MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An improved plow that reduces soil surface disturbance is causing a stir in farming circles.
Dr. Gordon Tupper, an agricultural engineer at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, recently redesigned the low-till parabolic subsoiler he invented in 1972. Shaped like a deep-curved U, this parabolic subsoiler can increase cotton profits by nearly $33 an acre.
"Properly using this subsoiler on just a portion of the state's 1 million acres of cotton has the potential to increase profits by several million dollars a year," Tupper said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi agriculture has evolved into a diverse, multibillion dollar industry in the last 20 years, and the Farmweek crews have covered it all.
Launched in October 1977, Farmweek continues to provide educational television viewers with news from every facet of the state's agriculture. Farmweek's 30-minute weekly shows are produced by Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children can treat adults to an enjoyable Halloween evening by using good manners and following some simple safety rules.
Parents carry the bulk of the responsibility for communities having safe, enjoyable Halloweens.
Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said parents need to carefully supervise their children on this fall night, often dedicated to juvenile antics.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rains provided some relief to Mississippi's dry conditions, but cattle producers were the main benefactors. Row crops will reap minimal profit or damage from the water.
Rankin County agricultural agent Houston Therrell said cattlemen and wildlife enthusiasts were the big winners.
"Pastures were extremely short. Most had stopped growing a month before the rains arrived," Therrell said. "These rains will help the winter grasses come along as well as help pastures gain some grass before the first frost."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- 4-H clubs, already very familiar to thousands of Mississippi youth, will be getting some national attention in October.
Oct. 5 to 11 has been set aside as National 4-H Week. 4-H activities will be highlighted during this time. In addition, the National Ad Council will kickoff their latest campaign that week, this one promoting 4-H.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With the arrival of football season comes another popular activity -- tailgate parties. Don't let these special times with family and friends turn into an experience with food poisoning.
Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension human nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University, said too much sun and heat can make perishable foods unsafe to eat. Mishandled food can become contaminated with bacteria and cause food poisoning.
PICAYUNE -- Already boasting a presence in every county in the state through the extension service, Mississippi State University now has another significant presence in South Mississippi.
In a Sept. 15 ceremony, the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune formally became part of MSU. Valued at $5 million, the arboretum was established in 1980 as a living memorial to L.O. Crosby Jr., a South Mississippi timber pioneer and philanthropist.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Leasing the hunting privileges to land provides a way to raise revenue and help protect the value of the land.
Dean Stewart, extension wildlife specialist at Mississippi State University, said many people who lease hunting rights generate enough revenue to cover property taxes and still make a profit. Lease prices in Mississippi range from $1.50 to $25 per acre annually.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- After a season of mostly favorable weather conditions, rice growers are seeing the first signs of a promising crop as harvest begins.
"Rice looks good so far and the yields seem promising, but with only about 10 percent harvested, it's too early to make solid predictions," said Dwayne Wheeler, Tunica County area rice extension agent.
Cool temperatures hurt stands early in the spring during planting time, but weather conditions were more favorable throughout the growing period, particularly while rice was heading.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton farmers and their nemesis, the boll weevil, begin their traditional fall routines with 1998 on their minds.
The verdict is still out on 1997's crop which battled all season to overcome late plantings in cool, wet conditions.
Dr. Blake Layton, extension cotton entomologist at Mississippi State University, described the state's crop as "the most erratic crop we've ever seen." Still, he said Mississippi growers should harvest a better-than-average crop.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The state didn't expand its borders, and no county lost size, but Mississippi is now home to 83 counties, at least on paper.
On July 1, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians became the state's newest "county," as identified by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. While not an actual location, the 83rd county includes eight Choctaw communities in six counties.