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News From 2004

Knock Out's fluorescent, cherry-red blooms begin in spring and continue to provide color until the first frost. During the winter months, orange-red rose hips provide added winter interest.
December 30, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At the Midsouth Greenhouse Growers Conference, a speaker told of a recent rose introduction that was surprising everyone with its non-stop blooming and apparent tolerance, if not resistance, to the cursed black spot. What was this knock-out rose? It was Knock Out, a 2000 All-America Rose Selections winner.

In a gardening world dominated by a sea of green, well-placed pockets of plants with silver and gray leaves is ever so striking, like in this planting of Sweet Alyssum and Dusty Miller.
December 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

When choosing plants for borders this spring, strive to vary heights and leaf textures, and don't overlook plants with gray foliage.

In a gardening world dominated by a sea of green, well-placed pockets of plants with silver and gray leaves is ever so striking. We have choices here from perennials, herbs and even shrubs.

December 16, 2004 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Superior varieties, few pests and cooperative weather helped the 2004 cotton crop exceed last year's record-setting yields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the 2004 state average yield to be 1,000 pounds of lint per acre, up from 932 pounds per acre in 2003. Mississippi producers planted 1.1 million acres of cotton in 2004 and harvested 1.09 million acres.

December 16, 2004 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A wet summer kept loggers out of the woods and helped the 2004 timber harvest increase in value for the second consecutive year.

The state's No. 2 agricultural commodity is expected to have a 2004 value of production of about $1.1 billion, up 1.5 percent from last year's value. Poultry and timber have retained their No. 1 and 2 spots since the mid-1990s.

Debbie Gaddis, a forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said heavy rains in June, July and August contributed to increased timber prices.

December 16, 2004 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Poultry topped the $2 billion mark in 2004 as record prices combined with higher production for the state's No. 1 commodity.

Poultry set a new record for the estimated value of production, increasing by nearly 26 percent - more than $400 million - to $2.01 billion. Broilers saw a 30 percent increase and chickens a 27 percent increase, but eggs dropped 8 percent in estimated farm-gate value.

December 16, 2004 - Filed Under: Crops

By Bonnie Coblentz

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Four major Mississippi crops set production records in 2004, but it took the strength of poultry's $2 billion year to push the state's estimated agriculture value to a record $5.5 billion.

The state's overall value of production is expected to rise 3 percent from the record $5.3 billion set in 2003. Poultry was the big winner, gaining nearly 26 percent to post its new record.

The Crippsii can grow to around 20 feet tall, but most are in the 10-foot range. The golden-yellow foliage really looks incredible during cold, dreary winter weather.
December 16, 2004 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I recently attended a meeting in Lucedale at one of the nurseries that produce woody ornamentals. As I was walking across the field, I noticed some beautiful conifers with glowing golden foliage.

These gold, Christmas tree-shaped plants are known botanically as Chamaecyparis obtusa, or false cypress. The variety that is becoming more popular in the southeast is Crippsii.

December 9, 2004 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rural schools and communities in America share an important and often fragile relationship, according to a special report recently released by the Southern Rural Development Center.

"The Role of Education: Promoting the Economic and Social Vitality of Rural America" does not seek to provide definitive answers to the problems facing rural communities. Instead, the report calls attention to the areas in which progress can be made to reverse the trends of urbanization and resource massing that are so devastating to rural America.

DayDream is a low-growing, compact landscape shrub rose reaching just 2 feet in height. A unique color in the shrub category, the massive clusters of lightly scented, fuchsia-pink blooms will flower all summer long. Foliage is glossy, deep green and highly disease resistant. DayDream's moderate size and neat, round habit make it an appropriate choice for a variety of garden situations.
December 9, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Any mention of champions at this time of the year and everyone thinks about the Orange Bowl or some other football game. But the All-America Rose Selections Committee names champions every year, and they are not determined on a football field in Miami or even Pasadena.

The nonprofit All-America Rose Selections Committee looks for roses with traits like striking color, a profuse bloom, unparalleled disease resistance or an unbelievably sweet fragrance.

December 9, 2004 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When her little sister died shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer, grief wasn't the only emotion Peggy Crawford felt.

