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Kyle’s News And Reviews

Last Sunday at church I had an individual ask about burning as a tool for managing his property and requested for me to write about it in this week’s paper.  Personally I think burning is a great management tool available to landowners.  The experts will tell you that burning is more expensive than spraying your property and I agree with that statement if you hire a professional burning crew to handle the job.  I do not know the exact figure that these burn management companies charge but I want to think it is around $50 dollars per acre.  Which in the grand scheme of things is fairly cheap and when you hire a company to handle this for you some of the liability can be transferred to their insurance company if a problem arises.  

I will talk more in next week’s article about the benefits of burning as a management tool but will now tell some personal experiences.  I grew up on a farm on the west side of Coffeeville and remember well burning our property every spring.  One March probably 30 years ago my grandfather and my dad were burning our place, the same as they had for the last 50 years and had a good fire going.  

Well the fire was really moving through some sage grass areas fast and jumped a fire break.  At the time my grandfather had an 1155 Massey Ferguson tractor with a big disc hooked behind it, he headed out trying to stop the fire by cutting in front of it.  He made a cut and decided to come back through the middle of the fire to “slow it down.”  The fire did slow down but it also climbed up on a hydraulic leak on the back side of the tractor. Those of you that knew my grandfather Ed, knew that he moved at a fast pace.  

When I saw the back of the tractor on fire pulling through the middle of the wildfire, I kind of panicked, I was only seven years old and riding around on a four-wheeler, I tore out around the fire lane to get a better look at the tractor. I came around the corner to the tractor stopped by a big mud puddle and my grandfather with both of his boots in his hands dipping water to put on the fire.  

The funny thing was that he put the fire out and another not-so-funny thing was they used to fill the tractor tires with butane.      

MSU app for fruit growers wins award

MSU Extension Service
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz

Designing an app that helps fruit growers know how many chill hours their crops have accumulated earned one Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist a regional award.
Eric Stafne is an Extension fruit crops specialist at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville. He received a Blue Ribbon Extension Communications Award for the app in February from the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science.
“I was getting a lot of questions from fruit growers and Extension agents wondering about the number of chill hours that accumulated during the winter,” Stafne said. “At one time, several blueberry growers across the state had weather stations that provided that information, but due to equipment failure, retirement and the expense of maintaining the equipment, the number of people reporting chill hours dwindled.”

Chill hours, the number of hours below a certain temperature, have a significant effect on how fruit plants grow. Growers use this information to select varieties that grow well in their locations and for other purposes. Stafne searched for an alternative method to gather this information. He ultimately gave his findings to app designer Kelli Alexander of the Extension Center for Technology Outreach, who made the app.

“This award is in a way validation of the app’s utility,” Stafne said.

Download the app free at This web-based app works on both iPhone and Android platforms.
At the same meeting where he received the Blue Ribbon Award, Stafne was also named 2018 president of the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

“It is humbling to be elected by one’s peers to represent them as society president,” Stafne said. “This was a career goal for me, so I am extremely pleased to serve.”

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