Feature Story from 2001
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Kids may think a lunch box's primary purpose is to look cool while holding food, but parent's should be sure the lunch box is actually a safe place for food.
Dr. Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said packing a safe, healthy lunch for school children can be a bit tricky. Whatever is packed must be able to survive several hours without refrigeration before lunchtime.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rice farmers have a very good reason for hoping temperatures don't get any hotter than they are now: rice pollination is reduced when it's much above 95 degrees.
Joe Street, rice specialist in Stoneville with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the crop was progressing well by the second week of July despite recent heat.
"We're actually a little ahead of schedule in a lot of cases," Street said. "Everything is looking good right now."
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The search for an economical means to produce a parasite vaccine for livestock led a Mississippi State University researcher to look at the guts of the problem.
Cody Coyne, a researcher with MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, has developed a method for growing intestinal cells from nematode parasites for use in vaccines.
By Linda Breazeale
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers are working to reduce the health challenges mass production of catfish can bring, which are similar to the issues faced by other food animals such as poultry and swine.
"Anytime you have intensive management situations, you can have various outbreaks of disease or parasite problems," said Dr. Linda Pote, parasitologist with MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some people ride horses for relaxation, others for sport, but a conference coming in August to Mississippi State University is training people how to use horses as treatment tools.The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association is holding its Region 5 conference in Starkville Aug. 3 through 5. The NARHA conference is being hosted by the MSU Extension Service, and much of it will be held at the Mississippi Horse Park, Agricenter and Fairgrounds.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The recent market's demand for larger catfish has helped the industry become more efficient, but it also increases the risk to producers.
Harvest-ready catfish today weigh between 1 1/4 to 3 pounds and average 1 1/2 pounds. Until recently, catfish averaging 1 1/4 pounds were considered market-size fish.
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Vaccine and pharmaceutical combinations are being used in aquaculture production as the first line of defense against disease-causing organisms.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Earning a college degree is a rather traditional pursuit, but Mississippi State University offers several degrees in some fairly non-traditional fields.
In addition to engineering, education, mathematics and science, MSU students can earn degrees in such varied areas as sports turf, precision agriculture, cotton ginning, landscape architecture, retail floristry and food science.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cooking skills are bringing some widespread attention to a Mississippi volunteer organization.
Three recipes from the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers' own cookbook, "Down Home Dining in Mississippi," were featured in a new cookbook, "America's Best Recipes -- A 2001 Hometown Collection." This cookbook is produced by Oxmoor House Inc., the parent company of Southern Living magazine.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hay producers across most of Mississippi could not have timed the rains any better if they controlled the weather themselves.
Summer thunderstorms are bringing enough moisture to most parts of the state to grow good summer grasses. The rain is stopping to let farmers cut, dry and bale the hay before starting again.
"The rain comes at just the right time and quits at just the right time," said Malcolm Broome, forage specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
VERONA -- Dr. Lester Spell, Mississippi's Commissioner for Agriculture and Commerce, will be the featured speaker along with other activities at the upcoming North Mississippi Research and Extension Center Agronomic Row Crop Field Day.
Farmers can learn the latest research results and recommendations at the Aug. 8 event from 8 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.at the Lee County AgriCenter on Highway 145, south of Verona.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Five years of eradication efforts are making the boll weevil a scarce pest in Mississippi cotton.
The most recent counts show the state has less than 1 percent of the boll weevils it had in fields last year. By late July 2000, about 1.1 million boll weevils had been trapped in Mississippi's cotton fields. This year, 10,442 have been captured. Last year's numbers were down more than 50 percent from the previous year.
By Carrie Reeves
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Swimming provides a great way to relax and have fun during the summer, but swimmers should be aware of pool-related infections and ways to prevent the spread of these in public pools.
The most serious germs which might be found in swimming pools are cryptosporidiosis, also known as crypto; giardiasis; and Escherichia Coli 057:H7, also know as E-Coli 057:H7. All of these infections are passed through feces.
MISSISSIPPI STATE - Nature gave corn a hand this year with moderate temperatures and scattered rains, and Mississippi producers are expecting to harvest near record-high yields.
Erick Larson, grain specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the crop should be ready for harvest on schedule by mid-August. Favorable weather and low insect and disease pressure mean harvests should approach the record high 117 bushels an acre set in 1999.
By Carrie Reeves
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians consider mosquitoes a nuisance during the summer months, but to their pets, these swarming pests can be deadly.
Heartworms are a life-threatening disease that affect dogs and cats, although they are most common in dogs. The disease is caused by the presence of the adult stage of the parasite Dirofilaria immitis.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Old railroad crossties are basic elements in many landscapes, but in some cases they are helping spread the Formosan termite.
Formosan termites are a subterranean species that require moist environments to live. They are a tropical species from the Far East which tunnel from location to location to prevent them from drying out when exposed to above-ground conditions.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just as Good Friday signals the time to get the spring garden in the ground, August's heat is the indication that it's time to plant the fall garden.
David Nagel, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said now is the time to plant tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet corn, peas and beans.
"Summer gardens typically wind down in early August when the temperatures start being consistently above 95 degrees," Nagel said. "That's when you clean the garden out and plant the fall garden."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Much of the state's soybeans, like Mississippi's other row crops, are benefitting from August showers, but some fields still are lacking.
"The rains have been very variable. Everyone doesn't want rain on the same day or in the same amount," said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "We really needed (tropical storm) Barry to come right through the middle of the state the first week of August and provide a good general rain, but that didn't happen."
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Producers and pesticide applicators trying to find the safest ways to use pesticides and reduce spray drift may find the answer blowing in the wind, say scientists involved in pesticide drift research.
"We've found that downwind distance is by far the most important variable that affects ground, boom spray drift," said David Smith, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station agricultural engineer.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People spend a lot of time and money trying to keep their tax burden as low as possible, but when it comes to timber sales, many Mississippians pay too much in taxes.
Debbie Gaddis, assistant Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University, said proper record keeping and management can lower tax bills by allowing timber owners to take advantage of special tax programs available to them.