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News From 2005

June 16, 2005 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Experts recommend teaching safety skills and instilling confidence in children to prevent a parent's worst nightmare from becoming tragic reality.

Patsilu Reeves, a Mississippi State University Extension Service family life education specialist, said parents need to be aware of predators' most commonly used tricks and teach their children not to fall for them.

June 16, 2005 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When a patient comes in the door of the Mississippi State University veterinary college's Animal Health Center, three types of imaging tools help clinical faculty, staff and students provide the best care.

Diagnostic Imaging Services in MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine has a cardiac-capable ultrasound, large- and small-animal X-ray facilities and a computed tomography, also known as a CT or CAT, scanner. Dr. Dan Cantwell, chief of diagnostic imaging services, said the acquisition of the CT scanner was important for the veterinary college.

June 10, 2005 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Broiler prices weakened slightly while egg prices dropped sharply during the first part of 2005, giving consumers slightly more reason to be optimistic about prices than producers.

Mike Pepper, president of the Mississippi Poultry Association, described 2004 as a favorable year for broiler production.

"Prices were good last year -- close to the record levels set in 1986. This year prices are down slightly, but production is up," Pepper said. "Feed costs are not as high as they have been some years, but energy costs are.

Though the Mandevilla is from Brazil, it looks and performs like one of the locals. This hybrid Mandevilla Alice du Pont is at the top of the list of plants that will bloom all summer and right up until fall.
June 9, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

My neighbor down the street already has everyone gawking with a spectacular Mandevilla on her mailbox. It's been that way for a few weeks, yielding dozens of blooms every day.

Many gardeners shop for plants that will bloom all summer and right up until fall. That's a pretty tall order to fill considering our extreme summer climate, but at the top of that list has to be the hybrid Mandevilla Alice du Pont.

June 9, 2005 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents looking for affordable ways to entertain restless children during the summer months need look no farther than their own backyard.

Chasing and catching fireflies offers fun for all ages and creates special family memories that will last a lifetime.

June 9, 2005 - Filed Under: Farm Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Warm temperatures go hand-in-hand with grilling out for many Mississippians, but take care to ensure this popular pastime doesn't result in dangerous fires.

Ted Gordon, a Mississippi State University Extension Service safety specialist at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said safety precautions can make using charcoal or gas grills safe and fun.

Clive Levy
June 5, 2005 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Asian soybean rust came to Zimbabwe in 1998, and researcher Clive Levy was on the front line battling the disease in commercial fields in that African nation.

Levy was in Mississippi in mid-June, searching for the disease in the state's fields with Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel. As of June 30, rust has not been found in Mississippi this year.

June 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rains provided most of Mississippi's struggling crops with the boost needed to grow out of seedling stages and on toward maturity.

With the exception of the extreme northern counties, the Memorial Day holiday week brought much-needed rains to Mississippi. While all crops lacked water, corn may have been the most needy.

Erick Larson, corn specialist for Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said much of the state had not received rain since mid-April. Corn plants were in various stages of water stress.

June 2, 2005 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tree and shrub growers in South Mississippi can take advantage of a one-day seminar in June to hone their abilities to control pests.

The Tree and Shrub Pest Management Seminar runs from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. June 28 in Biloxi at Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center. It is sponsored by MSU and the South Mississippi Lawn and Landscape Association.

Attract hummingbirds by planting a garden with a long season of overlapping bloom.
June 2, 2005 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I got a kick out of the man on late night television recently who had four hummingbird feeders attached to a hat, trying to lure the birds in for a little feasting. I kind of feel that way about these little birds myself.

Natalie Jordan of Raymond feels the passion, too -- the last time I checked in, she was using about 5 pounds of sugar a day for her feeders. But you better believe she also had every plant a hummingbird loves in glorious bloom.

June 2, 2005 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Consumers in the market for a new home have more financing options than ever before, but choosing an unconventional mortgage could lead to future financial troubles.

