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News From 2007

June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana pecan growers can learn more about production and marketing issues at a June 21-22 convention and trade show in Shreveport, La.

Pecan grower associations from each of the three states are sponsoring the event at the Clarion Hotel. Registration begins at noon on June 21 and costs $35.

All-America Selections winner Opera Supreme Pink Morn petunia looks great spilling over window boxes or wall hangings. They are heavy bloomers, and the plant produces plenty of branches for a lot of flower power.
June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

We can complain about the lack of rainfall this year, but we can't complain about the beautiful and fragrant petunias that are blooming everywhere we turn.

Even though they all have been photogenic, this year's All-America Selections winner Opera Supreme Pink Morn is catching my eye.

If you knew how hard it was for a new petunia or petunia series to get established in today's competitive market, then you would know how special the Opera Supreme Pink Morn is.

June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi may not be far behind the Georgia and Florida wildfires if people are not careful during hot, dry conditions.

Charles Burkhardt manages Mississippi State University's timberlands located throughout the state.

Fuligo septica
June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many gardeners across the state are shocked by sprawling, bright orange masses that appear quickly in gardens, but this scary looking fungus is quite harmless.

Clarissa Balbalian, plant diagnostic lab manager with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the fungus is a slime mold that feeds on decaying woody material.

“It doesn't hurt plants or people,” Balbalian said. “Slime molds live on fungi, bacteria and other microscopic creatures that decay organic material.”

June 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi dairy farmers have a reason to celebrate dairy month, but don't expect a big party.

Bill Herndon, dairy economics specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said farm-level milk prices have reached what he described as a “magical $20-per-hundredweight level.” Unfortunately, feed, fuel, energy and fertilizer costs all have increased at about the same rate as milk prices.

The Flume coleus reaches 24 inches in height. Its colorful, saber-shaped foliage is psychedelic pink and burgundy with green margins.
May 31, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The word chaos is about to have a new meaning in landscapes. Webster's dictionary defines “chaos” as extreme confusion or disorder. This may describe your garden. In my case, it describes my office and garage. You will think differently about chaos after seeing Pink Chaos coleus.

Joshua Holmes of Walthall County, from left, and Laci Lunn of Pontotoc County, represented the state's top two fund-raising counties at the 2007 4-H Congress. They presented a check to Alabama 4-H members Buddy Skipper and Ben Jones, both sixth graders from Enterprise. Leadership Team member Cord Davis of Bolivar County assisted in the presentation. (Photo by Marco Nicovich/MSU Ag Communications) Larger view.
May 31, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's youth have seen their share of tornado and hurricane damage, and they know how much donations from others can help.

Mississippi 4-H members celebrated their organization's 100th anniversary by collecting money during the state 4-H Congress the last week of May to contribute to teachers in Enterprise, Ala., the site of a deadly March tornado that killed eight high school students.

May 31, 2007 - Filed Under: Nutrition, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of the best things about Mississippi summers is the delicious food provided by fresh garden vegetables, a goodness people can enjoy year-round with preserved vegetables.

Brent Fountain, human nutrition specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fresh may be best, but it isn't the only option. Freezing or canning fruits and vegetables will extend the time in which garden produce can be eaten.

May 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi soybeans had one of the most uneven starts they have had in years, but one constant is the need for rain.

Dan Poston, northwest district soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Delta soybeans looked pretty good in late May, but time was running out for fields to get a rain.

May 24, 2007 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Area beekeepers can expand their knowledge of the bee business at a beekeeping short course scheduled for June 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Mississippi State University campus.

Workshop topics include fall and winter management, parasitic mites, diseases and pests of honey bees, area honey plants and honey flows, and swarm management. Bee enthusiasts also will learn about starting and developing productive colonies, re-queening colonies, dividing colonies, and sampling for mites and diseases.

Celebration Apricot New Guinea impatiens are outstanding choices for spectacular orange floral displays in a summer garden.
May 24, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Orange is a color in the garden that cannot be overlooked. It just reaches out and grabs you. I recently wrote about blue, the complementary or opposite color for orange, and said this was a marriage made in gardening heaven. Whether you want a marriage or not, orange can stand and dazzle all on its own.

