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News From 1998

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Beavers are not a problem in Mississippi. That is, they aren't a problem unless they are on your land.

Researchers have compiled data from all 82 Mississippi counties to estimate the population and acreage effected by beavers. Dr. Dale Arner, now retired head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at Mississippi State University, completed his third statewide survey in 1997 of beaver activities.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- Generous buyers rewarded exhibitors of 33 champion market animals with another record-setting sale following the recent Dixie National Junior Livestock Show.

Dr. Joe Baker, animal specialist with Mississippi State University' Extension Service, said the 1998 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions netted $185,654. The previous record was set last year at $161,431.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new set of daily nutrition standards are being established to give health-conscious people a better guide for eating right.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences is developing new dietary standards for the United States and Canada. These standards are being released in seven reports that should be complete by 2000.

Dr. Barbara McLaurin, nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University's Extension Service, explained the impact these changes, known as Dietary Reference Intakes, will have on nutrition guidelines.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A program that teaches parents the importance of family and parenting skills also seeks to provide a safe environment where children can grow.

Children born into poverty or single-parent families risk poor development and may not receive skills necessary to become healthy and productive adults.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi State University Extension Service developed the Bright Futures program in 1995. The program promotes family values and teaches resource management.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Rural Health

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new program to help high school juniors select a career in medicine may improve one of Mississippi's most life-threatening concerns -- rural health care.

Of the 82 counties in Mississippi, 57 counties have a shortage of primary care physicians. Encouraging physicians to move to rural areas could help residents and travelers feel safe while living in or traveling through the undermanned counties.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops

By Russell Hood and Bob Ratliff

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Choice is usually a good thing, but sometimes a person doesn't have the time or information to make the right decision, whether it be choosing a flavor of ice cream or the best weed-control method.

February 19, 1998 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Redbuds are not the only flowering trees that herald the arrival of spring. One different looking, but gorgeous tree you may have noticed is the Taiwan cherry.

February 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Sweet potato vines are becoming all the rage as landscape plants. It is not too hard to believe when you realize that many of us grow their close relatives, the morning glories or moon flowers.

February 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Company is coming to Mississippi in the form of hundreds of thousands of tourists, and Mississippians are encouraged to have the state ready for visitors.

First Lady Pat Fordice initiated the Splendors of Mississippi program last fall to complement the upcoming Splendors of Versailles and the International Ballet Competition, both to be held in Jackson this year. Her two-part beautification program is encouraging the planting of yellow, white and gold flowers all over the state, and keeping roadways free of litter.

February 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Health

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Good health practices and cleaning habits can help protect people from widespread colds and flu during the peak of the season.

Dr. Mary Currier, state epidemiologist, said Mississippi has experienced an average flu season. The best news is that reports have been on two strains of Influenza A, which are easier to treat than Influenza B. Unfortunately, one of the strains (A-Sidney) could not be controlled by the vaccine.

February 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, 4-H Safety Programs, ATV Safety

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- All-terrain vehicle accidents claim lives and cause hundreds of injuries each year, and young operators especially need to learn responsible habits to avoid deadly accidents.

Recreational use of ATVs, better known as three- and four-wheelers, increases as temperatures warm and days lengthen.

Dr. Dannie L. Reed, Choctaw County extension agent, said kids often see ATVs as toys. However, ATVs carry severe consequences if not carefully operated.

February 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Few areas of the financial world remained untouched by Asia's economic troubles that started in October, but Mississippi farmers are weathering it well.

Agricultural markets were shaken when Asian stock markets plummeted last fall. Hardest hit were Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan. These countries along the Pacific Rim have traditionally been strong consumers of American grain, cotton and poultry.

February 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Farming

By Bonnie Coblentz

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The topic of many causal conversations this winter is no light matter to farmers who must make decisions for the upcoming year based in part on the weather.

January has not brought the freezing temperatures it usually does, and warmer weather means more crop pests can survive until spring. But a lack of cold weather did not stop the rain, which has brought area flooding to some portions of the state.

February 5, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

MillionBells is the name for an exciting new group of petunias making their debut this year. They may be the most beautiful of all the new petunia family from the past five years.

January 29, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Remember the love that went with those flowers -- roots and all -- you as a child gave your mother. That same spirit can be captured this Valentine's Day with gifts of rose bushes.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Technology

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean farmers have relied on variety testing results for many years, and now they can view the latest results on the Internet.

Since 1982, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, in cooperation with Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, has tested various soybean varieties. Farmers receive the results through MAFES and extension publications and by word of mouth.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's rich soil has a reputation for producing impressive cotton crops, but Georgia's boll weevil-free fields have rapidly become the top Southeast producers.

"When the market is not strong, growers need all the breaks they can get to make a profit," said Dr. Michael Ouart, extension state program leader for agriculture and natural resources at Mississippi State University. "If boll weevils are not a control factor, growers can invest that money in other ways to produce higher yields."

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's catfish industry already leads the world in production, and in 1997 increased 22 percent to record a $380 million farm gate value in the state.

The latest figures show that Mississippi had 102,000 acres of catfish ponds as of Jan. 1, 1997. The United States had a total of 177,300. Twenty years ago, Mississippi had just 17,000 acres of catfish ponds.

Jim Steeby, area extension aquaculture agent in the Delta, said no other place in the nation is so uniquely equipped for catfish production.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather and Mississippi State University played major roles in the record yields state farmers have produced in recent years among Mississippi's top row crops.

In 1997, cotton farmers saw their highest production with 896 pounds harvested per acre. Soybeans matched 1996's second highest production with 31 bushels an acre, while corn set a new record at 107 bushels per acre. Rice and wheat also set yield records in the past two years.

January 22, 1998 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If your landscape looks a little desolate, barren or Siberia- like, it probably needs some evergreens. Of all landscape plants in the South, conifers are some of our most beautiful.

Conifers are important to our timber industry, but their usefulness doesn't stop there. A conifer is a cone-bearing tree or shrub. Familiar ones are the loblolly, slash pine, long and shortleaf pine, and others.