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News From 2005

Plant your screen informally and in odd numbered repetitive clusters or clumps keeping your plants separated from turf.
December 29, 2005 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

One common request I hear is from people wanting to create some privacy between them and a neighbor, to quiet a noisy street, or to soften a fence. These are all good reasons for planting a screen of plant material.

Nellie R. Stevens holly was introduced 1954. Rugged, durable and exquisite in both beauty and form, it offers glossy leaves, red berries and a classic Christmas tree shape.
December 22, 2005 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This is one of the plants where legends have been passed down. The word, holly, is believed to be derived from holy, for in several parts of Europe sprigs were used in decorating to commemorate the birth of Christ. The legend continues that the berries were yellow, but being part of the crown of crucifixion, were stained with the wounds of Christ and have since remained red.

December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- George M. Hopper has been voted president-elect of the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs.

December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's poultry industry was poised to see another increase in value before Hurricane Katrina came through and set the whole industry back significantly, but producers have regrouped and are planning on expansion next year.

Poultry's estimated value fell 6 percent to an estimated $1.98 billion in 2005, mostly caused by hurricane losses. The industry's value topped the $2 billion mark for the first time last year, and had been in a modest expansion before the hurricane hit.

December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina slammed two year's timber harvest volume to the ground, but the forecast for the industry value still shows a slight increase over 2004.

Bob Daniels, forestry professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, is predicting the forestry value of production for the state to be $1.27 billion, a 1 percent increase over the previous year's value. This estimate is based on timber severance tax collections and timber prices through October.

December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton farmers could explain Murphy's Law by describing their 2005 growing season, but despite everything going wrong that could have, they managed to produce above-average yields.

Mississippi's total cotton crop has a projected value of $697 million. The total production forecast is 2.1 million bales of cotton. With this crop value, cotton maintains its place as the state's most significant row crop and its third largest agricultural commodity. Mississippi's top two crops are poultry then forestry.

December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's crops endured major hurricanes and may not repeat their record yields, but economists are predicting that the state's agricultural value of production just topped 2004 levels to break the historic $6 billion mark.

December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It wasn't long ago that spotting the word “soy” on a food label meant a shopper had drifted into the health food section of the grocery store, but the ingredient shows up in mainstream products throughout those same stores today.

The humble soybean is grown mostly for its protein and oil. Mississippi producers plant more than 1.5 million acres of farmland to soybeans each year, and the crop is used in everything from catfish feed to biodiesel and ham.

This lilac painted poinsettia can add to your Christmas decorations, then with some extra care, can still look good for Easter. Try it with some pink eggs underneath or surrounding white Easter lilies.
December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I just placed a poinsettia in my living room called Orange Wonder. It is incredibly beautiful and what I tell you about it will most likely stretch your poinsettia comfort zone a little.

December 8, 2005 - Filed Under: Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Record-setting sales were posted at the 2005 Mississippi State University livestock auction, which featured two interactive video bidding sites.

The 23rd annual Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Production Sale was held Nov. 17 at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville and featured 107 lots of Angus, Charolais and Hereford bulls, commercial bred heifers, Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

December 8, 2005 - Filed Under: Catfish

STONEVILLE -- The research of two Delta professors has the potential to save Mississippi catfish producers an estimated $5 million to $8 million annually. Now the researchers are being awarded for their contributions.

Ed Robinson and Menghe Li are research professors in catfish nutrition at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center's National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville. They recently received the “most relevant publication to Mississippi” award from the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.

The blue-green foliage of the Arizona cypress stands out in showy contrast against the fall rusty red needles of the bald cypress.
December 8, 2005 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The winter landscape can look breathtakingly beautiful by choosing the right plants, such as the smooth Arizona cypress.

December 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers and agricultural consultants across the region will converge on the Mississippi Delta in January to learn practical ways to the save energy costs during the 2006 production year.

“Every farmer in the nation felt the impact of higher fuel prices in 2005,” said Don Respess, Bolivar County Extension director and co-chair for the event. “We want to provide energy conservation solutions farmers can implement this year.”

Yellow tulips provide a colorful contrast with purple pansies.
December 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This year was my first time to take part in the Black Friday Christmas shopping chaos. From now on, I'll just stay at home and plant bulbs. I am not talking about daffodils, although I suppose if you found a good buy you could certainly do that. What I am really talking about are tulips and hyacinths purchased back in October.

December 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Adults can protect themselves from winter colds and flu by helping children learn good hygiene practices and keeping their play areas clean.

A flu shot is a smart, preventative measure, and is recommended for children less than 2 years old, senior adults and those with compromised immune systems. The best time to get a flu shot has already passed this year, but everyone can take precautions to avoid this virus and other sicknesses.

December 1, 2005 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Marcus Daniels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic, Claiborne County students are learning skills to secure future employment.

For eight years, Claiborne County Extension Director Doyle Banks has worked with Port Gibson High School and the Vocational Technical Complex under the Children, Youth and Families At-Risk grant to help prepare students for the work force.

“I've seen more than 800 students successfully complete the program and go on to be productive members of the work force,” Banks said.

Debis in front of one of the damaged structures in Biloxi.
December 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Soils, Disaster Response, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Three months after Hurricane Katrina created one and a half times as much debris in Mississippi's three coastal counties as the state creates in a year, removal is progressing slowly under a plan that emphasizes long-term safe disposal.

November 23, 2005 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sites are being established across Mississippi to downlink a regional forestry satellite conference from Feb. 7 through March 21.

Deborah Gaddis, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said landowners, Extension agents and others interested in forest management concepts can benefit from the 2006 Advanced Master Tree Farmer Satellite Shortcourse. The seven-week course will originate at Clemson University, and it will include regional and national forestry experts including two from MSU.

November 23, 2005 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biotechnology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When scientists around the world need in formation on gene function in agriculturally important crops, they turn to an online database developed at Mississippi State University.

Known as AgBase, this database catalogs the functions of genes in the genome sequences of plants and animals. Dr. Shane Burgess, a College of Veterinary Medicine researcher, was the lead collaborator on the project.

Chardonney Pearls deutzia, Sanguna Midnight Blue Petunia and Coffee Twist sedge combine wonderfully in a container that would be a hit on any porch, patio or deck.
November 23, 2005 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Just when you think you've seen everything in the gardening world, up pops a new deutzia. Your grandmother may have had an old white variety that bloomed every spring. The new Chardonney Pearls will change everything you ever thought about deutzia.

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