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News From 2006

Walker's Low catmint has crinkled, aromatic, silver-green foliage and blooms almost continuously from May until frost if pruned back by two-thirds when initial flowers fade. In a wildlife garden, the catmint will be visited by a constant array of bees and butterflies.
December 28, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Those who have grown Six Hills Giant catmint will want to make room for Walker's Low catmint, the 2007 Perennial Plant of the Year. Introduced in 1988 in Europe, Walker's Low has become increasingly popular with each passing year.

I am impressed with the variety of plants chosen by the Perennial Plant Association. Some of my favorites have been Becky Shasta daisy, Firewitch dianthus, Butterfly Blue scabiosa and Sunny Border Blue veronica.

The deodar cedar is a large, stately conifer that makes a big impact in winter landscapes with its evergreen color. Lower branches bend gracefully downward and up again, and are covered in needle-like, silvery blue-green leaves about two inches long.  Deodars grow into handsome specimen trees.
December 19, 2006 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The deodar cedar is one of my favorite trees in larger landscapes. Oddly enough, its country of origin is seen daily in the headlines. Can you guess? It's from Afghanistan and the Himalayas.

To me it's from Lucedale. Some of our great woody ornamental producers grow this tree.  Most of you probably think of me as a tropical nerd or flower nut of some kind, but I'll readily admit that I may wake up a conifer freak some morning.

December 19, 2006 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Careful Mississippians know that the usefulness of a Christmas tree does not have to end with the holidays as the tree can serve other purposes after the decorations come down.

The National Christmas Tree Association calls Christmas tree recycling treecycling and states online that more than 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America.

December 19, 2006 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A multidisciplinary effort at Mississippi State University to create an agricultural genomic database has resulted in a million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The funding will support ongoing efforts to enlarge AgBase, an online database developed by College of Veterinary Medicine researcher Dr. Shane Burgess and College of Engineering researcher Susan Bridges. Burgess and Bridges are also co-directors of the Institute for Digital Biology at MSU.

December 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Worldwide, unrealized fears of an avian influenza outbreak hurt exports of Mississippi poultry, bringing the estimated value of the state's largest commodity down 10 percent.

Poultry posted an estimated 2006 value of almost $2 billion, down 10.4 percent from the $2.2 billion value posted in 2005. Broilers took the biggest hit, down almost 12 percent to $1.8 billion from the $2.1 billion posted in 2005.

“We had a challenging year,” said Tim Chamblee, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

December 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane-damaged trees that flooded the market and drove prices down are the primary cause for an expected 9.6 percent decline in Mississippi's timber harvest value.

Marc Measells, a research and Extension associate with Mississippi State University's Department of Forestry, recently predicted the state's timber harvest value at $1.3 billion in 2006, compared to $1.45 billion the previous year. He based his estimate on timber severance tax collections and timber prices through October.

December 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton's reign as king of Mississippi's row crops remained unchallenged in 2006 as it posted an estimated $583 million production value, but growers paid a high price to bring it to harvest.

Cotton's estimated value rose 9 percent from the state's $533 million production in 2005.

“It was a real frustrating year,” said Tom Barber, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Some people picked the best crop they've ever picked, but it was probably the most expensive crop they've ever paid for.”

December 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Flooded markets and dry fields were leading causes of an estimated 11 percent decline in Mississippi's farm value of production for 2006.

John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, is predicting a total agricultural value of $5.8 billion, which includes a 29 percent decline in government payments. Mississippi's total farm-gate value in 2005 was $6.5 billion.

Mississippi's camellias deserve extra attention
December 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Mississippi is legendary when it comes to camellias and should soon have some stops along the American Camellia Society's upcoming National Camellia Trail. This trail will begin in the Pacific Northwest, move down the Pacific coast before turning east toward the Gulf states, then proceed north along the eastern seaboard.