"My younger sister, Marsha, died at 45 years old, within 50 weeks of learning she had breast cancer. That really ticked me off," Crawford said. Marsha left an 8-year-old daughter behind.

Instead of remaining angry, Crawford started BATTLE, an acronym for Breast cancer Awareness To Teach Ladies Early detection.

December 9, 2004 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Year's end causes many people to look ahead to what they want to do in the new year, but Mississippi State University specialists encourage Mississippians to also look back to tie up any loose ends.

Financial matters may be the most important. Susan Cosgrove, Extension area family resource management agent in Newton County, said December and January are perfect times to pull together documentation for income tax filings.

December 2, 2004 - Filed Under: Cotton, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agricultural producers from across the region will descend on Cleveland Jan. 18 and 19 for the most recent information on soybean rust, international cotton trade issues and other crop concerns during the 32nd annual Delta Ag Expo.

Get into the holiday spirit by heading to the outdoors and collecting things for an old-fashioned wreath. Harvest sprigs of greenery from an eastern red cedar or leyland cypress. Look for tallow tree seed clusters, magnolia leaves with fruit pods, pine cones, and holly and nandina berries.
December 2, 2004 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

To be perfectly honest, decorating for Christmas has never been high on my list. I know my family would like me to have a session with Dr. Laura, but then all of you would recognize my voice, which the TV crew already says is an embarrassment.

December 2, 2004 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Now is the time to prepare land for pine tree planting, and a new tax law change will affect landowners with both small and large acreage.

Debbie Gaddis, a forest taxation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said tax incentives for planting pine trees changed in October. In general, this change is beneficial to landowners with large acreage and unfavorable for small landowners.

Malcolm Mabry and Lulu
December 2, 2004 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lulu's parentage was questionable -- part Labrador, part collie ... maybe. What was certain was the bond she shared with Delta farmer Malcolm Mabry Jr.

Fifteen years ago, Mabry and neighbor David Cook found Lulu near the edge of a wheat field on Mabry's farm near Dublin in Coahoma County. The abandoned pup was cold and frightened. Luckily for her, she was too weak to run away.

Mabry, a former state lawmaker, took the dog home, bathed her and provided a meal of warm milk and bread. That was the beginning of a 15-year relationship.

November 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Long hours of practice paid off for Mississippi State University's Dairy Products Evaluation team at the International Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest.

The MSU undergraduate team placed first among 18 U.S. and Canadian teams at the Nov. 6 event in Lakeland, Fla. The win marked more than a dozen times Mississippi State students have taken top honors in the event.

November 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Every season brings its challenges to beef producers, and the winter weather means it's time to supplement what cattle graze on their own.

Brian Rude, beef nutritionist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, urged beef cattle producers to make thoughtful preparation for feeding during the winter months. Cattle often need supplements to meet their winter nutritional needs when grazing or eating stored hay.

Known botanically as Brugmansia, Angel's Trumpets come from Ecuador, but they couldn't look more at home in Mississippi. The most beautiful of Angel's Trumpets reach 12 to 18 inches in length and make a statement in the landscape. Combine them with large bananas for a tropical appeal, or try them with Purple Hearts or red coleus like Burgundy Sun, New Orleans Red or Plum Parfait.
November 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The prolonged fall with no frosts has made this a banner year for Angel's Trumpets. It seemed those at the Truck Crops Experiment Station were a little behind others at first, but now I see these pre-holiday treasures everywhere.

The giant, trumpet-shaped flowers in apricot yellow, pink or white gracefully hang along branches in Mississippi landscapes as if waiting for Gabriel to choose one for an upcoming announcement.

November 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holiday season offers many opportunities for parents to teach their children the benefits of giving as well as receiving.

"The holiday season is a great time to step back and really focus on how you and your family can help those in need. When children see parents helping others and getting joy out of doing so, they learn the season is not all about getting presents," said Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

November 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Americans can be grateful for the stewardship of their ancestors who took steps to protect wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

Ben West, wildlife specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said unlike many countries, wildlife is prevalent and considered public property in the United States. However, access to ample wildlife is by design, not luck.