News From 2012
If you’re like me and constantly looking for true blue flowers, you will want to be sure to make a place in your garden for the blue butterfly plant.
I enjoy spring, when greenhouses and garden centers start offering all sorts of new and exciting plants for our Mississippi landscapes and gardens. I’m always on the lookout for blue flowers to include in the landscape.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Wheat stripe rust was spotted in Mississippi and Arkansas in January, an unusual occurrence this early in the year made possible by the warm and wet winter.
These occurrences are the first reports of the disease east of the Rockies this year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer an online webinar series from Feb. 16 through March 22 for landowners and those interested in wildlife and fisheries enterprises.
Six sessions will be held on consecutive Thursdays at 11:30 CST for registered participants in five states: Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Time, experience and research findings show no-till farming can boost production, prevent soil erosion and transform hayfields and pastures into viable cropland.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Producing and using alternative energy is more important now than ever before, and scientists at Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center are focusing on timber as a possible source for energy.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Five entertaining and educational midday programs will prepare area gardeners for the fourth annual Everything Garden Expo March 24 and 25 at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.
The Starkville Area Arts Council will team up with Mississippi State University and other sponsors to present midweek programs and the area’s premier garden show.
Valentine’s Day is perhaps the hardest holiday for computer geeks because it requires two things we are not overly fond of -- public displays of affection and people.
Christmas tends to be a very easy holiday for us because we can do all of our shopping online. Birthdays are much the same. Valentine’s Day often requires a conversation with a florist, which is usually someone we don’t know. Because ordering flowers online doesn’t really count as a carefully chosen, personal gift, it usually isn’t an option.
Purple coneflowers are a flowering Mississippi native perennial that can really make a statement in your home garden and landscape.
The plant’s name comes from the beautiful purple flowers that seem to attract an endless number of butterflies and bees, especially all sorts of bumblebees. Traditionally, flower colors range from pastel purplish-pinks to deep, dark, vibrant burgundies.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University researchers and graduates received top awards this year from the Southern Weed Science Society.
Dan Reynolds, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher and professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, was named the 2012 weed scientist of the year by the society, the highest honor awarded.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The fourth annual Mississippi State University Extension Service Commodity Advisory Council meeting will be held Feb. 28 at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.
Producers of various commodities will have the opportunity to evaluate and provide direction on Extension educational programming for their products and crops.
CLARKSDALE – Ongoing conservation efforts earned the Coahoma County office of the Mississippi State University Extension Service the title of Earth Team state winner.
The staff won the state 2011 Natural Resources Conservation Service Earth Team Field Award winner after at the local and district levels. They received the award Jan. 19 at the 2012 Mississippi Association of Conservation District Volunteer luncheon in Jackson.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recognizing that women are vital to the success of the family farm, Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is organizing a series of six workshops to improve the skills they need.
“Mississippi Women for Agriculture: Annie’s Project” is a national program designed for women of all ages who are interested in agriculture or related matters.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University researcher has uncovered the first molecular evidence linking live poultry markets in China to human H5N1 avian influenza.
Henry Wan, an assistant professor in systems biology at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, collaborated with scientists in the World Health Organization Collaborative Centers for Influenza in China and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to investigate the connection.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Couples who want to avoid one of the most common argument topics should begin their relationships with total financial honesty.
Joe Wilmoth, assistant professor of human development and family studies in Mississippi State University’s School of Human Sciences, said many surveys reveal that finances are the No. 1 source of conflict in a marriage.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love and romance, but gift exchanges can leave some sweethearts feeling anxious instead.
Susan Cosgrove, area family resource management agent in Newton County with Mississippi State University Extension Service, said homemade gifts are an inexpensive option and can be even more meaningful than store-bought ones.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, parents and teachers are looking for healthy snacks and creative crafts to entertain children at holiday-themed parties.
Brent Fountain, associate extension professor and human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children’s Valentine’s Day parties usually consist of a variety of cupcakes, brownies and cookies, but better planning can allow for healthier options.
Small businesses can entice local customers with online coupons and discounts just like the big box stores do.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Youth with an interest in animals and veterinary medicine are invited to attend a camp offered by Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
MSU Veterinary Camp will provide a hands-on experience to youth ages 13 to 15. Campers will participate in interactive labs and learn about veterinary medicine from CVM instructors. Students considering a career in veterinary medicine, scientific research or an animal-related field are encouraged to apply.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer timber tax workshops Feb. 28 in Raymond, March 1 in Coffeeville and March 29 in Oxford.
Landowners, certified accountants, consulting foresters and loggers are invited to participate in the Income Taxes and Family Forest short course. Topics include changes to capital gains tax law, basics of basis, record keeping, timber sales income, recovery of reforestation costs, casualty losses, strategic tax planning, tax forms and information sources.
Gardeners seeking color for the winter landscape should look beyond traditional pansies and violas and embrace the wide range of ornamental vegetables that can be grown in Mississippi. I’ve written about the colorful varieties of ornamental kale and cabbage, but a plant that doesn’t get much press is Swiss chard. Swiss chard is a winter annual available in a variety of bright and eye-catching colors, and it will certainly attract attention if you grow it.