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News From 2000

December 25, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

After all of these years, I admit to still being hooked on David Austin English roses. Winter is a great time of the year for rose suppliers to try to capture your attention and dollars with pretty pictures.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More than $12 million in federal support provided by Congress through the Agriculture Appropriations Act will fund Mississippi State University projects in agriculture, forestry and rural health in 2001.

Sen. Thad Cochran heads the ag appropriations committee responsible for dividing the money among worthy projects. This year's ag appropriations is funding a variety of projects in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and MSU's Extension Service and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The drought of 2000 hit Mississippi's farmers hard, with conservative estimates exceeding $300 million in lost revenues and increased production costs.

Charlie Forrest, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said many of the actual losses are near impossible to calculate. The hardest hit commodities were cotton, soybeans, cattle and forestry.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Cotton

By Crystel Bailey

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hot and dry conditions made it tough for Mississippi cotton farmers in 2000 even though they managed to increase cotton acreage.

Mississippi's cotton's estimated value in 2000 was $518 million, which was up from $441 million in 1999. This makes cotton the state's No. 3 crop. Mississippi farmers planted 1.36 million acres of cotton in 2000, and harvested 1.28 million acres. Yields averaged 649 pounds per acre, compared to 708 pounds per acre in 1999.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The state's poultry industry lost value in 2000 but easily held onto their ranking as the state's top agricultural commodity.

Mississippi's poultry industry is expected to have a value of $1.45 billion in 2000. This value is down about 2 percent from 1999 and down from a high in 1998 of $1.54 billion. Production is estimated at 1.58 billion eggs and 706 million broilers weighing 3.5 billion pounds in 2000.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

By Linda Breazeale

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agricultural economists predict that miracles still happen. Despite a costly drought in 2000, they expect Mississippi's farm value to hold near the $5 billion level.

Charlie Forrest, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said some slightly better market prices and increased acres are helping offset the statewide economic effects of the drought. Some estimates show the impact of the drought on the state's agricultural economy to be around $311 million in lost revenue and added costs.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This is the time of the year when variegated plants really start-to-shine in the landscape. Some gardeners consider plants with leaf variegation gaudy or unattractive, but even the much maligned golden Euonymous, when placed against dark evergreens, is like a lantern in the forest. I believe the Euonymous may be a forgotten plant for the Southern landscape.

December 18, 2000 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's timber industry took another hit in 2000 as prices and harvests continued to decline, giving the industry a lower value than last year.

Mississippi's timber harvest is estimated at $1.26 billion, a 1.3 percent decline from 1999. This value makes forestry the state's No. 2 crop in market value, behind poultry.

"This is the second small decline in timber harvest value since we set an all-time record high in 1998 of $1.36 billion," said Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

December 11, 2000 - Filed Under: Poultry, Water Quality

By Crystel Bailey

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Poultry production can decrease the water quality in places where people like to swim and fish, but agricultural specialists are taking steps to manage this problem in Mississippi.

Poultry, Mississippi's No. 1 agricultural product, produces a massive amount of manure, or litter. To use this by-product, producers distribute the litter as phosphorous-rich fertilizer on pastures and forage crops. Excess phosphorous can move into the soil and eventually find its way into surface water.

December 11, 2000 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A sugar high may not be ideal in children, but our trees certainly have rewarded us this fall from the extra sugar in their systems. Mississippi trees are on a high from trapped sugar and are giving the prettiest color most of us can remember.

December 11, 2000 - Filed Under: Health

By Chantel Lott

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Partygoers who tend to overindulge in the holiday spirits may need to learn the fine art of dawdling to decrease the effect of alcohol on their system.

Dawdling is characterized by mixing with other guests and friends, and maybe having a dance before heading to the bar at holiday festivities.

December 11, 2000 - Filed Under: Pets

By Bonnie Coblentz

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Owners of dogs that escape every chance they get don't have to feel like they're at the end of their rope.

Some dogs are content to live a lifetime within the confines of their yard with very little restraint. Others get the wandering bug, and dig, climb or jump fences, and break out to explore their world. Some stay close by while others roam for miles. This roaming risks their health and life, and often contributes to unwanted puppies.

December 11, 2000 - Filed Under:

By Crystel Bailey

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People would never send their family members out into the cold without a source of warmth and nourishment, and neglecting to provide for pets can be just as heartless.

"Animals need shelter from temperatures or wind chills below freezing.

December 11, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi plants that survived the 100-plus temperatures last summer have new challenges arriving with winter's extremely cold days and nights.

Norman Winter, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the cold temperatures have been somewhat typical for the state and not as threatening for landscape plants.

December 4, 2000 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University hasn't entered the poultry business, but it does have a new, state-of-the-art, working broiler facility for research purposes.

The 43-by-400 foot broiler house on the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station's South Farm took in its first chicks in mid-October. The climate-controlled facility is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service at MSU.

December 4, 2000 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Long ago they were called Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night), but today we know poinsettias as the most popular Christmas plants. Christmas is loaded with legends and stories like the Little Drummer Boy and the origin of the poinsettia.

December 4, 2000 - Filed Under: Community

By Crystel Bailey

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Thad and Judy Buck, an attorney and a housewife from West Point, give the gift of hospitality to people from all over the world, and in return, the value of kindness is instilled in those they touch.

The Bucks, who live about 25 miles from Mississippi State University, open their home throughout the year to international students who attend MSU.

December 4, 2000 - Filed Under: Pets

By Chantel Lott

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dalmatians can make great movies, but they are not necessarily the best pet choice.

With the latest dalmatian movie hitting theaters in time for Christmas, many parents may consider getting a dalmatian as a family dog. John Harkness, laboratory animal veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said dalmatians are not ideally suited for family settings.

"They have several characteristics that lessen their appeal as the family dog," Harkness said.

November 27, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Lion's Tail, Forsythia Sage, Caribbean Blue otacanthus and Diva periwinkles are just a few of the plants that caught the eye of visitors to Mississippi State University plant evaluation sites this summer and fall.

November 27, 2000 - Filed Under: Health

By Chantel Lott

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women in Mississippi, but early detection and treatment mean a better chance for survival.

"Many women think that breast cancer will never affect them, but it can happen to anyone at anytime," said Linda Patterson, health and safety specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

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