You are here

News From 2012

Ethan Hicks and Eric Mellin of Starkville follow instructions to program the soccer goalie robot they built at the Cloverbud Camp held at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
July 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology, Family, Children and Parenting

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.

July 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-tourism

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.

Irish Eyes is a black-eyed Susan variety that has a center cone of emerald green instead of black or dark brown. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The black-eyed Susan is one of the most popular flowers in Mississippi and a favorite with almost every gardener. Even people who don’t know their flowers can often identify the black-eyed Susan.

The flowers are bright yellows to gold, each with a dark button cone in the center. In some selections, the centers of the petals are red, orange or maroon.

June 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A popular summer camp will serve double the number of children this year as the Mississippi State University Extension Service launches its Summer of Innovation.

The Extension Center for Technology Outreach, formerly known as Computer Applications and Services, received funding from NASA for the Summer of Innovation program for the second time. This series of camps is designed to inspire young people to engage in science, technology, engineering and math projects and to learn the fundamentals of rocketry.

Mississippi's watermelon growers have harvested more than 40 percent of their crop already, a 22 percent increase from the same period last year. The crop's good quality and popularity has consumers buying up the harvest quickly at farmers' markets and farm stands across the state. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Keri Collins Lewis)
June 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As summer temperatures soar into the triple digits, Mississippi’s sweet watermelon crop is satisfying both growers and consumers.

June 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Wild pigs may be a boon to hunters, but to many of the nation’s landowners, they are a nuisance, an economic and environmental liability, and a disease hazard.

Farmers and landowners can arm themselves with information from a new website dedicated to providing research-based, useful solutions for feral hogs that damage their crops and property. The site,, lists resources ranging from the history and biology of feral hogs to designs for corral traps.

June 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Biofuels, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A variety of grass developed at Mississippi State University is getting its moment in the sun as a biofuel ingredient, thanks to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement.

Freedom giant miscanthus, developed by Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher Brian Baldwin and his colleagues, was selected as the crop of choice for one of two new Biomass Crop Assistance Program projects. BCAP funds help offset the expenses of planting renewable energy crops that can require several years to mature to the point of harvest.

June 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service is helping those who want to sell processed foods at Mississippi-certified farmers’ markets get the training they need.

The General Farmers’ Market Food Safety Training two-hour workshop will be offered on these dates:

Abby Matthews of Summit listens to Debra Ann Breazeale's heartbeat on June 5, 2012, as Starkville pediatrician Dr. Deborah Shirley oversees. Matthews is participating in the five-week Rural Medical Scholars program at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – In response to the growing problem of too few doctors to serve the population, 14 years ago Mississippi State University created a plan to motivate bright high schoolers to give medicine a closer look.

MSU launched Rural Medical Scholars in 1998 for the single purpose of directing more of the state’s best and highest-performing students into medical careers. That means the 20 high school students currently in the five-week program have spent the summer seriously considering a future in medicine.

June 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Landscape Architecture

JACKSON – Mississippians can see footage of the West’s wildfires nearly every day, but many could be surprised to learn that their own state averages more than 600 wildfires a year. With urban sprawl infringing on the state’s forests, the fire risk is growing.

“Wildfires don’t get much attention here because we aren’t impacted like people who live in the West,” said Bob Brzuszek, associate professor of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University. “Our climate is more humid, we have a great fire service, and our wildfires tend to happen in more rural areas.”

June 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University doctoral student’s research on a life-threatening, food-borne pathogen was honored at a recent international conference.

Dong-Ryeoul Bae, a researcher at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Basic Science, submitted a poster presentation about his research on Listeria to the American Society for Microbiology. It earned an Outstanding Student Poster award at the organization’s June meeting in San Francisco.

Duranta's yellow-orange fruit color provides a fantastic contrast to its flowers, as they are often seen together through the season. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
June 25, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

A native of the tropical regions of the Caribbean and Central and South America, the Duranta is sure to generate interest in your landscape.

Duranta is commonly called pigeon berry, and it has an arching growth habit with bluish flowers. It produces golden fruit that can feed our feathered friends.

The native plant can reach small-tree status, growing up to 25 feet tall. That’s too large for many of our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.

The bulk of the 1.137 million pounds of shrimp landed in Biloxi during the first two weeks of the season have been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 22, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Catfish, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The shrimp are slightly bigger, but prices are down, making this year’s season-opening in Biloxi comparable to last year’s start.

During the first two weeks of the 2012 season, 1.137 million pounds of shrimp were landed in Biloxi. In the same time in 2011, 1.124 million pounds were landed at the same port.

Shrimp season began May 30, and 210 boats went out for the opening day. To date, the bulk of the production has been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp, a reference to the number of shrimp needed to make a pound.

Randy Loper
June 21, 2012 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE – A new leader, a new name and a new fiscal year all begin July 1 in the technology department of Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.

June 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

During the summer months, many teens venture into their first jobs, and others take trips to distant locations. Apps on their ever-present Smartphones can be helpful when they find themselves responsible not only for themselves but also for children.

There are free or low-cost apps that can help teens in almost any situation, whether they are mowing lawns, lifeguarding, babysitting, or taking vacations.

June 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology, Family

Independence Day celebrations often make me pause to remember where my family has come from and the sacrifices they made to live here in the United States.

If your family came over by boat, try looking at the passenger lists available at You can search by the name of the ship or the port of departure. If your ancestors came through Ellis Island, try

Mississippi State University alumnus Jay Stokes, class of 2007, received the Hero of Conservation award from Field and Stream magazine for his charitable work organizing outdoor adventures for young people who do not have access to hunting and fishing opportunities. (Submitted Photo)
June 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Wildlife

By Nina Ammon
MSU College of Forest Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University alumnus’s dedication to sharing his passion for the outdoors has resulted in a national honor.

Jay Stokes, a 2007 graduate of MSU’s College of Forest Resources, was honored as a Field and Stream magazine Hero of Conservation. The honor recognizes individuals who conduct extremely effective hunting- or fishing-related conservation projects.

Blossom-end rot, seen on this tomato, is a common problem in home gardens. It is typically caused by uneven watering, which prevents enough calcium from reaching the fruit. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
June 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE – While nothing may beat the fresh taste of a home-grown tomato, a lot of things can go wrong in the garden to prevent the fruit from ever making it to the table.

Garden experts say tomato plants should be watered well, fertilized correctly, grown in direct sunlight and spaced properly so their leaves stay as dry as possible.

David Nagel, vegetable and home garden specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, listed three common problems that can plague tomato plants.

June 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Soil Testing

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE — For greatest success, gardeners should start by improving the quality of the soil.

Larry Oldham, a soils specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said soil-related challenges vary across Mississippi.