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Feature Story

May 29, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

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.

May 22, 1998 - Filed Under: Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent dry weather has been great for putting up winter hay, but it's slowed the growth of summer grasses and reduced its quality.

Dr. Bill Tucker, supervisor of the Mississippi State University dairy farm, said abnormal weather has made the first cutting of summer hay late this season.

"The weather has been hotter and drier than normal and our summer grasses have not come out as vigorously as they usually do," Tucker said.

Quality, as well as quantity, suffers as well when there is not enough moisture.

May 18, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children want to have fun and parents often seem desperate to find a place for kids to stay during summer months. Working together may solve the problem.

Dr. Louise Davis, Mississippi State University Extension Service's child and family development specialist, said full-time care during the day might create the best environment for children.

May 18, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Summer vacations can mean big headaches, but with careful planning and budgeting, they can be fun and relaxing.

Dr. Beverly Howell, Mississippi State University Extension Service's family economics specialist, said a plan for saving money makes a yearly vacation possible.

May 18, 1998 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

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.

May 18, 1998 - Filed Under: SAFETY – Safe Archery and Firearms Education and Training for Youth

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi 4-H program is doing what it can to ensure that a gun in the hands of a young person does not mean trouble.

Youth ages 8 to 18 enrolled in the Mississippi Field and Stream Program not only learn hunting, and wildlife and fisheries management, they also learn respect for guns and how and when to use them.

May 15, 1998 - Filed Under: Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather discussions are not new to farmers, but a recently developed Internet site can take those talks to the next level.

May 8, 1998 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Low log inventories around the state last winter kept timber prices high, and landowners continue to respond by bringing more to market.

Dr. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said wet weather was a key factor in log inventories this winter.

"Rainy weather kept logging and transportation operations difficult from late October through February, especially in Central and South Mississippi," Daniels said.

May 4, 1998 - Filed Under: Environment

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.

May 4, 1998 - Filed Under: Organic Fruit and Vegetables

By Kelli McPhail

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.

May 4, 1998 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Amy Woolfolk

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."

May 1, 1998 - Filed Under: Soybeans

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."

April 24, 1998 - Filed Under: Corn

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.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Health

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.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Pets

By Kelli McPhail

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.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Pets

By Amy Woolfolk

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.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most horses no longer help plow fields or herd livestock, but they can still teach children, even urban dwellers, responsibility.

Horse ownership is no longer limited to people who live on farms. In fact, equine industry watchers are noting a trend toward owners boarding horses with other people.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Pets

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pets may require more attention during hot weather, but a little extra care reduces the risk to a pet's safety and well-being.

When temperatures rise and pet owners go out of town, everyday care for animals may not be enough. Heat stress can cause serious side effects and is one problem pet owners need to be aware of.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The look required for some breeds of dogs means puppies have to have cosmetic surgery, an issue that has sparked international debate.

Dr. Paul McCarthy, head of surgery at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said docking tails and cropping ears has no medical value for the animals.

April 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Animal Health

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.

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