December 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hundreds of growers, crop consultants and scientists will journey to Vicksburg on Jan. 5 when Mississippi hosts the 50th annual Tri-State Soybean Forum.

The event is sponsored this year by Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, the Louisiana State University Agricultural Research and Extension, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and Soybean South magazine, among others supporters of the soybean industry.

December 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crow control in commercial pecan orchards, soybean rust and termites are among the topics that will be discussed in the upcoming Integrated Pest Management workshop in Raymond on Jan. 24.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is sponsoring the General Pest Management Workshop at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Registration is $10 and begins at 8 a.m. for the full-day event that will be held in the auditorium.

December 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Catfish, Environment

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- U.S. farm-raised catfish land top honors as an environmentally friendly product in the fish and seafood category.

Researchers Craig Tucker and Jimmy Avery explained some of the benefits of these accolades to a crowd of catfish producers and researchers at the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center fall 2006 seminar held recently at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Mississippi State University agricultural economist Terry Hanson speaks at the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center's Fall 2006 catfish seminar held recently at MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Hanson told the crowd that rising corn demand will lead to even higher catfish feed prices for farmers in the coming year. (Photo by Robert H. Wells/Delta Research and Extension Center)
December 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Catfish, Corn

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- The increasing global demand for corn, a primary ingredient in catfish feed, will cause production costs to continue to rise, making it more difficult for producers to earn a profit.

“Our feed prices are not going to go down,” said Mississippi State University agricultural economist Terry Hanson. He was speaking to a crowd of catfish farmers and researchers at the recent National Warmwater Aquaculture Center fall 2006 seminar at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Yuletide camellia is an award-winning favorite bearing loads of red flowers coupled with bright yellow stamens. Unlike other holiday plants that typically last for only one season, Yuletide will bloom every year for the holidays and is a compact shrub offering an evergreen appearance in the winter landscape
December 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It's hard to pass up a shrub with a Christmas name, especially one with the festive colors, that blooms during the holiday season. Yuletide camellias can be found in many of the same places the more common Camellia sasanquas are located, such as near old homes and public buildings.

Erdogan Memili
December 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cutting-edge genetic research by a Mississippi State University animal scientist may help solve a problem that costs livestock producers millions of dollars each year.

The research by Erdogan Memili, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, is aimed at improving fertility in cattle and can be applied to other mammals.

November 30, 2006 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's pecan trees endured the summer's drought to produce more nuts than expected for holiday meals this year.

David Ingram is an associate plant pathologist at Mississippi State University's Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. He said most commercial growers are surprised with yields following the hurricane damage to trees in 2005 and the drought of this summer. He said rains during pollination and nut setting time helped load trees before the drought hit.

Neoregelias bromeliads will look great in a home for about four months. They are grown for their exotic foliage.
November 30, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Poinsettias, cyclamen and kalanchoes rank as the most popular plants for decorating or gift-giving at this time of the year. This year, consider another plant that is readily available at most garden centers and florists: the bromeliad.

When I mention bromeliad, what is your first thought? Is it of a finicky, hard-to-grow tropical? Do you think it might be impossible to get it to rebloom? If those are your impressions, I want to help you reconsider.

4-H Clover
November 30, 2006 - Filed Under: 4-H, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Little potted plants placed in temporary classrooms in south Mississippi are doing more than beautifying the sparse atmospheres -- they also are improving the air quality in these small buildings.

The 4-H Youth Development Program, part of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, recently launched a new effort, the 4-H Grow Fresh Air Project. The initiative is operating in Hancock County, with plans to expand it across the state next year.

November 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Community, Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A carpet of red poinsettias and other holiday plants will great visitors on Dec. 1 at Mississippi State University’s annual horticulture open house.

Poinsettias in all shades of red, pink and white, as well as a few novelty-type plants, will be on display from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the greenhouses on Stone Boulevard behind Dorman Hall. Poinsettias also will be on sale at the greenhouses.

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