Farmers are so often overlooked but they are so important to the well-being and survival of the entire world. They provide a safe and healthy food source that we enjoy each and every day, yet we overlook what they do for the survival of all. Not only do they provide the food that we eat but food for our animals and the materials for the clothes that we wear.

If you ask most typical individuals where their food source comes from they will mistakenly tell you from the grocery store.

Farm Bureau and other agricultural agencies realizes that farmers are overlooked and want to recognize the farmers in Neshoba County for the hard work that they do to provide food for us all.

We would like to invite the public to the first Agriculture Appreciation Day that will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Neshoba County Coliseum. Even if you're not a farmer, we want you to come out and learn more about what farmers do to provide you with the essentials that it takes to survive.

The main speaker will be Mississippi's Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, Andy Prosser.

The purpose of this event is to recognize our farmers for their hard work and dedication to the farming industry here in Neshoba County. Each of the local key commodities will be represented. They include: Forestry, Poultry, Dairy, Beef, Equine, Apiculture and Horticulture.

This event is for all ages and there will be educational materials as well as food from most of the commodities. Door prizes will also be awarded at the event. Agencies involved include: Mississippi Farm Bureau, Mississippi State Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Neshoba County Forestry Association, Neshoba County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Mississippi Cattleman's Association.

Bring the entire family and help us recognize and celebrate with the farmers here in Neshoba County, and let them know that we appreciate the hard work that they do for us.

Lovebug populations are unusually high this year and are prompting more calls than usual to the Neshoba County Extension office.

Unfortunately, there is no good answer to the most common question, "What can we do about them".

However, most clients are reasonably satisfied with an explanation of their biology and an assurance that they do not bite and will eventually go away.

Lovebugs

Lovebugs are black with an orange thorax. These are not true bugs in the entomological sense; that term is used for stink bugs, and their relatives.

Lovebugs are actually flies, belonging to the family Bibionidae.

These insects produce two generations per year, one in late spring and the second in September and into October. Like most insects, their populations are cyclic, and while lovebugs always occur in large numbers, they are more numerous at some times than at others.

The larvae breed in decaying organic matter found in the thatch of lawns, pastures, and other areas.

Any open grassy area can produce literally thousands of adult lovebugs. This is why there is no good treatment for lovebugs - they breed over such a large area and in such large numbers that it just would not be practical, or logistically feasible, toattempt control.

In addition, they are very mobile and readily windblown, which means that even if one could control all larvae in their yard or area, adults would fly/blow in from other areas.

Controlling adults does not help much either, because during periods of heavy emergence, new insects are arriving hourly.

Unfortunately, in addition to being attracted to each other, the adults are also attracted to compounds in the exhausts of both gas and diesel-powered engines.

This is why they concentrate on and along roadways, where many end up on windshields, hoods, and in radiators.

In areas where these insects are common, motorist should check radiators regularly to be sure that they do not become clogged with lovebugs and overheat.

Because decaying insect bodies tend to become acidic and can breakdown autopaint finishes, it is a good idea to wash the critters off the front of the vehicle regularly.

This is best done by wetting the surface and allowing the smashed insects to soak for a few minutes before washing with soapy water.

Folks who live in lovebug country often find hood deflectors to be helpful in reducing the number of these and other insects that accumulate on the windshield, and they help preserve butterflies.

In areas where lovebugs are especially abundant, it is usually a good idea to postpone outdoor painting projects.

How long will they last? Although peak populations have probably already been reached in most areas, heavy numbers may persist for another week or two and some lovebugs will be present into October.