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News From 2009

June 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Wheat growers in Mississippi watched what was a very good crop in early spring turn into a major disappointment by harvest.

About 75 percent of the state’s 230,000 wheat acres were harvested by mid-June. Some of the remaining acres will never be harvested, as they are flooded by Yazoo River backwater.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop was doing well through February until heavy rains started in mid-March and continued through April and May.

June 12, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Youth who enjoy drama, theater, music, art or literature and want to learn how computing can enhance creativity should attend the 4-H Technology and Expressive Arts Camp July 21-24 at Mississippi State University.

The camp, which is open to 4-H youth ages 14-19, is designed to offer as many opportunities as possible for youth to discover and enhance their imaginations and creativity. Youth who are not 4-H members can participate by joining a 4-H club in their town or county.

This architectural drawing represents the future veterinary complex in Flowood that will house the Animal Emergency Clinic and the College of Veterinary Medicine Referral Services Clinic. (Drawing by Crosby Longo Architecture Studio of Lafayette/New Orleans, La.)
June 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Time and location are crucial factors in managing medical emergencies, but there always have been fewer critical care facilities available within a short distance when the victim is the family pet.

In 1985, several private practitioners in Metro Jackson opened the Animal Emergency Clinic on Monroe Street in the city’s downtown district. As more people moved into the Jackson-Vicksburg-Hattiesburg area, each veterinarian experienced an increase in emergency caseloads.

Dr. Joey Burt shows students LeeAnne Rich, center, and Marla Waldrop that proper, gentle handling during an examination can soothe the patient and the pet owner. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
June 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drappala
Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dr. Joey Burt wants veterinary medical students who plan to open or join a clinic to develop medical, communication and business skills needed to be successful private practitioners well before they graduate.

Burt left a thriving private practice he established in Oxford, Ohio, last November to become chief of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Community Veterinary Services section.

June 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Each year some 300,000 Mississippi hunters take to the woods in search of white-tailed deer. Before opening day, landowners and hunters spend hours preparing their properties and equipment for the hunting season.

A workshop sponsored by Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and Forest and Wildlife Research Center, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is giving landowners an opportunity to become better prepared for this fall activity.

Caliente Orange is a hot new geranium that can withstand the heat of Mississippi's summers. (Photo by Norman Winter)
June 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many of us who live in Mississippi’s heat have wished for geraniums with blooms as tough as our summers, and we finally have Caliente and Calliope to make life more enjoyable.

Each year when I visit the big flower trials in California, I drive from San Diego to San Jose. I get green with envy seeing the ivy geraniums growing almost like weeds along the more than 700 miles I travel between these cities.

June 9, 2009 - Filed Under: Crops

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University researchers and Extension Service specialists will explain at a July 16 event in Stoneville current studies that could help farmers of agronomic crops.

MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center will host the annual Agronomic Field Day. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the program starts 30 minutes later.

June 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Youth of all ages can spend a day at Tougaloo College on June 18 learning about sustainable agriculture through a variety of hands-on activities.

Admission is free to the Youth Sustainable Ag Day at the Tougaloo-Rainbow Garden. The event is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Hinds County 4-H, Tougaloo College and the Alcorn Cooperative Extension Program.

June 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rain delays and changes in planting decisions are forcing a later than ideal start for Mississippi’s soybeans.

As planting window dates have been closing for other crops, growers are switching some fields to soybeans before time runs out for them as well.

Tom Wilburn, a 1940 animal husbandry graduate from Mississippi State College, is pictured many years ago with his harness-race horse, Trotwood Roy. (Submitted photo)
June 4, 2009 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tom Wilburn’s memories of growing up on an east Mississippi plantation, attending Mississippi State College and plunging headlong into the harness racing industry are the types of tales Jeannine Smith is eager to record.

United by a common passion for local history, these two graduates of Mississippi State University spent a lifetime together in two years. Smith, who received her master’s degree from MSU in industrial technology in 1995 and a doctorate in education in 2001, began researching for a book on Artesia, her adopted hometown, in 2005.

