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News From 2002

December 30, 2002 - Filed Under: Soils

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

2003 garden catalogues are arriving every day, and Norman Winter is constantly telling you about new plants for the spring. As you sit by the fire on these cold blustery days making plans for the garden, reflect back and ask yourself how your flowers performed last year.

December 23, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you had told garden center managers in the early 1990s that they would be selling hundreds of sweet potatoes for the landscape each year, they probably would have laughed hysterically. Now they are laughing all the way to the bank as the ornamental sweet potato has become a huge success story in just a few short years.

December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Forest Ecology, Forestry

HATTIESBURG -- A new machine called a "sod scalper" is available to help landowners significantly increase longleaf pine seedling survival.

The scalper is a modified fire plow that removes the top 2 to 3 inches of sod and casts it aside. Longleaf pine seedlings are planted in the resulting 3-foot wide strip, which is free from competing grasses.

Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said research indicates that scalping was the best site preparation treatment for planting longleaf pine on pastures.

December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Agriculture

CLEVELAND -- The Delta's agricultural industry has made many changes in three decades, but growers have been able to depend on the annual Delta Ag Expo to help them adapt.

The 30th Annual Delta Ag Expo will take place Jan. 21 and 22 at the Bolivar County Exposition Center in Cleveland. Opening day activities will feature an 11:30 a.m. keynote address by Mississippi native and U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Hawks.

December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton farmers had what looked like the best crop in the history of the state until fall rains reduced yields and quality.

Will McCarty, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 2002 crop still promises to be above average, but the harvest was the wettest it has been in years. Rains destroyed some cotton on the plant and delayed farmers getting the rest out of the fields on time.

December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The predicted 1.2 percent decrease in value of Mississippi's timber harvest may represent a turn towards better conditions in the next few years.

Agricultural economists and forestry specialists with Mississippi State University's Extension Service are predicting the value of Mississippi's 2002 timber harvest at $1.06 billion, compared to 2001's value of almost $1.08 billion.

December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A poor export market and depressed prices combined to drive down the 2002 value of poultry production by 17 percent, but the crop still retained its status as the state's No. 1 commodity.

Tim Chamblee, poultry management researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said the Russian poultry import ban removed a large part of the state's market. Other countries cut back on some imports over concerns of poultry disease in parts of the United States.

A graph showing the ag produciion values.
December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A victim of low market prices, a Russian ban and a wet harvest season, Mississippi's 2002 total value of agricultural production is expected to decrease by almost 7 percent from the previous year.

The narcissus is a stalwart garden favorite.
December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The humble daffodil gives cheer as hearty messengers of spring's return and is among Mississippi's finest plants. But you'd better be planting these flowers of the genus Narcissus now if you want gorgeous blooms this spring.

October and November are the main bulb planting season, but we can find success by planting them later as well. Many garden centers are even offering specials on these bulbs, so take advantage.

December 16, 2002 - Filed Under: Forest Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The predicted 1.2 percent decrease in value of Mississippi's timber harvest may represent a turn towards better conditions in the next few years.

Agricultural economists and forestry specialists with Mississippi State University's Extension Service are predicting the value of Mississippi's 2002 timber harvest at $1.06 billion, compared to 2001's value of almost $1.08 billion.

December 9, 2002 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Several 4-Hers came back this year with wins after representing their state in various regional and national competitions.

Larry Alexander, youth development specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the advanced competitions enhance the youth's knowledge and skills.

Another excellent and economical use of rocks is to create outdoor rooms using flagstones.
December 9, 2002 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At this time of the year, many of us want to do more in the landscape than just rake leaves or pine straw. Why not take a survey around your home and see if you can use some rocks?

December 9, 2002 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holidays tend to turn ordinary people into party-hosts, but without proper planning, the task can be overwhelming.

Typical goals of parties are a beautiful setting, pretty and delicious food, and a good time for everyone, the host and hostess included.

Rebecca Kelly, human nutrition specialist and a registered dietitian with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said entertaining for the holidays can be as simple or complex as people want to make it.

December 9, 2002 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Families enjoy gathering for large holiday meals, but they do not need many people, large quantities of food or even a big occasion to make a meal time special.

If the laughter and conversation around the Thanksgiving table were worth savoring, families should realize that they have opportunities at every meal for creating good memories. These meals do not have to be elaborate, and they can be special if only two people are present. When adults eat with children, they should model good eating behaviors so that children see and develop healthy habits.

December 9, 2002 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Deer hunters across the country are becoming concerned about Chronic Wasting Disease, and while Mississippi deer appear to be disease-free, hunters are urged to take precautions to see that it stays that way.

Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, attacks the central nervous system of members of the deer family, particularly deer and elk. It belongs to the class of communicable diseases that includes mad cow disease and scrapie. CWD causes long-term degeneration of the brain, resulting in abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.

December 2, 2002 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Outdoors enthusiasts can take great strides in understanding the Southeast's wildlife through an intense seven-week short course beginning in February.

December 2, 2002 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rains that dashed many producers' hopes of a decent crop are still causing heartache as growers try to complete the harvest and repair fields damaged in the process.

Rains began in late September and stopped harvest statewide for most of the row crops. The delay caused many crop losses in the fields and reduced the quality of what remained. In between showers, growers did their best to harvest from the soaked fields. The result was thousands of acres of severely rutted fields, and some of the state's crops were still in the field at the end of November.

Christmas cactus
December 2, 2002 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you want a Christmas or holiday plant that will easily re-bloom every year, then the Christmas cactus is unbeatable.

The cacti in my office are living and blooming proof. Although I have had them for several years, they are abandoned for weeks on end during the spring and fall garden season. If they get water or any other light sitting in a north window, they are lucky.

November 25, 2002 - Filed Under:

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More than 80 poinsettia varieties will be on display during Mississippi State University's annual horticulture Christmas open house from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Dec. 6.

The free event will take place in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences' greenhouses behind Dorman Hall. In addition to the poinsettias, the open house will feature educational seminars, displays and door prizes.

November 25, 2002 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers can get the latest in production recommendations and technology application from top agricultural specialists, researchers and fellow farmers at the annual Mississippi State University Extension Service's Cotton Short Course, Dec. 4 through 6.

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