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January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's catfish industry already leads the world in production, and in 1997 increased 22 percent to record a $380 million farm gate value in the state.

The latest figures show that Mississippi had 102,000 acres of catfish ponds as of Jan. 1, 1997. The United States had a total of 177,300. Twenty years ago, Mississippi had just 17,000 acres of catfish ponds.

Jim Steeby, area extension aquaculture agent in the Delta, said no other place in the nation is so uniquely equipped for catfish production.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather and Mississippi State University played major roles in the record yields state farmers have produced in recent years among Mississippi's top row crops.

In 1997, cotton farmers saw their highest production with 896 pounds harvested per acre. Soybeans matched 1996's second highest production with 31 bushels an acre, while corn set a new record at 107 bushels per acre. Rice and wheat also set yield records in the past two years.

January 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Technology

By Rhonda Whitmire

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean farmers have relied on variety testing results for many years, and now they can view the latest results on the Internet.

Since 1982, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, in cooperation with Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, has tested various soybean varieties. Farmers receive the results through MAFES and extension publications and by word of mouth.

January 22, 1998 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If your landscape looks a little desolate, barren or Siberia- like, it probably needs some evergreens. Of all landscape plants in the South, conifers are some of our most beautiful.

Conifers are important to our timber industry, but their usefulness doesn't stop there. A conifer is a cone-bearing tree or shrub. Familiar ones are the loblolly, slash pine, long and shortleaf pine, and others.

January 15, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The winter weather has not been so cold, but it certainly has been dreary. The bulbs are starting to show their first green signs letting us know spring is coming. But if we simply cannot wait, which I can't, then primulas are the easy solution to the winter doldrums.

Europeans adore primulas, or primrose, but most Mississippi gardeners overlook them as a source of late winter and early spring color.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children can add a precious element to wedding ceremonies, but adults first need to have realistic expectations for a child's behavior.

Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said children require special considerations for being in a formal ceremony.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Once the wedding is over and the couple is back from the honeymoon, it's time to start playing together.

Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said couples should make a habit of spending time together. Communication grows with shared interests.

"Treat your spouse as your deepest and best friend," Davis said. "Learn to enjoy each other's interests and find an activity of your own to do as a couple."

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In reality, outdoor Mississippi weddings are often very different from the imagined clear skies with a cool breeze rustling through the flowers.

Mississippi has many beautiful outdoor wedding settings with fresh air and open spaces. But it is very hot in the summer with humidity, bugs and afternoon rains that must be planned for.

Ann Stevenson, area extension agent in the northwest district (Panola County), said outdoor wedding can be successful, but require more time and effort.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Couples are no longer the only ones adjusting to new marriages. Children from previous relationships often have the hardest time adapting to a new parent in the house.

Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said effective communication early-on is the key to helping children accept step-parents.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Newlyweds can avoid the common problem of gaining weight by eating healthy and exercising as a team.

"Exercise is important for everyone's physical and emotional condition," said Linda Patterson, extension health specialist at Mississippi State University. "It's a great way to relieve stress and control weight."

Patterson said early in a marriage is a good time to develop a habit of regular exercise.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of the biggest and most immediate challenges facing newly-married couples is choosing and paying for their first home.

Couples have several housing options from which to choose. They may choose to rent an apartment or a house, or they can buy or build a house.

Dr. Frances Graham, extension housing specialist at Mississippi State University, said most young couples choose to rent at first. They need time to decide and agree on their preferences and tastes for a more permanent home.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the thought of an expensive wedding is discouraging, consider a variety of alternatives to keep costs down.

Dr. Beverly Howell, extension family economics and management specialist at Mississippi State University, said many young couples today choose to keep their wedding budget as low as possible in order to save money for other things.

"Many young couples are asking themselves if they want to put a lot of money into the wedding," Howell said.

January 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Community

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Even though preparing for a wedding is usually a stressful time for the bride and groom, stress does not have to take control. By staying organized and healthy a couple can overcome stress and have a joyful wedding.

Linda Patterson, extension health specialist at Mississippi State University, said stress is created by the mind and couples should watch their thoughts.

January 8, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many new exciting plants are coming our way in 1998, but one new impatient really has growers chomping at the bit to start planting.

Victorian Rose isn't an antique or heirloom rose, but it is the new All-American winning impatient. Hopefully, we will find Victorian Rose is the best semi-double flowering impatient.

January 2, 1998 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Producers with insured crops in South Mississippi damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Georges can get relief for the loss by following the proper claims process.

Dr. John Robinson, ag economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said Mississippi has about 60,000 acres of corn, cotton, soybeans and wheat in the 15 southeastern counties.

January 1, 1998 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Growing flowers outdoors is a common practice most gardeners enjoy, but growing plants to bloom indoors is a pleasure many are reluctant to try except for African violets.

The pineapple, our symbol of hospitality in the South, comes from a plant group that we not only overlook but view with trepidation. This group is the bromeliads.

December 25, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Low light conditions make it hard to grow some plants indoors. A bright sunny day may register as much as 10,000 foot candles of light while indoors may be 500 or less.

When we want to have plants in those low light areas, it makes sense to select wisely. We can choose plants that will perform well under such conditions.

December 19, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- How can Mississippi cotton growers harvest a record 900 pound average and not be enthusiastic about the crop?

1997 was the first year since 1983 that Mississippi cotton growers planted less than 1 million acres, and only the third time since record keeping began in 1866. Growers had governmental incentive to reduce acres in 1983 due to abundant supplies. In 1997, the incentives not to plant cotton came from market prices.

December 19, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The forestry industry continued its record breaking pace in the state, setting its 10th record in 11 years with 1997's estimated value of $1.22 billion.

Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University, projected a 3 percent increase over 1996's forestry value. Pine prices and production were up, while hardwood saw a slight price increase and harvest decrease.

December 19, 1997 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- State poultry producers saw record broiler and egg production with 1997 values up 6 percent to more than $1.43 billion.

Dr. Wallace Morgan, head of Mississippi State University's poultry department, said the state's poultry industry has grown steadily for the last 10 years. Mississippi now ranks No. 4 nationally in broiler production.

"Domestic consumption continues to increase, our exports have been growing very rapidly and Mississippi has been a favored state for growth," Morgan said.

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