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News From 2005

April 22, 2005 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean growers will not be deterred by the threat of Asian rust or spring rains as they work to plant the 2005 crop as soon as possible.

Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers have been running later than last year, but not significantly off the five-year average.

April 21, 2005 - Filed Under: Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Along with budding flowers and buzzing bees come spring storms, and resulting damage to trees may require a professional's help.

Steve Dicke, a Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry professor, said homeowners should choose a licensed, certified arborist to repair or remove damaged yard trees. Dicke, now a member of the International Society of Arboriculture, said he learned this lesson the hard way.

April 21, 2005 - Filed Under: Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some new and often unfamiliar names are showing up in the used compact tractor market, providing alternatives to more traditional brands.

Used compact tractors are popular with owners of large yards and small farms. Vintage Ford and Farmall Cub tractors are favorites among those looking for economical, small-horsepower machines. But the newcomers to the U.S. compact tractor market, including Yanmar, Mitsubishi, Hinomoto, Iseki and Shibaura, are sold used and usually cost less than half of the price of a new, similar-horsepower domestic model.

Cal Senorita, an American quarter horse on Mississippi State University's South Farm, stands with her third foal born in 2005. Cal delivered this filly on March 16. Two surrogate mothers delivered her colts on Feb. 12 and Feb. 21. The two colts were products of embryo transfer procedures performed last year at MSU.
April 21, 2005 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The headline, "Mare produces three foals in one season," reads like the front page of a grocery store tabloid, but one Mississippi State University mare actually accomplished this feat in 2005.

Super Mom...

Described by her former owner Buddy Wiggins as a star among cutting horses at the age of 3, Cal Senorita's athletic efforts in the arena resulted in career-ending leg problems. Wiggins donated the American quarter horse with an outstanding pedigree and more than $16,000 in earnings to MSU in 2000.

April 21, 2005 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two upcoming workshops will help Mississippi catfish producers evaluate operational changes and the overall financial health of their farms.

The east Mississippi workshop will take place on May 10 at the Four-County Electric Power Association building in Mayhew. The Delta workshop will be on May 17 in the Charles W. Capps Jr. Entrepreneurial Building at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville. Both workshops will take place from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Though its foliage is handsome, it is Mona lavender's spikes of dark lavender flowers that everyone adores.
April 21, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The word "plectranthus" sounds like it could be some dinosaur that's been discovered in a South Mississippi gravel pit, but believe it or not, a variety named Mona lavender is a 2005 Mississippi Medallion Award winner.

Mona lavender, which is one of the hottest plants in the world, has passed muster in Mississippi State University trials and was chosen by the Mississippi Plant Selections Committee for this prestigious award.

April 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rains every few days across much of the state have kept corn producers out of the field and are threatening to prevent much of the crop from being planted on time.

Erick Larson, small grains specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show the crop only 50 percent planted by the week of April 10.

April 14, 2005 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The tornadoes that swept across Mississippi April 6 caused an estimated $10.3 million in timber damage, and affected landowners must find a way to handle the loss of this cash crop.

According to information released by the Mississippi Forestry Commission, Pike and Walthall counties received the most damage. A tornado left a half-mile wide by 25-mile long path through 4,000 acres in the two counties, causing timber losses of $9.3 million.

April 14, 2005 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Clothing designers and manufacturers around the world can benefit from the work of an award-winning Mississippi State University professor, thanks to a prestigious award.

Phyllis Bell Miller, associate professor of human sciences, will travel to Bulgaria this summer on a Fulbright Scholarship for teaching and research. While in the East European nation, she will collect information for an Internet database of the country's traditional dress. She will also assist students in designing current fashions based on traditional dress.

April 14, 2005 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University veterinarian is urging parents to make educated, not panicked, decisions about taking their children to petting zoos and other agriculture-related settings.

Dr. Carla Huston, an assistant professor of epidemiology in MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, said the recent Escherichia coli 0157:H7 outbreak in Florida has frightened many parents into believing they should avoid agricultural settings altogether. The March outbreak caused several children to become seriously ill after visiting one of three petting zoos in Florida.