Gregg Ibendahl, agricultural finance specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi housing prices have risen about 5 percent each year since 2002.

"Current median house prices have increased dramatically from 2002 to 2004. In the South, the average price in 2002 was around $140,000, and in 2004, the average price was $170,000," Ibendahl said.

June 2, 2005 - Filed Under: About Extension, Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When David Courtney upgraded his fresh vegetable produce market from an on-farm stand to a year-round store, he needed some help figuring out how to display his merchandise.

"Folks from the Mississippi State University Extension Service helped with the layout and arrangement of our products to be attractive to the customer," Courtney said. "They showed us where fast-moving items should be located and where the more permanent items should be."

Harvest is about a week away for these tomatoes on the Mayhew Tomato Farm in Lowndes County. Owner Mel Ellis says he expects to begin harvesting around June 5.
May 27, 2005 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cool temperatures have forced Mississippians to wait even longer for summer's much-anticipated first tomatoes.

A perennial treasure from Southern gardens, tomatoes may be late, but the quality should compensate eager consumers.

David Nagel, horticulturist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said tomatoes from Florida to Arkansas are as much as two weeks behind schedule because of lower-than-normal temperatures.

May 26, 2005 - Filed Under: Livestock, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Environmental Protection Agency is examining air emissions from livestock and poultry operations, and producers must decide soon if they will take part in the agency’s two-year study.

Mark Crenshaw, swine specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said producers should study all aspects of the issue before signing the Air Emissions Consent Agreement, but the July 1 deadline to sign is quickly approaching.

The tall, purple flowers of the All Around gomphrena combine with Sonnet Snapdragons and Festival Gerbera daisies for a striking landscape display.
May 26, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Garden centers have had a good supply of one of my favorite plants, the gomphrena. Known botanically as Gomphrena globosa, this Joseph's Coat relative is native to Panama and Guatemala.

May 26, 2005 - Filed Under: Leadership

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A leadership training opportunity is bringing Oktibbeha County residents together to identify needs and make improvements in their community.

Lady Cox participated in The Forum: Oktibbeha County Leadership Development, a program that taps into the talents and skills of a diverse group of local citizens to evoke positive community change. Cox, a local realtor, said The Forum leadership training taught her how to build consensus and achieve synergy in a community.

May 26, 2005 - Filed Under: Forest Ecology, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Savvy U.S. consumers want to know the pedigree of the products they buy, a trend that is driving change in American production and industry, and Mississippi's forestry industry is no exception.

A nationwide market is developing for forest products produced in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable manner. Products such as lumber produced under these standards are sold as certified forest products.

May 20, 2005 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Good prices and lower feed costs are helping catfish producers after they suffered nearly four years of high production costs and low market prices.

Terry Hanson, Mississippi State University Extension agricultural economist, said catfish producers are receiving 70 to 75 cents a pound, and prices have been above 70 cents since October. Market prices in 2002 and 2003 dropped as low as 55 cents a pound. Prices may be helped by increased U.S. interest in eating catfish.

May 19, 2005 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agricultural policy and the state of the agricultural industry will be the topics of the Mississippi Agricultural Economics Association annual symposium in Starkville.

The 31 st annual symposium will be held June 2 and 3 at Mississippi State University in the Forest Products Auditorium. The public and those representing the ag industry, business and finance are invited to attend. A $20 symposium fee covers the Friday meeting and lunch.

With spectacular-colored flowers and contrasting dark green foliage, the new Cajun series hibiscus wowed visitors to the Jackson Garden and Patio Show. There are now more than 20 selections, such as the Fais Do Do pictured, in the Cajun series.
May 19, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At the Jackson Garden and Patio Show, a new group of hibiscus made its debut and wowed everyone. Called Cajun hibiscus, this series comes in colors you only dreamed about. I got two at the show -- one called Black Dragon that is a deep burgundy with swirls, and then a yellow and red blend called Fais Do Do. Both are extremely large, measuring 9 inches at least.