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News From 2004

July 8, 2004 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University opened its doors and the minds of 11 high school students to reveal insights into potential careers in agriculture for minorities.

The June 21-25 Mississippi State Agriscience Institute for Minority Students provided a glimpse into the value and diversity of non-traditional, agriculture-related fields.

July 8, 2004 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Credit cards seem to be the American way to shop, and youth as young as high school are using them.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said research shows more than 20 percent of American teens have a credit card. Just over half the college freshman have a credit card, but by their sophomore year, 92 percent have at least one.

July 2, 2004 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rainfall up to three times the normal amount across the state in June made for soggy conditions, but the state's row crops still have the potential for a good yield.

Charles Wax, state climatologist at Mississippi State University, said Mississippi averaged 9.83 inches of rain statewide in June, a new record that beat the 9.8 inches set in 1989. Normal rainfall for the state is about 7 inches in June.

July 1, 2004 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona will hold its biennial Agronomic Row Crops Field Day Aug. 4 at the Lee County AgriCenter on Highway 145 South.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the field tour of the center’s cotton, soybean and corn research and demonstration plots starts at 8:30 a.m.

July 1, 2004 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station will hold a research and demonstration tour Thursday, July 15. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.

The station is located on Highway 15 approximately 7 miles south of Pontotoc.

Research activities with corn, cotton, soybeans and sweet potatoes will be highlighted during the tour of the station’s research fields.

July 1, 2004 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new specialist will assume the responsibility of supporting the rice industry in the state when Mississippi State University’s Extension Service appoints Nathan Buehring to the job.

Buehring assumes his duties July 16 and will work from the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Before being named rice specialist, Buehring established a background in weed control and pest management in various agronomic crops.

July 1, 2004 - Filed Under: About Extension, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The new Extension cotton specialist at Mississippi State University is a weed scientist who is no stranger to MSU or agronomic crops.

Before Tom Barber was named the MSU Extension Service cotton specialist on July 1, he spent three and a half years at MSU working with cotton and corn. Most recently, he was responsible for managing 170 acres of remote sensing, site-specific precision agriculture and weed control field and plot research.

The colorful-leafed caladiums give a lush, cool, tropical feeling to any part of the landscape, and light up areas like this shady garden sidewalk.
July 1, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

July 1, 2004 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University veterinary graduate pledged to serve the U.S. Air Force as a public health officer during a June ceremony at the Wise Center.

Dr. Misty Purvis, a May 2004 College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, will be based at Eglin Air Force Base, one of the largest military bases in the world, near Fort Walton Beach, Fla. She will be responsible for the health of the troops based there, dealing mainly with zoonotic and communicable diseases.

June 25, 2004 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite worries caused by a wet winter and suspected herbicide drift, Mississippi's wheat crop will meet, if not exceed, 2000's record yields.

"I expect we will probably set a new record state average yield," said Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "I imagine we'll exceed the 2000 record of 55 bushels per acre. If we don't exceed it, we'll at least be very close to it."

June 24, 2004 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University is using its resources to help the state's manufacturers become more effective in a highly competitive global community.

The university is officially launching its new Industrial Outreach Service with the naming of Duane Motsenbocker as interim director. IOS will be staffed by a core group of professionals who will provide assistance directly to state industries. IOS will also provide a connection between industry and MSU faculty, students and researchers who can help solve a variety of technical and management problems.

June 24, 2004 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The heat of Mississippi summers presents a challenge to dairy farmers trying to keep their cows cool enough to produce abundant milk.

Traditional dairy barns are built with high ceilings so heat will rise and open sides that allow the free movement of air. Fans and water spray are used to cool the cattle.

June 24, 2004 - Filed Under: Dairy, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A dairy farmer in Forest quadrupled the size of his herd and took advantage of technological innovations to give his production an edge in a financially tight industry.

Quinton Mills of Mills Dairy in Scott County recently completed construction on his expanded, state-of-the-art dairy facility. He went from milking about 100 cows four years ago to milking 400 today.

Making that increase in production meant he had to do some things differently.

The Cancun Mix of Tempo Impatiens will literally pop out of the shady garden, making everyone take notice.
June 24, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Every time I give a seminar, someone wants to know what flowers they can plant in the shade. I always answer first with impatiens. The impatiens is related to the old time touch-me-not and originates in East Africa.

When you consider that impatiens bloom from the time you plant them in the spring until the first hard frost, you are talking about an extremely good value for your landscape dollar. What other plant can you name that blooms for an average of 210 days?

June 18, 2004 - Filed Under: Watermelons

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's commercial watermelons appear to have avoided significant disease problems despite frequent summer showers and are ripening in time for Fourth of July picnics.

Charles Waldrup, Smith County director for Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said rains and humidity promote several diseases in watermelons. As the late spring rains steadily arrived across most of the state, growers noted only slight cases of diseases, such as gummy stem blight.

June 17, 2004 - Filed Under: Forest Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new wrinkle in the tax code allows timber owners to deduct the cost of fertilizer as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

Deborah Gaddis, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said before the Internal Revenue Service ruling, fertilizer costs were treated as a capital expenditure and handled differently. Landowners now can deduct this cost all at once, up to certain limits, rather than recovering it over the expected life of the fertilizer, generally three years.

June 17, 2004 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Newly elected officers for Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources alumni are planning a "grand" 50th reunion for July 31.

Throughout the day, groups will tour campus locations such as the newly renovated Montgomery Hall, the Forest Products Lab, the wildlife holding pens and aquaculture unit. MSU baseball coach Ron Polk will be the guest speaker during the evening banquet in the Bost Extension Center.

June 17, 2004 - Filed Under: Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A common part of rural scenes in Mississippi alongside grazing cattle and picturesque houses and barns are the round bales of hay dotting pastures.

While it may look pretty, hay is not made for its beauty, and storing it outside can cut its value as a feed in half.

Richard Watson, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said hay stored outside typically loses 40 percent to 50 percent of its nutrients in one year. Losses come from weather, mold and animal waste.

The hosta is in the lily family and has the common name of Plantain Lily. Despite the fact that they are cold-hardy way up north in zone 4, their beauty and leaf texture add a tropical flair to the garden.
June 17, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

After two recent trips, I remain convinced that the most striking plant for shade gardens is the hosta.

Though summer is officially just beginning, you have to admit the heat is stifling and making you head to the shade pretty quickly. If you are going to stay outdoors in Mississippi, hostas make it seem cooler and tranquil.

June 17, 2004 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most snakes in Mississippi are not venomous and many help keep mice populations down, but very few people want reptiles slithering near family homes.

Instead of purchasing questionable repellents, homeowners should invest their time in cleaning up their yards and eliminating snake habitats.