Purple Knight will perform effortlessly for a long season, giving incredible beauty to the landscape. The choices of companion plantings are limited only by the grower's imagination.
April 14, 2005 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

"Beautiful," "striking" and "tough-as-nails" are just a few of the adjectives horticulturists use to describe Purple Knight alternanthera, which just received the 2005 Mississippi Medallion Award. Purple Knight is guaranteed to take gardening to new levels of enjoyment.

April 8, 2005 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Market prices are down and production costs are up, so why will Mississippi growers feel lucky to produce average yields?

"Wet conditions from last fall through the winter contributed to thin or sparse wheat stands and stunted growth. Now growers are seeing significant amounts of stripe rust, and it's happening much earlier than normal," said Erick Larson, small grains specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "We are looking at an average or below average crop right now."

Titan made its debut with Blush, which is a light rose color with a deeper rose eye. One of the most attractive features of the periwinkle is its foliage. The leaves are dark green and glossy, contrasting with the gorgeous flowers.
April 7, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

An old favorite just got better -- and larger -- with the new Titan series, prompting some to reconsider periwinkles for the garden. Last year they made their local debut at the Mid-South Greenhouse Growers conference held in Raymond, and growers from several states were mesmerized.

April 7, 2005 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For the eighth year in a row, Mississippi State University and the state's community colleges are teaming up to encourage bright high school seniors to consider a medical profession in Mississippi.

The intense, five-week Rural Medical Scholars summer program at MSU aims to identify the state's future primary care doctors and help them become members of the medical school class of 2014.

April 7, 2005 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Environmentally conscious producers in Panola County got more than 13 tons of waste pesticide off their farms during a one-day collection in March.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service partnered with the state Department of Agriculture and Commerce to offer the Agricultural Pesticide Disposal Program to area producers March 22 in Batesville. A grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality covered the cost of disposal.

April 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Cotton, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian soybean rust did not cause the dramatic decline in acreage it could have, but its threat may have inspired a 13 percent increase in prospective cotton acreage.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual prospective plantings report March 31, and Mississippi producers indicated they will decrease soybean acreage 4 percent to 1.6 million acres and increase cotton to 1.25 million acres.

March 31, 2005 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Landowners with as few as five acres can manage their land for pine timber production, and an often overlooked byproduct can add to the profits.

Tim Traugott, a Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry professor, said in the past landowners needed 20 to 40 acres of land to make timber production economically feasible. With today's market situation and prices, however, five acres of pine trees is more than enough.

The snowball viburnum produces 6- to 8-inch glistening white blossoms. While three or four flowers would make a dramatic statement, the Chinese snowball produces them by the scores.
March 31, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It won't be long now until landscapes across the state are alive with color. Certainly the azalea will be putting on its usual show, but so will the 2005 Mississippi Medallion Award-winning Chinese snowball viburnum.

There are a lot of good viburnums, but with its white, snowball-like flowers, the Chinese snowball (Viburnum macrocephalum) is the showiest. This plant is always for sale but in small quantities, rarely meeting demand.

The OrganWise Guys help teach children the basics of human physiology and how the body responds to different foods and lifestyles. They feature characters (front row, from left) Peri Stolic, the intestines; Hardy Heart; the Kidney Brothers; Madame Muscle; Windy, the lungs; (back row, from left) Luigi Liver, Peter Pancreas and Calci M. Bone. Together with two additional characters -- Sir Rebrum, the brain and Pepto, the stomach -- they teach children four rules for healthy living: low fat, high fiber, lots o
March 24, 2005 - Filed Under: Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Obesity is no small problem for Mississippians, and a program under way in the Delta addressing it by promoting healthy lifestyles among the state's youngest residents: school children.

Flower beds will come ablaze when Profusion Fire zinnias are mass planted.
March 24, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The best group of landscape zinnias, the Profusion series, just got better thanks to two new varieties: Fire and Apricot.

The Profusion series put zinnias back in the mainstream garden of America. The Cherry, Orange and White each earned the All-America Selections Gold Medal award. The Profusion series is disease-resistant and blooms from spring until frost. The Fire and Apricot varieties look to have the same superior performance.