MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's cotton crop is off to a good start this year with boll weevil treatments set to begin in early June.
Dr. Blake Layton, entomologist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said cotton pin-head square applications should begin the first week of June in some places, but most of the crop will be treated the following week.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many people have no trouble selling used cars, houses and even land, but when it comes to selling timber, it's not easy doing it right the first time without help.
Dr. Dannie Reed, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Choctaw County, said a managed timber sale is the way to sell timber and get the best price. This requires an evaluation of the timber, an advertised sale and sealed bids.
GREENWOOD -- More than 100 Leflore County homes are safer places after families safely disposed of household hazardous wastes, but experts say hazardous waste remains in houses around the state.
Leflore County held a household hazardous waste roundup the last weekend in April. Lacey Henderson, Leflore County home economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said 125 families brought waste products from the house that, if not properly disposed of, are dangerous to the environment.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Gardeners may want to consider the organic gardening trend this year when deciding how to care for gardens and the environment at the same time.
Organic gardening means growing and marketing healthy foods that have not been treated with synthetic chemicals, only natural fertilizers and pest control measures.
Dr. David Nagel, a horticulturalist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said many people choose to garden organically because they want to be environmentally friendly. Others have different reasons.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents and youth who think school is the only place to learn need to think again. The Mississippi 4-H program offers a wide variety of learning experiences this summer.
"Our summer calendar is full of fun camps, conferences and workshops on many topics," said Sandy Slocum, extension 4-H associate. "With these programs we want to educate kids about specific subjects, and also teach them valuable life skills. These events are enjoyable, and youth look forward to coming to them year after year."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some Mississippi farmers are banking on early soybean varieties to produce the yields of recent years because the markets are not going to be much help.
Dr. Tom Jones, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said there is more potential for soybean prices to go down than there is for them to increase.
"U.S. soybean acreage is up slightly, South American crops are strong and the forecast is for good growing conditions this year," Jones said. "There is just no reason for prices to come up anytime soon."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rains have slowed field work for Northeast Mississippi corn growers, but the state remains on schedule for more corn acres in 1998.
Dr. Erick Larson, corn specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said he expects the state to plant near the 1996 level of 630,000 acres, compared to 490,000 planted last year when growers harvested a record yield of 107 bushels per acre.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rabies is not only a deadly concern for dogs and cats, it can have serious consequences when an animal suspected of having rabies bites a person.
In 1995, Robert Allen of Ocean Springs was bit by raccoon thought to have the rabies virus. The bite, actually just a scratch by the animal's teeth, sent him to the emergency room for a series of five vaccinations to save his life. His ordeal ended with him being free of the potentially deadly virus.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The death of a pet can be like the loss of a member of the family, but a new memorial program is helping pet owners cope with their loss.
Companion Animals Require Excellence, a program started by Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, allows people, primarily veterinarians, to honor deceased animals through memorials.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Having pets spayed or neutered not only helps control the pet population, but it also helps protect the animals from serious medical problems.
Dr. Cory Langston, associate professor of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University, said spaying females before their first heat cycle eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian infection or cancer. These are common in unaltered females.
Risk of tumors in the mammary gland, the milk producing gland, also can be reduced tremendously by spaying.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's rabies-free days are numbered.
Mississippi is the only state in the continental United States without a confirmed case of land-animal rabies in recent years. Unfortunately, the threat is not 100 miles away from Mississippi's border, it's probably less than 10.
Bruce Brackin, epidemiologist with the state Board of Health in Jackson, said although it has been more than 30 years since Mississippi had a confirmed case of land-animal rabies, verified cases are so close that rabies is most likely within the state's boarders already.