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News From 2007

July 27, 2007 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE –Who does not want to be in “high cotton”? The answer is Mississippi cotton growers.

For the rest of society, being in high or tall cotton signifies prosperity and good fortune, but for this year's cotton growers, tall plants mean less fruit, or bolls.

James Smith is a research professor at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. He said growers are using growth regulators to reduce the vegetative growth.

July 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Knowledge of how to plant and manage a legal dove field in Mississippi can put hunters ahead of the game as mourning dove season approaches.

Two Dove Field Demonstrations and Wildlife Field Days will be held in August. The first will be at Mississippi State University’s Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Experiment Station on Aug. 11 and the second at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Newton on Aug. 18.

Many vegetables can be planted in late summer to produce in the fall. The Mohawk pepper is one selection that grows well in containers.
July 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Most gardeners think spring is the best time for gardening, but if you haven't tried a fall garden, consider putting one in now. These can be the best gardens all year.

Cogongrass is not native to Mississippi, but the Asian import is spreading rapidly through the state, choking out native vegetation and causing problems for livestock and wildlife. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Bob Ratliff)
July 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Invasive Plants

By Andrea Cooper
MSU College of Forest Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cogongrass has spread across the southern United States since arriving as packing material in crates shipped from Asia to Mobile, Ala., in 1912. 

The invasive grass, which chokes out native plants and causes problems for livestock and wildlife, is the subject of two recent studies in Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources.

July 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The most commonly known people-plant connections are food and oxygen, but the use of plants to help individuals with mental illnesses goes back several hundred years.

Two Mississippi State University employees have teamed up to teach a graduate-level course this summer exploring the people-plant connection as a therapy tool. The 10-week class is offered at MSU's Meridian campus through the counselor education curriculum.

Hoat Bui Thi weighs fresh-caught shrimp for a customer aboard the Lucky Lady at the small craft harbor in Biloxi. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
July 20, 2007 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Fewer shrimp boats are working the waters off the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but the industry is showing signs of recovery from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

“About 300 boats were counted in Mississippi waters the morning of June 6, the official opening date of the state's shrimp season,” said David Burrage, professor of marine resources with the Mississippi State University Extenison Service in Biloxi. “This is about the same number of boats counted last year, but still less than one-third the number before Katrina hit in 2005.”

Achieve the tropical look in the garden with Imperial Taro. This cold-hardy elephant ear is thriving in a mixed-container setting, but it also will grow well in landscapes with other tropical plants such as cannas, gingers and bananas.
July 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Imperial Taro is one of my favorite cold-hardy elephant ears for lending that lush Caribbean look to the garden. Most elephant ears are thriving this year in a summer that started off dry and now has followed with almost daily monsoons.

The Imperial Taro can be found under a couple of other names like Illustris and Antiquorum. Most catalogs refer to them scientifically as Colocasia antiquorum var. Illustris. However, the real botanical name is Colocasia esculenta.

July 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent high demand for dairy products has pushed milk prices to near-record highs even before schools resume their massive use of milk.

Bill Herndon, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said milk prices have been steadily increasing since the middle of 2006 when milk was at a 25-year low.

“This July was the 13th month in a row to have increased milk prices,” Herndon said. “The public is responding by consuming fewer products, and farmers are responding by gearing up to produce more milk.”

July 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Head lice have an uncomfortable way of finding a new home regardless of their host's age, social status or personal hygiene, and with school about to start, chances are good that many Mississippi families will encounter these annoying parasites in the months ahead.

Blake Layton, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said there is no shame in getting head lice.

July 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Influenza becomes an issue in schools every winter, but the increasing threat of a pandemic flu demands more efforts to minimize the spread of germs.

Jane Clary, health specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said a pandemic influenza will be far worse than the seasonal-flu outbreaks that schools and communities experience each year. A pandemic is a disease outbreak that spans the world.

July 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Entomologists and wildlife and fisheries faculty at Mississippi State University think you can learn a lot from insects, so they are interested in developing a curriculum for K-12 education that uses the creepy-crawlies to teach a variety of subjects.

July 13, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

WOODVILLE -- Scouts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service found Asian soybean rust on kudzu in Mississippi July 12 in Wilkinson County.

As of July 13, no soybean rust has been found on soybeans in any field in Mississippi, but recent rains across the state created ideal conditions for the fungus.

July 13, 2007 - Filed Under: Crops, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A week of almost daily rains after July 4 could not overcome three years of deficit rainfall, but Mississippi's pastures and crops show evidence that the drought is over, at least for a short time.

Charles Wax, state climatologist and Mississippi State University professor of geosciences, compared the rain deficit to lost sleep.

“When you lose sleep, you can't catch up. Extra rest can help in the future, but the past is over,” Wax said.

Darrin Dodds
July 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Darrin Dodds has been named the state’s new cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dodds will serve as the primary contact for Extension educational material, technology transfer and programming regarding production of cotton, said Michael Collins, head of MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

July 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will hold a waste pesticide collection day July 31 in Tunica County for farmers and pesticide applicators in northwest Mississippi.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tunica Gin on Highway 61, one mile south of Tunica. There is no fee to participate.

Waste pesticides are leftover, cancelled, suspended or unusable products. Examples include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and plant growth regulators. Empty pesticide containers will not be accepted.

Crystal Palace Gem is one geranium gardeners will grow for its colorful lime-green foliage. They may never care if their reddish flowers ever bloom in this mixed container.
July 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Lime continues to rock the garden world. Recently, I have been enjoying a new iresine, or beefsteak plant, called Blazin' Lime.

July 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With four specialty areas under its umbrella, the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's primary care group offers learning experiences and veterinary services not available elsewhere.

Dr. Ron McLaughlin, head of CVM's Department of Clinical Sciences, said the primary care group includes a shelter medicine program, routine health care maintenance, dental care, and a behavior program.

July 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rains are turning struggling lawns across Mississippi into lush landscapes, and homeowners must work hard to keep them looking good all summer.

Wayne Wells, turf specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said now that the grass is growing, those performing lawn maintenance need to be sure to cut their turf to the correct height.

July 6, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's rice may be on track for another strong yield, but it will be on fewer acres.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 2007 crop has “good to excellent yield potential” as it enters the heading stage.

“This year, everything has worked like a charm,” Buehring said. “The crop has had good moisture levels to help herbicides work and stay activated. By the time we reached the dry period, it was time for flooding the fields.”

July 5, 2007 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People eager to become trained as Master Health Education Volunteers are being recruited for a program that promotes healthy living in the community.

The three-day training will be held Aug. 9, 23 and 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lauderdale County Extension office in Meridian. The cost to attend is $50, and the deadline to register is Aug. 3.