June 4, 2009 - Filed Under: Livestock, Poultry, Insects-Pests

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A sudden outbreak of tiny buffalo gnats has created a costly nuisance in many Mississippi livestock operations, wildlife areas and backyard poultry flocks this spring.

The gnats are members of the blood-sucking insect family Simuliidae. While entomologists describe them as black flies, these insects may be gray, tan or greenish in color. They feed on the blood of humans and animals.

Robotics competitor Keelan Ready, of Hernando, checks programming adjustments on her team's robot. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
June 4, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Educators who pioneered the 4-H movement recognized the importance of using hands-on activities and mental exploration to encourage youth to open themselves to new ideas and experiences.

While that basic premise of serving youth by helping them develop life skills remains important, many 4-H projects are clearly different from those of a hundred years ago. Today’s 4-H’ers can explore their world through numerous projects involving science, engineering and technology.

This purple lacecap hydrangea is an elegant bigleaf hydrangea that gets its name from its flat cap-like appearance. The large flowers in the outer ring are sterile but serve to attract pollinators to the tiny flowers in the middle. (Photo by Norman Winter)
June 4, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At this time of year, you could plunk me down in a woodland setting surrounded by hydrangeas and I would be in total bliss. I love all types of hydrangeas, including the most elegant of all: the lacecap.

Each year I get three or four calls, emails or letters asking what went wrong with a hydrangea because it did not form a large, mophead shape. Sadly, these gardeners aren’t enjoying the exquisite beauty of this particular type of bigleaf hydrangea.

June 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will hold two camps this summer to teach kids and teens that there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen.

MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is offering “Fun with Food” camp for third- through sixth-grade students and “Culinology for Teens” camp for ninth- through 12th-grade students. Both camps will provide participants hands-on food discovery experiences.

May 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Rice

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An unusually wet May is causing some farmers to plant rice late, but the crop still has time to develop into a good one for the Delta.

Farmers could see decent prices, too, if several market factors play out by the time harvest occurs. They expect to complete planting by early June if rains relent and fields dry out. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Mississippi’s rice crop will total 240,000 acres when farmers are through.

May 28, 2009 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s Central Research and Extension Center is offering the annual twilight tour of its 175 acres of research plots to conventional and organic fruit and vegetable growers on June 16.

The free event begins with registration at 5:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Agricultural Research and Experiment Station’s Crystal Springs Truck Crops Station. At 5:45 p.m., growers will be taken on a wagon tour of the research plots.

Siam Ruby makes a superb container plant and always grabs attention in the landscape. (Photo by Norman Winter)
May 28, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Move over Red Abyssinian, there is a new banana in town – the Siam Ruby. Siam Ruby showed up at garden and patio shows and local garden centers last year, and quickly found favor with tropical plant nuts like me.

Before I go further, please know I am still a fan of the Red Abyssinian. It is just that the Siam Ruby is so colorful, you can’t pass it up. The trunk and leaves of this exotic tropical are burgundy with irregular iridescent lime green variegation in the foliage.

May 28, 2009 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Soybean rust is active on kudzu in Alabama and Louisiana, but the disease has not made it to Mississippi, although rains are creating ideal conditions for its development.

Tom Allen, a plant pathologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, helps monitor for this disease.

May 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Corn

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi farmers finished planting their estimated 630,000 acres of corn on time, but the continuing effects of rain, standing water and cool soil temperatures have slowed the crop’s development in many areas of the state.

Chelsi Smith, 18, of Guntown, and Ashley Gray, 16, of Tupelo, complete a presentation for the upcoming state 4-H Club Congress at Mississippi State University May 27-29. Smith, a Saltillo High School graduating senior, will complete her year as president of the state 4-H Council during the event. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
May 21, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

TUPELO -- Mississippi 4-H Council President Chelsi Smith is a modern young woman who uses computers, PDAs and texting to reach members, yet relies on traditional 4-H values to make these tools effective.

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