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April 30, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

For years I have been hooked on growing salvias like this year's Mississippi Medallion winner Victoria Blue, as well as the Mexican bush sage and others. But this is the first year I have grown Salvia elegans, or pineapple sage, which is a must in your garden or on your patio.

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 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The buddleia has fragrant blossoms, attracts butterflies and excels as a cut flower. It is referred to as the butterfly bush in the United States, while in its native China they call it the Summer Lilac.

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.

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 17, 1998 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Spring temperature have been great for planting gardens, but rains have kept gardeners out of their plots until recently.

Dr. David Nagel, horticulturist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said favorable weather in the growing season should allow the gardens to recover from lost time and still yield good harvests.

April 16, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Mississippi Medallion winners are proven, season-long performers in climates where summers are tough with heat and humidity. The three 1998 winners are Zinnia angustifolia, Salvia farinacea Victoria Blue and the Natchez crape myrtle.

April 10, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

By Linda Breazeale

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton growers are keenly aware of insect control every year because it is one of their most costly issues, but after this year's mild winter, they are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

The Mid-South region has the highest costs to produce cotton. To be competitive with state's that have eradicated boll weevils, Mississippi needs 3 to 5 cents per pound more at the market. The 1997-98 winter was one of Mississippi's mildest winters in 20 years, which is a major concern for 1998 boll weevil control.

April 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Temperatures are fairly moderate now as are utility bills, but we all know what is ahead. We can take decisive action today which will pay great dividends in subsequent years.

April 6, 1998 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Head lice have a reputation for spreading at school, but parents should not dismiss the problem during summer months.

Head lice are tiny insects that lay eggs, or nits, that stick to hair very close to the scalp. The nits are grayish white and oval-shaped.

Linda Patterson, health education associate specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said lice are easily transferred, and early detection should improve control efforts.

April 6, 1998 - Filed Under: Farm Safety

WAYNESBORO -- The success of a relatively new program in the state aimed at increasing the independence of agricultural workers with disabilities has made a Waynesboro man's job easier.

April 6, 1998 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy herds in Mississippi put up some good numbers in 1997, with dairy cows having the second highest increase in milk in the Southeast.

Mississippi dairy cows produced 587 pounds of milk more than last year, bringing the average to 13,489 pounds per cow. This was the greatest increase seen in milk production in any other state in the Southeast except North Carolina. At about $14.50 per hundredweight, the milk increase brought additional income of $85 per cow to dairy farmers, or $3.7 million for the state.

April 6, 1998 - Filed Under: Economic Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University is heading a new statewide economic development effort to be kicked off at an April conference in Jackson.

The Agricultural Economic Summit on April 21 and 22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jackson will focus on growing the Mississippi economy through agriculture, forestry and community development. The summit will feature several industry leaders addressing issues important to the state. Follow-up meetings around the state will identify goals and areas for improvement during the five-year endeavor.

April 6, 1998 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Planting a garden may seem as simple as tossing seeds on the soil, but deciding what to plant in the garden takes careful planning.

Dr. David Nagel, horticulturist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said gardeners need to consider their personal preference for vegetables, how the produce will be used, the amount of available garden space and the amount of sunlight needed.

April 3, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi cotton growers are expected to plant less than 1 million acres for the second consecutive year -- a trend that could hurt cotton's support industries in the state.

"We have significant concerns about cotton's infrastructure as acres are converted to crops that generate less economic activity," said Dr. O.A. Cleveland, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Cotton is a high cost crop with a large support industry surrounding it."

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