News From 2012
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Whether gardening, working or enjoying a baseball game, Mississippians should protect themselves from the heat of summer.
Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. For example, in high humidity, sweat cannot evaporate rapidly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly, said Ann Twiner, with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
The beginning of a new school year also signals the time when teachers will be learning about their students’ special needs, including food allergies.
By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University scientists are trying to identify soybean varieties resistant to a disease that can reduce yields by more than 20 bushels per acre.
MSU plant pathologist Gabe Sciumbato and research associate Walter Solomon are checking soybean varieties for purple leaf blight through MSU’s soybean variety trials. Both are Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University doctoral candidate has been selected for a prestigious national fellowship focused on federal marine policies.
Clifford P. Hutt of Starkville is one of 53 scholars selected for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. He will spend a year in a legislative or executive office in Washington, D.C. to learn firsthand about federal policies impacting domestic waterways, including ocean, coast and Great Lakes resources. Since the fellowship program’s inception in 1979, Hutt is the first MSU student selected to participate.
If you’re looking for a vigorous and unique ground cover for your landscape, consider a popular ornamental that I really enjoy, the colorful sweet potato vine.
Longtime favorites include Margarita, which is lime green with large leaves; Blackie, a cut-leaf variety with dark purple to black foliage; and Tricolor, which has leaves of green, pink and white.
New selections have introduced amazing color selections and leaf shapes.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – An ideal growing season through mid-June turned into a hot and dry situation that stressed the state’s crops until widespread rains came after the Fourth of July.
The state has experienced very hot and dry weather in the last several weeks, but Mississippi State University experts remain optimistic about the overall potential.
Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said 90 percent of the state’s soybean crop was in the reproductive growth phase by the second week of July.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – College freshmen who have prepared themselves for new experiences are often not ready for the so-called freshman 15, the dreaded weight gain associated with starting college.
Brent Fountain, associate Extension professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion at Mississippi State University, said weight gain is likely during the first few months of college life.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Muscadine grape growers interested in the latest research and recommendations will gather at the Beaumont Experiment Station in Perry County on Aug. 16.
After meeting in Pearl River County for several years, the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station moved the annual meeting to Beaumont.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Southern beekeepers have an experienced ally joining the ranks of researchers and specialists at Mississippi State University.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Creativity and planning ahead can make buying school clothes for the coming year gentler on checking accounts, even when parents have more than one child.
A growing percentage of Mississippi young people go to public and private schools dressed in uniforms. Purchasing uniforms and other school clothes can put unprepared parents in a financial hole if they are not careful.
Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service offered a variety of tips on how to make back-to-school clothes shopping less stressful.
JACKSON – Afterschool programs can help keep kids on the straight and narrow, and parents can choose the right program with a few simple tips.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Increasing numbers of athletes report taking nutritional supplements to improve their performance in sports, and the ages of these athletes concern nutrition specialists.
Mississippi State University professor Ron Williams and several colleagues across the United States recently analyzed information in the National Health Interview Survey. More than 1.2 million children ages 10 to 18 reported taking supplements specifically for sports performance. The average age of reported users was 10.8.
Summer is slipping by, and school supplies are already making their way into large bins at local stores. The back-to-school marketing event is an excellent time to consider purchasing a new computer; many stores will have them on sale beginning in August.
Shade is an asset during summer’s triple-digit temperatures, but you may find a shady spot in the landscape that needs some color.
If you have shade that is more dark than inviting, consider growing caladium. Caladium should be at the top of your list of shade-loving plants.
Caladiums are tropical foliage plants, native to the Amazon basin of Brazil. These plants are also right at home in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. They are perfect for planting in front of the green background of foundation shrubs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Landowners debating the timing for their next timber sale should send trees to the market sooner, rather than later.
Southern pine beetle threat…
Prevention program helps landowners
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Southern pine beetle prevention program is available to forest landowners to encourage the thinning of timber stands to promote healthier, more insect-resistant trees.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A long-time rice breeder is turning his rubber boots over to the next generation of researchers.
Dwight Kanter, a research professor with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, retired on July 1. Tim Walker assumed Kanter’s duties.
JACKSON – Hunting and fishing have always been popular in Mississippi, but landowners are now adding wildlife watching, horseback riding and other agricultural entertainment businesses, such as pumpkin patches and bed and breakfasts, to the mix.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Reading was not required to build a robot at Mississippi State University’s Cloverbud Camp, but teamwork, persistence and willingness to follow directions helped all of the pieces fit into place.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fun with Food brought 32 young people in third through sixth grades to Mississippi State University for a week of hands-on learning about food and cooking skills.
Offered June 18-22 by MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, the class brought together 10 boys and 22 girls for a 40-hour week filled with new food experiences. Sylvia Byrd, professor of nutrition, organized the program and has led it for the past five years.
Computers can lead patients and their doctors to valuable health information, but the Internet should not replace medical relationships when it comes to accurate diagnoses and treatments.
Friends and acquaintances have often confided to me their recent diagnoses of incurable exotic diseases. Before my brain can determine if this illness requires multiple casseroles and dessert or just a trip to a fast-food restaurant, they reveal that they have not seen a doctor yet.
“I looked it up on the Internet, and I have all the symptoms,” he or she will tell me.