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News From 2007

Carl Blair checks thermometers that record the 24-hour high and low temperatures.
May 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Each morning Carl Blair, like many people, checks the weather, but his interest in the weather is part of a tradition that goes back 125 years.

Blair is an equipment operator for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at Mississippi State University and his duties include recording data collected by National Weather Service equipment located on campus.

May 4, 2007 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's 2006 timber harvest value declined almost 17 percent from the previous year, and industry watchers do not expect much improvement in 2007.

Glenn Hughes, a forestry professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said a significant amount of Hurricane Katrina-damaged timber remains in storage -- wet-decked -- in lumber yards awaiting use.

May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Camping often brings people closer to nature, but Mississippi State University is also offering the opportunity to learn about wildlife, fisheries and the great outdoors to parents, teachers and children as young as 10.

Two camps will be offered this summer: June 3-7 and July 8-12. The cost for each camp is $225 per person and includes on-campus lodging, meals, field trip transportation and a camp T-shirt. During the week, participants will eat a wildlife meal after receiving tips on cooking game.

May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High fuel prices give many people a reason to complain, but they also may drive the resurgence of an industry that was big business in Mississippi 100 years ago.

David Nagel, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fuel prices have made it more difficult for vegetable growers on the West Coast to ship produce across the country and still make a profit.

This tractor pulls a Veris cart, which uses satellite technology to map soil types. Researchers hope to connect soil types with reniform nematode populations so they can predict infestations and employ site-specific treatments. (Photo by Robert H. Wells/MSU Delta Research and Extension Center)
May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- A Delta researcher is using new biological control technology to combat reniform nematodes, underground worms that cause Mississippi cotton producers losses of $30 million annually.

The bright eyes of these Titan periwinkles contribute to this fence-line display of summer flowers.
May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Periwinkle planting time is here, and you have got to try the 2007 Mississippi Medallion award-winning Titans. The Titan periwinkles really live up to the name in vigor and performance.

The botanical name of periwinkles is Catharanthus, which means pure and without blemish. That is how you will feel about the Titan series. You may remember them as Vinca rosea, but the official name is Catharanthus roseus.

May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new reality show will help Mississippi's 3- and 4-year-old children prepare for their first day of school.

Mississippi State University's Extension Service is tapping into the latest media trend by providing a unique glimpse into an accredited classroom and training child-care providers to prepare preschoolers for kindergarten. They are demonstrating that some reality shows are not only entertaining, they also can be educational.

April 27, 2007 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Poultry companies are facing significantly higher production costs in 2007 as corn prices remain at historic levels without much relief in sight.

John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said corn prices are about $1.25 per bushel higher than a year ago.

The red Magelana verbena thrives on the attention created in this garden when surrounded by the Sanguna Atomic Blue petunia as well as bright-blue lobelia flowers and cool-blue ageratums.
April 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Blue is one of the colors that catches your eye when used in the garden and is a color we all treasure.

April 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A job that seems secure one day can be gone the next, leaving those without an income struggling unless preparations were made before the job loss.

In West Point, the Bryan Foods plant closed at the end of March, putting more than 1,600 people out of work. In nearly every community across Mississippi, some people lose their jobs almost every week.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a savings is the best defense against financial ruin.

April 20, 2007 - Filed Under: Fruit, Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many Mississippi fruit and nut growers are waiting to see what impact Easter weekend's freezing temperatures had on their crops.

Blueberries and pecans were at a vulnerable stage when temperatures dropped the first weekend in April. Strawberries were already being harvested and were mostly unharmed, and the new growth on muscadine grapes appears unhindered by the cold.

Young pigs photo
April 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Swine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's hog producers are finding ways to stay in business despite the major blow dealt by the March 30 closing of Bryan Foods' West Point plant.

The Sara Lee Corp. decision to close the meat-processing plant caused the state's swine industry to scramble to find new markets and a new direction. Mark Crenshaw, swine specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the closing has a devastating impact on the swine industry in Mississippi and surrounding states.

The bearded iris is a sight to behold because of the size and shape of the bloom as well as the deeply saturated colors. These spring blooms provide a colorful touch to this white picket fence.
April 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Irises are among the most versatile plants for the North American landscape. They are prized for both flower and foliage.

Mention iris, and the first one that comes to mind is the bearded iris. The spring bloom of the bearded iris is a site to behold because of the size and shape of the bloom and its deeply saturated colors.

Railroad tracks
April 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Local economic development officials, a Mississippi State University team and railroad owners are working to revive a 92-mile section of tracks linking the Delta and the eastern part of the state.

April 13, 2007 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's wheat that thrived in March's balmy weather experienced major damage during two nights of freezing temperatures over the Easter weekend.

Erick Larson, small grains specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the early warm temperatures had advanced the maturity of the crop and made it more vulnerable to the freeze. Wheat was about two weeks ahead of schedule.

April 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A one-day workshop for farmers, landowners and resource managers will provide the tools to start and manage a natural resource enterprise. 

Fee fishing, fee hunting, agritourism, and wildlife watching are examples of enterprises based on the natural resources commonly found on Mississippi private lands.

Grancy Graybeards star in landscapes nationwide
April 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It's hard to believe that a native, spring-blooming tree can be so passionately loved from the Gulf Coast all the way to Pennsylvania and New York, but that is how people feel for the Grancy Graybeard.

They are known as Old Man's Beard or white fringe tree in some areas. It is in glorious bloom now in the lower South and as spring arrives further north, it will bring joy throughout the rest of the states.

Bryan Williams holds his reserve champion steer in 2001. He is joined by buyers Nicky Alexander and Bruce Deakin, representing Jackson Coca-Cola, and Dr. Lester Spell, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
April 12, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Organized 38 years ago to encourage youth to become involved in exhibiting livestock, the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions still meets that goal and much more.

R.O. Buckley of Starkville said magnificent animals, hard-working youth and generous buyers are the key components in one of the best youth livestock sales in the country.

April 5, 2007 - Filed Under: Catfish, Crops, Farming, Livestock

VERONA -- Each year for more than 50 years, representatives of agricultural producer groups in 27 northeast Mississippi counties have met to talk about their needs and to tell those needs to Mississippi State University research scientists and Extension professionals.

In the early 1950s, meetings were held under the oak trees at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Holly Springs. More recently, the site of the gathering has been the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

April 5, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Summer annuals, perennials, herbs, baskets and ferns will be available at the Mississippi State University Horticulture Club’s annual spring plant sale April 13 and 14.

Doors to the greenhouses behind Dorman Hall will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Horticulture students will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance in plant selections. Proceeds from the sale help fund academic trips, community service projects and next year’s sale.