On a color wheel, orange is between yellow and red and is the hallmark color of the hot side of the wheel.

Chris Bell sits next to his tractor that has been equipped with a lift device and hand controls so he can operation it from his wheelchair. (Photo by Emily Knight/Mississippi State University Extension Service) See larger view.
May 24, 2007 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Chris Bell of Newton County is the latest Mississippian with a disability to benefit from a program designed to maintain agricultural lifestyles despite a life-altering event.

Bell, 57, of Lawrence, is a cattle farmer who uses a wheelchair, the result of a 2005 medical procedure that went wrong. He lives alone and with help from his son and friends, runs a 100-head cow/calf operation, raises hay, produces honey, and raises and trains border collies.

May 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's cotton fields are benefiting from timely rains and are off to one of their best starts in recent years, but the crop has significantly fewer acres in 2007.

By the middle of May, more than 70 percent of the state's cotton was planted and 35 percent was emerged, according to a report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Mississippi.

Magilla Vanilla perilla is green with a creamy vanilla color. It partners well with just about any color plants including this Mona Lavender plectranthus and yellow calibrachoa.
May 17, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Magilla perilla became an instant hit a few years back probably because of its funny name that appealed to a generation who grew up watching Magilla Gorilla. It has since reached legendary status because it is a tough-as-nails plant for sun or shade that works in any style garden.

Photo of a wild hog
May 17, 2007 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

By Andrea Cooper
MSU College of Forest Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Feral hogs have perhaps the worst reputation of any wild game animal in the nation, and Mississippi State University researchers hope to gain the upper hand by studying their habitat and populations.

While hunters enjoy pursuing these elusive and dangerous animals, most landowners view wild hogs as nuisances because of their extremely destructive foraging habits. 

Mississippi farmers are expected to plant 16,000 acres of peanuts in 2007, repeating the amount growers planted last year when they harvested these peanuts. (Photo by Robert H. Wells/MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center)
May 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's peanut growers have been planting ahead of the five-year average, but fields need rain to keep them on track.

By the May 6 crop report issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Mississippi, farmers had planted 12 percent of the state's peanut crop. The five-year average for that date is 5 percent. Agronomists with Mississippi State University's Extension Service said the ideal planting time typically concludes around June 1, but peanuts can be planted later if necessary.

Timothy Traugott
May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University Extension forestry specialist is the Forest Landowners Association’s Extension Forester of the Year.

The organization, which is comprised of forest landowners in 17 southern states, selected MSU Extension professor Timothy Traugott for the 2007 honor. 

During 22 years as an MSU Extension forestry specialist, Traugott has conducted almost 300 workshops and short courses for more than 8,000 Mississippi landowners.

New lantana varieties like this Landmark Sunrise Rose are selected for non-stop blooming and vibrant colors that rival carnival in Rio.
May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The lantana is probably the plant you're looking for if you want a flower that gives vibrant color from late spring though frost. Lantanas, which are native to tropical America, are related to verbenas and have the common name shrub verbena.

May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many Mississippi teenagers become mothers long before they are ready to celebrate Mother's Day, leaving many of them with a lifetime of struggle.

Mississippi has the highest teen birthrate of any state in the nation, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Web site, In 2003, the last year for which data is available, 65 girls per 1,000 age 15-19 had children, for a total of 6,625 babies born to teenagers.

The MSU Extension Service distance education program team members include (from left) Steve Hankins, Susan Fulgham, Jane Parish and Susan Seal. (Photo by Marco Nicovich) See larger view.
May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Community, Technology

By Courtney Coufal
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Efforts to take university-level training to every corner of the state have earned the Mississippi State University Extension Service two national awards.

The American Distance Education Consortium and the U.S. Distance Learning Association both recognized the Extension Service for its outstanding and comprehensive distance education program. The program provides Mississippians with educational instruction when physical distance separates students and instructors.