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News From 2012

May 10, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

If you want to make Emily Post roll over in her grave, consider texting a thank you message or posting your appreciation to someone on their Facebook wall, rather than sending the traditional, handwritten thank-you note. No matter how much society embraces technology, as long as the U.S. Postal service is still operational, you need to handwrite thank-you notes.

Boreal toads are an endangered species native to the Colorado Rockies. Diane is one of 52 being cared for in a laboratory at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
May 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Plastic storage crates in a sunny lab at Mississippi State University are the new homes of 52 endangered Boreal toads, native to the Colorado Rockies.

Boreal toad numbers have dwindled to dangerous levels in recent years, and MSU has partnered with the Memphis Zoo to find a way to increase the population.

The leaves of some coral bells are different colors on top and bottom, creating flashes of color when the wind blows. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
May 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Coral bells are perpetual favorites, and their colorful foliage can add interest and texture to any garden.

The first coral bells had green foliage, but these days, green foliage selections can be hard to find. New selections have purple, red, and white marbling and different colored venation. You will often see foliage colors of bright gold, orange and brown. Still others have different colors on top and bottom, so the colors flash when the wind blows.

Jesse Pace
May 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics selected a Mississippi State University student to serve as a delegate to the national organization.

Jesse Pace, a senior from Flowood majoring in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a concentration in nutrition, was elected to serve a one-year term on the academy’s advisory committee. The committee consists of seven elected positions and one appointed position and includes students from universities across the United States.

May 4, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University is “beating the bushes” for high school students with horticultural interests for a June 3-6 camp on campus.

Designed for students age 15 to 17, the 43rd annual Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Summer Camp will offer a variety of educational and fun activities.

Increased prices for eggs have buoyed the poultry industry, which has been challenged by the high cost of feed and fuel. Egg production in 2011 was valued at $200.82 million, a 12 percent increase over 2010. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
May 4, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s top agricultural commodity weathers economic storms by responding quickly to shifts in demand, and economists at Mississippi State University predict 2012 will be a year of recovery.

In 2011, Mississippi ranked fourth in the nation in broiler production, with more than 765 million birds produced on 1,478 farms. The broiler industry represented over $2.21 billion in value for the year.

Mississippi School for Math and Science student Brenna Nye conducts stem cell research at Mississippi State University through the MSU/MSMS research program, which pairs academically talented high school students with MSU faculty mentors. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
May 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Not many 17-year-olds spend their free time doing stem cell research, but an interest in helping special-needs children brought Brenna Nye to Mississippi State University to do just that.

Mississippi State University junior Emily Davis of Vicksburg sets a pitfall trap to collect beetle specimens for a class on forensic entomology. Her professor placed a euthanized hog in an enclosure in a remote location for students to observe the insects that are attracted to the site. (Photo by Mississippi State University's Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
May 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A handful of Mississippi State University entomology students spent their spring semester learning how to be crime scene investigators or expert witnesses in a courtroom.

Their teacher, Jerome Goddard, has been an expert witness on both sides of court cases and understands the importance of knowing details to defend or challenge crime scene findings.

May 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

As graduation ceremonies come to a close, many high school seniors are preparing for their senior trips. Whether they are headed to big cities, sandy beaches or overseas, smartphone apps can help young travelers navigate their grand adventures.

May 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Irrigation, About Extension

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University has hired a new irrigation specialist for its Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Jason Krutz began his dual appointment with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station May 1.

Krutz has worked in irrigation management and water quality and quantity research for almost 10 years.

May 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Rice, Leadership

STONEVILLE -- A Mississippi State University researcher has been selected for a national leadership training program.

MSU research professor Tim Walker, an agronomist and rice breeder at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, will participate in Leadership for the 21st Century, or Lead21.

Each year, Lead21 trains 80 participants from land-grant institutions and their associates, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

May 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University is making several changes this year to the field day schedule in Stoneville to accommodate participants’ needs.

Steve Martin, head of MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center, said they are breaking with tradition by splitting the event into two days with two crop focuses. They also have changed meeting times from mornings to afternoons.

The July 19 field day will focus on soybeans and corn. The July 31 event will highlight rice.

Mississippi State University Extension Service's 4-H youth development program will pay tribute to America's military heroes with the Welcome Home Garden project, sponsored by Burpee Seed Company. Pouches containing 10 packets of fruit, vegetable and flower seeds will be distributed to military families across the state at outreach events and community garden projects.
May 2, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE –Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 4-H youth development program will pay tribute to America’s military heroes with the Welcome Home Garden project, sponsored by Burpee Seed Co.

May 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station recently honored several faculty and staff members for their research, publications and commitment to excellence.

Dan Reynolds, a MAFES researcher and professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, received the 2012 Excellence in Research award for his work on herbicide application and weed control for crops grown in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Tara Raynes (left) and Elaine Saxton were two of 24 volunteers from New South Access and Environmental Solutions who planted 2,000 Swamp Gum tree seedlings at the Crosby Arboretum's Gum Pond educational exhibit. The trees were donated by the company and planted by employees and their family members. (Photo by Susan Collins-Smith/MSU Ag Communications)
May 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Environment, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE – Two thousand swamp gum seedlings are taking root in the Crosby Arboretum’s Gum Pond exhibit after an Earth Day celebration and planting party.

New South Access and Environmental Solutions donated the trees, and 24 employees and their family members volunteered to plant them into the arboretum’s Gum Pond educational exhibit on April 28.

The tree planting will help the arboretum to meet its mission of conservation and education, said Bob Brzuszek, associate professor of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University.

April 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine honored its first graduating class in the four-year veterinary medical technology degree program with a special pinning ceremony April 27.

Dr. Allison Gardner, clinical instructor in CVM’s veterinary medical technology program, said veterinary technologists make important contributions in the field of animal care.

Gardenia flowers emerge white and become yellow before fading to brown. There are both single- and double-flowered varieties.
April 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

One spring-blooming shrub that garners almost as much attention as the azalea is the gardenia. The fragrance of the gardenia flower is beyond description, as it is both heady and strong.

The gardenias for our landscapes are known botanically as Gardenia jasminoides. They were brought to the Southeastern United States in the late 1700s from their native range in Japan and China. Some home gardeners refer to these plants as Cape jasmine.

A warm March helped Mississippi growers get an early start planting the soybean crop. By late April, more than a fourth of the crop had emerged. (file photo)
April 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans are usually an early-planted crop, but an unseasonably warm March gave some growers a chance to get in the fields a little ahead of the typical April 1 start date.

Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service state soybean specialist, said the crop was on track at the end of April.

“Many parts of the state got planted about two weeks earlier than normal,” Irby said. “Several places remained too wet to plant until mid-April, but overall, we’re slightly ahead of schedule.”

April 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and children both young and old are beginning the search for the gift that tells her she is the best mom ever.

Most people do not buy technology-based gifts for their mothers. Instead, they buy more sentimental items, such as flowers or perfume. However, as technology becomes more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, there is room to mesh the sentimentality of the day with technology.

The fungus aflatoxin can destroy an entire corn crop. Mississippi State University plant pathologist Gabe Sciumbato and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service plant pathologists Hamed Abbas and Mark Weaver developed an in-field approach to reduce levels of this fungus in corn. (Photo by USDA-ARS/Mark Weaver)
April 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn

By Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- Scientists at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center are researching new ways to reduce aflatoxin in infected corn.

Corn is one of the state’s leading row crops, but it is susceptible to aflatoxin, a fungus that can reduce profits and hurt marketability.

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