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July 25, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests, Insects
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton growers have been battling boll weevils for almost 100 years, but the real war is just beginning.

Cotton growers in Mississippi's hill section and south Delta voted last January to join other Southeastern states in an intensive boll weevil eradication program. The effort in the hill section begins the first week of August with aerial spraying of all cotton fields to prevent weevils from entering diapause, the stage of overwinter preparation. South Delta efforts begin in the fall of 1998.

July 24, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The first spring in my Mississippi home, built in the late 1800's, several plants really humbled this horticulturist. Although I probably destroyed some thinking they were weeds, many survivors have endeared themselves to me.

One timeless classic I immediately fell in love with had bright orange-red flowers. It kept me guessing for a while, but turned out to be crocosmia, or monbretia.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Health

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most everyone experiences an occasional restless night, but people with persistent sleeping problems may be suffering from a sleep disorder that could threaten their health.

In fact, many deaths attributed to other causes, such as heart disease or traffic accidents, may actually be related to sleep disorders.

Linda Patterson, extension health education specialist at Mississippi State University, said an estimated 30 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder. Most of these remain undiagnosed and untreated.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Health
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The inactive lifestyles of many American adults are spreading to children, and as with adults, as it spreads, so do waistlines.

With all the options children face, they often choose watching television or playing video games instead of physical activities. This lack of regular activity forms habits, promotes unhealthy weight gain and hurts future health.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It happens to 10 Americans a minute, so chances are good that a telemarketing scam will hit home.

Consumer knowledge is the best protection against falling victim to fraud. But telemarketing scams are very prevalent and many people lose large amounts of money to them.

Dr. Beverly Howell, Mississippi State University extension family economics specialist, said telemarketing fraud costs consumers $40 billion a year. People over age 60 are the most common targets.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Health

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Automobile accidents often are attributed to recklessness, carelessness or even drunkenness, but another dangerous condition often is at fault -- drowsiness.

Sleepy drivers can be just as hazardous as other impaired motorists, but attributing crashes to sleepiness is difficult. Some states do not even have a code for sleepiness on their accident report forms.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Farm Safety

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the employees are not old enough to drive a car, the law says they should not be allowed to drive a tractor either.

Many youth today, especially in rural areas, obtain their first job experience working on local farms. Agricultural employers need to be aware of how the child labor laws apply to farming and know the stiff penalties levied if they violate these regulations.

July 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Farm Safety, Community
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If farming is in their blood, an organization new to Mississippi is determined to keep people with disabilities doing what they love.

AgrAbility for Mississippians, funded by the federal extension service as a grant to the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Easter Seals, works to prevent disabilities from taking farming away from farmers. It helps farmers, farm families or farm workers with disabilities function more easily in agriculture.

July 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- State blueberry farmers raised a record- breaking crop this year, but persistent rains have limited the amount sold as fresh fruit.

Dr. John Braswell, Mississippi State University extension horticulturist, estimated state growers will harvest 5.3 million pounds of blueberries this year. This tops 1995's record 4.6 million pounds. In 1996, a freeze cut the state's harvest to less than 800,000 pounds.

"We've had an excellent crop this year, but because of rains, much of it will be sold as frozen berries rather than fresh," Braswell said.

July 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Tropicanna just may be the most beautiful canna ever developed and is renewing interest in this traditional Southern plant with its brightly colored, variegated leaves and orange flowers.

While I am not much of a fan of orange flowers, the foliage of this new variety is awesome enough to make you want to grow the plant. Most Southern natives grew up with cannas.

July 11, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Wheat

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Nationally, wheat growers are harvesting a strong crop, but Mississippi rains prevented state growers from producing a repeat of last year's record high.

Dr. Tom Jones, extension agricultural economist at Mississippi State University, said Mississippi's total production is about 1/3 less than what was produced in 1996.

Last year, Mississippi produced an average of 48 bushels per acre on about 230,000 acres. This year, production dropped substantially to about 39 bushels per acre on 200,000 acres throughout Mississippi.

July 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Cole Crops, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Most Mississippians think spring is the best time for gardening. But if you haven't tried a fall garden, consider putting one in now because it can be the best garden you have.

Fall-grown produce is better because it ripens in a cooler, less stressful time of the season. It suffers less from sunburn or sunscald, and fall has fewer insects and diseases.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Doctors hands in the delivery room, not school bells, signal the beginning of the educational process.

Most people are conditioned to associate learning with school, but babies are learning a thousand times more than older students even in the best schools.

"Everything is new and an opportunity for learning to a baby," said Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A landmark day for children and their parents, the first day of school can be traumatic or a long-awaited, exciting time.

Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said parents can help make sure the start of school is a pleasant one.

Parents' positive attitude towards school is the biggest factor in a child having a good first day of class.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Starting school after the long summer break can be difficult, but having consistent routines can help young students quickly get back into the swing of things.

Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said routines are especially important for young children.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Technology, Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When today's kids come home from school with homework problems or research papers, they often don't have to leave the house to get help.

Stumped on an algebra equation? No problem. Need to find how fast light travels? Got it. Studying the Inca Indians? Look at these pictures. Looking for the Bill of Rights? Here's a copy.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family, Children and Parenting

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Summer coming to a close means homework and early mornings for students, but extracurricular clubs and activities can take the gloom out of school days.

Numerous organizations can fill students' after-school hours with entertaining and educational experiences. Clubs also can allow students to reach out into their communities.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food, Nutrition
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Believe it or not, junk foods are not a necessary part of young people's daily diets, but neither are they deadly sins.

When given the choice, many students choose candy bars, cookies and soft drinks over salads and fruit. But when this happens regularly, the body's nutritional needs are not met.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, Mississippi State University extension nutrition specialist, said adults, too, are often guilty of choosing empty calories over needed nutrition.

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Back-to-school expenses can knock the wind out of some families' bank accounts, but delaying some purchases can help soften the blow.

School supplies, clothes and fees can add up to staggering levels if families try to address all back-to-school needs in August, according to Dr. Beverly R. Howell, extension family economics and management specialist at Mississippi State University.

"Clothing is probably the biggest of the back-to-school expenses," Howell said. "Clothing is also one of the easiest expenses to spread out during the school year."

July 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Community, Family

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When home sweet home is no longer under their parents' roof, college students choose either residence hall life or apartment living.

The proper housing choice, for some students, can mean a world of difference.

Many college campuses are experiencing a rise in applications for residence halls or dormitory rooms.

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