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August 29, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When heat and humidity challenge the state's poultry industry, broilers lose every time, but this summer has been kinder than usual on the birds.

Up until the first of August, Mississippi broiler growers had not seen serious losses to heat stress. Before that, the cooler weather was a blessing to poultry growers, keeping deaths to a minimum.

Bill Goodwin is the extension agent for Scott County, the state's leading poultry producer. He said some broiler deaths to heat stress are unavoidable each year.

August 28, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central MS Research & Extension Center

From the simplest backyards to the most complex gardens, any landscape can be made more beautiful by the presence of birds.

Birdbaths and feeders are readily available at all garden centers and can put you on the road to identifying birds you never knew were around. Attracting an assortment of colorful birds to your lawn is an effortless project the whole family can enjoy.

August 22, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- You've got to make hay while the sun shines, but Mississippi producers have not seen many clear skies at key hay cutting times.

Despite a late start, many state farmers were completing the second or third cutting of the hay season by the middle of August with hopes weather will allow one more. Mississippi's hay production probably will reach just 90 percent of normal levels.

August 21, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Harvesting flowers is as much fun as picking tomatoes. Many of us began our flower design efforts as children when we picked dandelions or other wildflowers for mom.

Many of our ancestors had special sites for cutting flowers. I suppose they not only took time to smell the roses, but brought them indoors for enjoyment.

August 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Americans are realizing that better diets lead to better lives, but after making it clear they aren't willing to sacrifice great tastes they've enjoyed for years, the food industry has been compelled to respond.

As many Americans try to form better eating habits, the food industry is using modern technology to ensure healthy foods also taste good.

Dr. Zahur Haque, professor of food technology at Mississippi State University, said Americans started moving away from high fat diets about ten years ago.

August 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Testing soils in the fall means better prepared soil and one less thing to do in the spring.

Larry Oldham, extension soil specialist at Mississippi State University, said there is very little difference in results between spring and fall testing. Because of this, he recommended getting soil testing done in the fall.

"If the soil test calls for corrective action, you have an entire winter to plan your fertility program," Oldham said. "It's often easier to get into the field in the fall for samples than during the more hectic spring planting rush."

August 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Enthusiastic dove hunters should not let the excitement of the first major fall hunting season cloud their judgement for a safe and legal hunt.

Dove shoots traditionally trigger the beginning of the fall hunting season.

Mississippi is divided into two hunting regions with three different dove seasons each. Dove season will be legal in the northern portion of the state from Sept. 6 through 27, from Oct. 11 through Nov. 9 and again from Dec. 27 until Jan. 3.

August 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Farming, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Testing soils in the fall means better prepared soil and one less thing to do in the spring.

Larry Oldham, extension soil specialist at Mississippi State University, said there is very little difference in results between spring and fall testing. Because of this, he recommended getting soil testing done in the fall.

"If the soil test calls for corrective action, you have an entire winter to plan your fertility program," Oldham said. "It's often easier to get into the field in the fall for samples than during the more hectic spring planting rush."

August 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A lot of emergency first aid that works for injured humans also helps hurt animals.

Dr. Roger Wilbur, community practice veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said people can do a lot to help injured animals. The goal is to quickly and safely get the animal to a veterinarian.

Common injuries requiring first aid for animals are bite wounds, gunshot wounds or injuries from being hit by a car.

August 18, 1997 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the adorable puppy in the window of the pet store is an aggressive breed, prospective owners should think twice before taking it home.

Dr. Richard Hopper, extension leader of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University, said genetics and environment contribute to a dog's aggressive nature.

"Some dogs have a greater tendency towards aggression than others, but aggression usually is promoted or worsened by the dog's environment and experiences," Hopper said.

August 15, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The harvest season is approaching for Mississippi's "big three" row crops, and it's been a difficult year for some producers.

"There's a lot of variation in this year's soybean crop," said extension soybean specialist Alan Blaine. "Depending on who you talk to, it's either one of the best ever or one of the worst. On average, the 1997 soybean crop in Mississippi is a good one."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimate for the state's soybean crop is about 55 million bushels, up from more than 54 million harvested last year.

August 14, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Nandinas are among our very best shrubs for fall and winter color, and the next few weeks hold great planting opportunities.

Sometimes called heavenly bamboo, nandina indeed appears somewhat exotic. It is actually in the barberry family.

Our ancestors planted the old-fashioned nandina domestica which is still outstanding. You can't find a better nandina for berries, which are almost as pretty for fall color as the leaves on the newer varieties.

August 8, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's corn growers anticipate respectable yields, but they are harvesting about 140,000 fewer acres than in 1996.

"The prices and expectations at planting time were down from 1996," said Dr. Tom Jones, Mississippi State University extension agricultural economist. "Growers planted corn on 490,000 acres in Mississippi this year, compared to 630,000 acres in 1996."

August 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

There is always one new plant or something related to gardening that will keep the best of us humble. Sometimes these new discoveries await us at trade shows; sometimes they are already in your neighbor's yard.

Angelonia is just such a new plant that is all the rage in garden centers across Mississippi.

August 4, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forestry

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's forestry industry set a production record in 1996 of almost $1.2 billion as actual figures released in July exceeded the previously estimated values.

"Mississippi's forest industry recorded an all-time high for timber production," said Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University. "Due to a strong fourth quarter, the figures were higher than originally estimated.

"The actual figures of $1.18 billion for 1996 were 7 percent higher than in 1995," Daniels said.

August 4, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The product is often trampled and always underfoot, but that's because the turfgrass industry is alive and thriving in the state.

With its 2.5 million acres of turfgrass, the industry has a more than $728 million impact on Mississippi's economy. Annually, the industry's gross sales reach about $375 million.

The turfgrass industry employs almost 6,000 full-time and nearly 14,000 part-time workers. Maintenance of the turfgrass costs more than $353 million in materials and labor.

August 4, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The idea of a roomful of excited, squealing kids can make some parents vow never to throw a child's birthday party, but these events can be fun for everyone.

Planning is essential to having a child's party. Plan the time, the activities, the food and how gifts will be handled. Arrange to have a few parents on hand to help with crowd control.

August 4, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Nutrition

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many reduced fat and fat-free foods have become available for consumers during the past few years, but cooks can reduce fat intake simply by altering recipes at home.

"Creative cooks who know which ingredients can be switched around in recipes can significantly alter the fat content in many foods they prepare at home," said Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University.

August 4, 1997 - Filed Under: Fisheries

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The average angler fishing along a river probably doesn't realize this pastime is profitable business in Mississippi and a great use of natural resources.

The most recent statistics show that in 1991, anglers spent $236 million to fish in Mississippi, or about $360 a person. This amount includes everything from fishing licenses and bait to equipment, travel expenses and memberships. Sixteen percent of Mississippians fish each year, compared to 14 percent nationwide.

August 1, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rain across the state has made 1997 a difficult year for sod producers around the state, but demand has not slowed.

Mississippi has about 3,500 acres of commercial sod farms and 2.5 million acres of turfgrass. Selling and maintaining this turf is a $728 million industry each year.

Lee Taylor, Forrest County extension agent, said this year's weather has caused problems for South Mississippi yards.

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