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News From 2004

November 4, 2004 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just as parents child-proof holiday homes, pet owners should do some pet-proofing to ensure a happy, safe holiday season.

Dr. Mark Russak, a veterinarian in the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Primary Care clinic, said the main mistake pet owners make during the holiday season is feeding their pets leftovers and other unhealthy treats.

October 29, 2004 - Filed Under: About Extension

STONEVILLE -- The latest addition to facilities at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville was dedicated Oct. 28 in honor of a strong proponent of the Delta's economic advancement.

More than 150 leaders in business, agriculture, education and state government were on hand for ceremonies marking the official opening of the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Entrepreneurial Center.

October 29, 2004 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi should produce its highest average soybean yield ever on a crop that was planted earlier than had ever been done before.

"This is the best crop per acre average on record," said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Early planting got the crop off to a good start, we had a near-perfect growing season and we avoided late-season dry weather."

While there were areas of extremes with as few as 20 bushels harvested per acre, other producers "made yields they've only dreamed of," Blaine said.

October 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Top quality beef animals will move through the auction ring Nov. 18 as Mississippi State University releases almost 90 surplus cattle to the highest bidders.

MSU and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the 22nd annual Animal Production Sale at the Mississippi Horse Park, AgriCenter and Fairgrounds, which is located on Poorhouse Road south of Starkville. Lunch will be served at noon, and the cattle sale will begin around 1 p.m.

A Larra bicolor wasp attacking a mole cricket. (Lyle Buss, University of Florida)
October 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most people don't go looking for wasps, except with a spray can of insecticide, but when David Held looks for them, it's to encourage, not annihilate, a particular type of wasp.

Held is an entomologist at Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. In early October, he found a tiny wasp on the Great Southern Golf Course in Gulfport that could be good news for golf courses and homeowners on the Coast.

The forsythia sage is a short-day or long-night bloomer that reaches 6 to 7 feet in height and is topped by bright yellow blossoms reaching 12 to 24 inches in length.
October 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I always like to go back to the Truck Crops Experiment Station after the Fall Flower and Garden Fest. It's kind of like going back on the football field after winning the game.

The hummingbirds seem happy now that the 6,000 visitors are gone, but they sure put on a show for them during the Fest. One plant they were really feasting on was the forsythia sage, known botanically as Salvia madrensis.

October 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The beauty of Mississippi's fall leaf color display helps ease the bad feelings many have about raking the acres of dead leaves that follow.

Andy Londo, forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said decreased daylight and falling temperatures make deciduous tree leaves change color and shed.

"In our region, tree shed is preceded by color change," Londo said. "Leaves change color because of a change in the pigment, which is affected by the change in weather."

October 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Catfish, Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A current Mississippi State University research project has the potential to eliminate a devastating disease in channel catfish, one of the state's most economically significant agricultural products.

October 25, 2004 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

R. Rodney Foil of Starkville is among the first inductees into a newly created U.S. Department of Agriculture hall of fame.

The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service at USDA recognized 10 individuals from across the nation for their support for research, education and extension in advancing knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities. The CSREES Hall of Fame was created this year to recognize the agency's 10th anniversary.

October 22, 2004 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's pecan growers were expecting a light crop in 2004, but zero is significantly worse than some were anticipating.

David Ingram, Extension plant pathologist and research professor with the Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said pecans are an alternate-bearing crop, meaning good years are typically followed by smaller crops the next.

October 21, 2004 - Filed Under: Corn, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers have traditionally worked hard to keep cows out of their corn, but Dr. Steve Redding is glad to see part of his herd grazing in corn.

Redding is a full-time veterinarian and a part-time cattleman in Lafayette County. For the past two years, he has devoted seven acres of his pasture to corn planted with just minimum tillage. He grazes heifers on the standing corn from late summer through early fall. The results, he said, have been good and he plans to put more of his herd on corn grazing next year.

The glass lamp to the left gives light during the night and a statuesque appearance during the day.
October 21, 2004 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The time change is one of the few times of the year I always dread. I don't mind getting up to sunshine, but I really dislike coming home to dark.

If you are like me, probably we both could use a little landscape lighting to welcome us home as we pull in the drive. After mulch, lighting is the perfect finishing touch to landscaping. Lighting can really make a dramatic impact in the landscape, especially when featuring the old oak, water pond or flower garden.

October 21, 2004 - Filed Under: About Extension, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Translating research findings into useful educational programs has been the Extension Service's priority throughout its 90 years, but today's challenge includes an additional step: reaching the state's growing population of Spanish speakers.

Katrina McCalphia, 4-H agent in Newton County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is starting a Spanish 4-H club. She has recruited a Hispanic mother to be the volunteer leader for the club, and she is seeking Hispanic/Latino and American youth to join it.

October 21, 2004 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many Mississippians anticipate it all year long but often fail to consider the safety and legal issues that come along with deer hunting season.

Ben West, wildlife professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said tree stand safety is one of the most often overlooked areas of hunting safety.

"Many more people are injured each year falling out of tree stands than in firearm accidents," West said. "It's very important to give a good inspection first if you're using a tree stand that's been up for a while."

October 15, 2004 - Filed Under: Cotton

cMISSISSIPPI STATE -- After a season of unprecedented weather challenges, the biggest uncertainty remaining for Mississippi's cotton growers is whether or not they will top last year's record yields.

2003 went down in the record books with yields averaging 932 pounds per acre. 2004 will go down in the record books for the wettest June and coldest first week in August. Then growers faced a Category IV hurricane as it bore down on the state on the eve of the harvest season. While some fields took a hit from Hurricane Ivan, the bulk of the state's crop was spared.

October 14, 2004 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Entrepreneurs who dream of creating and manufacturing food products can learn how to make those dreams reality at a day-long conference offered in Meridian in November.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is sponsoring Food as a Business Nov. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kahlmus Auditorium on the MSU-Meridian campus. Registration for the conference is $35 and includes lunch, breaks and conference materials. Speakers represent the Extension Service, the Mississippi Development Authority, and retail and manufacturing industries.

October 14, 2004 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean yields that once would have seemed phenomenal now are a little disappointing for a Tupelo producer.

Keith Wiseman knows how to manage his crop the SMART way -- with the Soybean Management by Application of Research and Technology program. SMART is provided through the Mississippi State University Extension Service and funded by the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board. Wiseman said he has seen dramatically increased yields on his 300 acres of soybeans since adopting SMART management techniques.

October 14, 2004 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean producers are learning that planting fewer seeds can mean higher profits.

Rising seed technology fees are encouraging soybean producers to be frugal as they plant.

Soybean seed costs about $26 to $27 a bag this year, but there is speculation it will rise to as much as $35 as seed companies pass on a higher cost of research and development.

The strikingly beautiful Red Giant mustard is a colorful addition to fall and winter landscapes. Here it is surrounded by pink, spring-blooming tulips.
October 14, 2004 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The 2004 Mississippi Medallion award-winning Red Giant Mustard may be just what you need to liven up your fall and winter garden.

If you haven't tried Red Giant mustard, you have missed one of the hottest new plants for the fall and winter. They are strikingly beautiful in the landscape, and partner well with pansies like the Ultima Apricot shades and Delta Fire, and are incredible interplanted with spring-blooming pink tulips.

October 14, 2004 - Filed Under: Family

By Linda Breazeale

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The national flu vaccine shortage will eliminate the single best option for preventing the flu for some Mississippians, but officials are encouraging the state's residents to consider all their health options.

Liz Sharlot, director of communications with the Mississippi State Department of Health, said people who are most at risk for the flu and its serious complications should make every effort to get vaccinated.