News From 2011
MISSISSIPPI STATE – State experts are sending out two surveys to seafood processors and restaurant owners to help analyze the needs and impact of Mississippi’s seafood industry.
Mississippi State University and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission are conducting the Economic Survey of Gulf Seafood Processors and Dealers. All the seafood processors and dealers in the state will be asked to complete surveys in an effort to learn more about key components of the Gulf seafood industry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – NASA is partnering with the Mississippi State University Extension Service to bring science, technology, engineering and math content to youth through the Summer of Innovation program.
Summer’s heat has descended suddenly, so you may not be considering planting dianthus, a group of flowering plants that typically thrive during the cooler months of the year.
They are called by many names, but the common name pink really is a good description. Colors include pink and red, and there are also attractive white and lavender selections.
STONEVILLE -- Fields along the Mississippi River may be flooded, but the majority of the state’s rice crop is farther inland and needs either more water or time to dry after heavy rains caused other rivers to overflow.
Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said rice fields do not need to be flooded until after the plants are about 6 inches tall. Farmers often will “flush” water over the field to prompt early growth.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Flooding from the Mississippi and other rivers is disrupting even the wildlife as it brings activities to nearly a standstill in many areas of the Delta.
The river flooding is already displacing wildlife, moving them to higher and drier areas, where they sometimes cause problems as they interact with humans. Deer, raccoons, opossums, snakes and ants are all often found in unexpected places during times of flooding.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The overflowing Mississippi River is threatening the Delta’s trees, but with the proper care and maintenance, many can and will recover.
The Delta’s forests are exclusively bottomland hardwood, and the trees range from tolerant to very intolerant to flooding. For example, baldcypresses generally fare better than white oaks in flooding situations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Landowners with ponds have a checklist of spring maintenance chores that will result in quality fishing, swimming or boating experiences, and a newly updated Mississippi State University publication can help.
Spring is a great time to get a jump on aquatic vegetation control, said Tom Holman, fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi KIDS COUNT is seeking nominations for the annual Success Story campaign, which highlights the work of organizations that improve the lives of children and families across the state.
Housed at Mississippi State University, Mississippi KIDS COUNT works to improve the lives of the state’s families by providing information to policymakers, educators, program administrators, parents, advocates and the general public. KIDS COUNT recognizes organizations that are providing a helping hand to Mississippi’s children.
One of the latest trends in landscaping is to plant vegetables that provide ornamental interest, and peppers get my vote as one of the best choices.
The overall impact and adaptability of ornamental peppers was recognized in 2010, when Purple Flash pepper was named a Mississippi Medallion winner. Purple Flash ornamental pepper is one of the showiest peppers available today. The purple and white variegated leaves are visible from across the garden. Closer inspection reveals the leaves opening up white with purple ribs. As the leaves mature, they gradually become darker purple.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With all eyes focused on the Mississippi River’s epic floodwaters, catfish producers contemplate its potential impact on their already stressed industry.
Jimmy Avery, aquaculture leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said if the river crests as high as predicted, several catfish farms in the south Delta, particularly those in Sharkey, Issaquena and Yazoo counties may be affected.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University professor with more than 20 years of experience is the new director of the school of human sciences.
Since 2004, Michael Newman has served as a professor in agricultural information science and education as well as a specialist for the MSU Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will host two dairy field days June 28 and 29 to meet the educational needs of dairy producers in the state.
The 2011 MSU North Mississippi Dairy Field Day will be held June 28 in Verona at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. The 2011 MSU South Mississippi Dairy Field Day will be held June 29 in Tylertown at the Southwest Events Center Indoor Conference Facility.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Children displaced by natural disasters have unique needs, and the Mississippi State University Extension Service has trained key personnel to set up child-friendly spaces in evacuation shelters.
Melissa Tenhet, project director for the Mississippi Child Care Resource & Referral Network, said emergency responders will help affected communities provide safe, fun and educational activities at shelters. Her staff has been trained in the Child-Friendly Spaces Program and the Incident Management System.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When floodwaters recede, Mississippians in affected areas should take steps to reduce exposure to mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry.
Jerome Goddard, medical and veterinary entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, advises a common-sense approach to mosquito population control and encourages people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Farmers in the path of the cresting Mississippi River floodwaters should take precautions to minimize effects of the flood, and high on that list is moving farm chemicals out of harm’s way.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is urging farmers, homeowners and those whose businesses deal with chemicals to beware of environmental issues that can result if flooding reaches them. Among the farm chemicals that should be moved are herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, fuels and treated seeds.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – As the Mississippi River continues to rise, those who keep cattle in Delta floodplains need to prepare to move them to higher ground.
Before evacuating, owners need to ensure their cattle are uniquely and permanently identified. Proper identification will be needed to prove ownership and to reclaim cattle before returning home.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The growing season is blooming early for William Tucker, a fruit and vegetable producer participating in a grant-funded research program studying high tunnel use.
High tunnels, also called “hoop houses,” are unheated greenhouses that allow producers to extend the growing season. These structures insulate plants from cooler spring and fall temperatures by trapping warmer air inside a frame structure covered in plastic sheeting.
Gardeners interested in plants that can provide dependable color in the heat and drought of summer should consider adding the annual Zahara zinnia to the landscape. These flowers tolerate drought and are very resistant to the powdery mildew that plagues other zinnia varieties.
The selections in the Zahara series are well-branched and will grow up to 18 inches tall and wide. Its plentiful branches help support its abundant flowering. Their best performance is in the full sun with good fertility and cooler night temperatures.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers were gambling along the Mississippi River long before casinos were built, but as they watch water flood over their fields, all bets are off.
The river is predicted to crest in Vicksburg around May 20 at 57.5 feet, which is 14.5 feet above flood stage and 6 feet above the previous record.
Robert Martin has been watching the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries ebb and flow past Delta fields for 40 years. He is the Sharkey and Issaquena county director for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi River is predicted to reach historic flood levels this spring, and families can help their children by planning together for potential evacuations.
Mississippi State University Extension Service experts advise parents to take steps to prepare their children physically and emotionally so they can better deal with the challenges of being displaced from home.