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News From 2008

Rains, cooler weather and high humidity during corn harvest are causing problems for producers. This ear of corn in Holmes County shows evidence of sprouting and grain deterioration. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
October 3, 2008 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn farmers are finally completing harvest of what is possibly the state's second-highest average yield, but abundant rainfall caused delays, made harvest more difficult and hurt some grain quality.

Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said repeated rains, relatively low temperatures and high humidity prevented corn from drying in the field as quickly as it should have.

October 2, 2008 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s 4-H program will take part in the organization’s first National Youth Science Day on Oct. 11 at the Mississippi Trade Mart during the State Fair in Jackson.

This cool season container has Citrona orange in fiery contrast with the purple from Matrix pansies and alyssum. Sorbet Sunny Royale viola either harmonizes or contrasts with every other plant in the container. Easter Bonnet alyssum softly tumbles over the rim. (Photo by Norman Winter)
October 2, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The change in gardening seasons has given many gardeners a renewed enthusiasm for getting some dirt on their hands. One reason to celebrate the cool season is that it holds great promise for creating small perfume factories near outdoor areas where visitors gather or family frequents.

Farm machinery is seen year-round on Mississippi roads, but especially in the fall as farmers move equipment to different fields. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
October 2, 2008 - Filed Under: Farm Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi drivers know to look out year-round for deer trying to cross roads, but fall brings another driving challenge when farm machinery joins the vehicles on the road.

Herb Willcutt, agricultural engineer with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state averages 125 collisions a year involving motorists and farm machinery.

Mosquitoes can transmit several diseases -- including West Nile Virus -- and everyone should take precautions to avoid bites when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
October 2, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A physically active Greenwood woman is working from a wheelchair today rather than on horseback a year into her battle with West Nile virus that left her with polio-like symptoms and partial paralysis.

Leann Hines contracted the virus in August 2007 and came down with West Nile virus polio syndrome, which caused asymmetrical paralysis.

“I was almost totally paralyzed,” Hines said. “If not for a really good neurologist in Jackson, I probably would not have survived.”

September 26, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fox News Channel personality Steve Doocy will be the featured guest Oct. 12 for a department of food science, nutrition and health promotion fundraiser at Mississippi State.

Taking place at the Barnes & Noble at Mississippi State Bookstore, the 11 a.m.-2 p.m. program begins with a reception featuring various creative appetizers by Chef Roland Parny, university coordinator of culinary research and development. The attendance fee is $75.

September 26, 2008 - Filed Under: Nuts

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The spring freeze, summer drought and fall hurricane season of 2008 may have affected yield potential in many pecan orchards, but the industry watchers remain cautiously optimistic about the crop.

“Some of the trees have come back and are loading up pretty good with pecans,” said David Ingram, plant pathologist with the Mississippi State University Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

September 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A former landscape architecture professor at Mississippi State University who influenced many professionals in the business today is coming back to campus to participate in a program he began in 1955.

Violina Orange is a fragrant selection in the Violina series that reaches about 6 inches tall and spreads 14 inches. (Photo by Norman Winter)
September 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Cooler temperatures mean it's almost time to use pansies and violas to add a breath of color to landscapes and containers. There is nothing quite like going to the garden center with brisk fall temperatures in the air and seeing all the vibrant colors. You'll probably notice enticing fragrances, to boot.

Students in MSU's "Wood in Design and Engineering" course built a 16-by-48-foot building this spring using only timber framing techniques. The once-popular construction method uses individually carved joints that interlock with other members of the frame without using nails or staples. (Photo by MSU College of Forest Resources/Lance Stewart)
September 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University forestry students are combining the modern technology of computer laptops and flash drives with traditional saws, mallets and squares to learn the time-honored craft of timber framing.

Students who took the “Wood in Design and Engineering” course offered this spring experienced a hands-on laboratory in this art.

Once a popular construction method, the craft of timber framing dates back to 6220 B.C. In the early 1900s, Sears and similar retailers sold thousands of timber frame homes through mail-order catalogs.

