MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An 1880s and a 1920s cotton gin are the latest additions to agricultural engineering classes at Mississippi State University.
Joe Jim Hogan of Oxford donated the cotton gin stands to MSU's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in May. Both cotton gins were steam-powered. The older one could gin four to six bales of cotton a day, the newer one could gin eight in a day.
"I thought maybe the university could use it in some way to show people how the old gins were made," Hogan said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's high temperatures make people drink more water, but sometimes consumers wonder whether bottled water is any different from tap water.
"People usually purchase bottled water because they perceive it tastes better," said Dr. Frances Graham, a housing specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "However, taste is not an indicator of safe water."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's unpredictable weather is keeping farmers guessing, and recent hail damage is forcing some growers to make their toughest decisions.
County agents and specialists with Mississippi State University's Extension Service have been busy across the state during this year's crop season. A cool, wet spring followed by the hotter and drier than normal months of May and June produced two sets of challenges, but recent hail storms may have dealt the hardest blows yet.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Livestock producers, especially those involved in swine, dairy, and poultry operations, are seeking answers from Mississippi State University researchers about the proper storage and use of animal waste as a soil nutrient.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite France's 400 varieties of cheese which could confuse a mouse, thousands of consumers consider Mississippi State University's scarce variety of cheeses to be among the best.
"There are so many good cheeses available to consumers, but our cheeses rank among the best," said Dr. Charles White, head of MSU's Food Science and Technology Department. "Our cheese is made with high quality raw milk from university cows."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- What works in a spray bottle to control insects on tomato plants in the back yard also works to control cotton's No. 1 pest when sprayed from an airplane.
Malathion is a very common insecticide used by cities to control mosquitoes, gardeners to control vegetable pests, homeowners to control cockroaches, farmers to control boll weevils and pet owners to control pet pests. Even the concentration is similar for each of these applications.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore handed state 4-H leaders a ceremonial check for $900,000 June 10 night, with the promise that the real money will follow shortly.
"I bring tonight your portion of a million dollars," Moore told the about 850 4-H youth, volunteers and staff at the close of 4-H Congress at Mississippi State University. "Your portion is $900,000 to help me get involved and save young people."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi wheat farmers weathered a late cold snap and rain at harvest time to produce a good wheat crop for the year.
Dr. Erick Larson, grain crop specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said average wheat yields across the state should be about 40 to 45 bushels per acre this year. Last year, farmers harvested an average of 42 bushels an acre.
"Wheat yields across the state have ranged from 25 to 90 bushels an acre, depending on the soil type and whether it was managed for optimum yields," Larson said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent hot temperatures have slowed milk production around the state, making it a little difficult for Mississippi dairy farmers to celebrate June Dairy Month.
Dr. Reuben Moore, dairy specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the ideal temperature for dairy cattle is 55 degrees. Recent temperatures in the 90s have stressed some herds.
"When temperatures reach about 85 degrees, milk production declines," Moore said. "If temperatures don't drop at night, cows have difficulty recovering from the day's high heat."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lowering weight limits on roads may not benefit taxpayers as much as it appears when it puts more log trucks on the road and causes timber prices to fall.
Mississippi law currently has set an 80,000 pound weight limit on roads. A harvest permit can be bought for $25 allowing a 4,000 pound tolerance above this limit. County supervisors can change the weight limit on county roads, and some are considering lowering it to 40,000 or 57,600 pounds.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Shoes, purses, suits, dresses, hats, household linens and other historical memorabilia help students at Mississippi State University step back in time to study apparel design, textiles and merchandising.
The Historic Costume and Textile Collection in the MSU School of Human Sciences is the resource behind these history lessons. The collection, made up of over 1,000 items, ranges from the 1800s to the 1970s and links students to the study of Mississippi fashion.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's miles of waterways make boating one of the more popular summer pastimes, but without caution, boating can be dangerous.
In 1997, 20 people died in boating accidents. According to figures released by Elizabeth Raymond, boating law administrator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the state had 122 boating accidents last year. Of these, 52 involved personal water craft.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A test that predicts a rooster's fertility may one day dramatically impact the poultry industry.
Mississippi's poultry holds the state's top agriculture spot, with a current farm gate value of about $1.4 billion. Research in this field can propel the industry even higher.
Dr. Chris McDaniel, poultry scientist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, has applied a simple fertility test to the poultry industry. His results indicate the industry could increase egg fertility rates by 5 percent.
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.