, Easter, Independence Day, and Labor Day as reminders.

• Use individual mound treatments to eliminate mounds the baits miss.

More information can be  found at your local extension office or online at www.msucares.com.

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