Dr. David Christiansen of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine stitches a barbed-wire injury in this horse's leg. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
September 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The College of Veterinary Medicine's ambulatory service is catching on as a win-win opportunity for Mississippi State University students and owners of large animals in the Starkville area and beyond.

Dr. David Christiansen, assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, is spearheading the mobile service, which got under way in the fall of 2007. A fully equipped truck is available to take veterinarians and students off campus for routine or emergency care of horses, cattle, small ruminants and swine.

Excessive rains from recent hurricanes have damaged Mississippi's cotton crop, leading to boll rot, hardlock and seeds sprouting in the bolls. (Photo by Will McCarty/MSU Extension Service)
September 19, 2008 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Repeated, drenching rains from storms Fay, Gustav and Ike brought Mississippi's cotton crop from an anticipated above-average yield to one that appears to be average or below.

“With cotton acres being down, we really needed to hit a home run this year to retain the acres we had and to keep all the gins and the cotton industry infrastructure,” said Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

He said the state's cotton crop as a whole looked above average by Aug. 1, but it didn't last.

John Michael Riley
September 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Quitman native John Michael Riley became an agricultural economist because he wanted to help solve problems producers face.

Through his involvement as a youth with 4-H, the National FFA Organization and the Mississippi Junior Cattlemen’s Association, Riley interacted with individuals dependent upon agriculture, and that interaction led to his desire to pursue his current profession.

This Padre Orange Belgian mum perfectly complements the blue-flowered Russian sage. (Photos by Norman Winter)
September 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This time of the year, “mum” is the word at Mississippi State University's Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, and it certainly should be at your home, too. We have hundreds of species of flowers from salvias to roses to tropicals, but what would fall be without the garden mum?

Photo courtesy of The American Quarter Horse Journal.
September 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A yearling quarter horse that was treated less than a year ago at Mississippi State University went on to become a world champion in August.

Veterinarians at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine treated 20-month-old Touch My Imagination, or Ty, for a severe respiratory problem. He was named the world champion yearling quarter horse stallion Aug. 26 at the Bayer Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas. His owner is Connie Lee of Weatherford, Texas, formerly of Barton, Miss.

Dr. Kim Johnson, right, is a veterinary oncologist at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine and the only board certified veterinary oncologist in the state. Here she and animal health technician Lisa Chrestman treat Tucker Warren, a black Labrador retriever. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
September 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pet owners who discover their small animals have cancer have more hope than they would have had just a decade ago.

Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has been part of a nationwide explosion in the study of oncology in dogs and cats. Veterinarians, who in years past could provide only a shoulder to cry on, now have many treatment options to offer pet owners.

September 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Insects

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi is a great lure for people who study butterflies and moths because of the unique habitats in the state and the Lepidoptera collection contained within Mississippi State University's renowned entomological museum.

The collecting opportunities and the museum significantly influenced The Lepidopterists' Society, an international association of professional researchers and amateur enthusiasts, to hold its 59th annual meeting in Mississippi for the first time this summer.

September 12, 2008 - Filed Under: Poultry, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Meat and poultry processors and producers can learn more about emerging issues in their industries at an upcoming workshop in Brandon.

Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is sponsoring the Oct. 1 workshop at the Rankin County Extension Office. A $35 fee will cover course materials, breaks and lunch. The registration deadline is Sept. 26.

September 12, 2008 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wildlife watching, fee fishing, fee hunting and horse trail riding as outdoor recreational businesses will be discussed at a Sept. 30 workshop at Richardson’s Tree Farm in Brookhaven.

September 12, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's soybean crop is getting some “R and R,” but rather than producers having an easy time, their crop is battling seed rot and soybean rust.

Trey Koger, Mississippi State University soybean specialist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said about 5 percent of the state's soybean crop was harvested by mid-September. In an average year, the crop would be about 30 percent harvested by that point.