News From 2011
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Three Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station faculty members were recently recognized for their significant contributions to their fields.
Peter Ryan, Mark Woodrey and Ramon Arancibia were honored at the MAFES and Mississippi State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences annual spring meeting.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tornadoes that swept through Mississippi and much of the southeast April 27 caused an estimated $8.4 million of timber losses.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission compiled the estimate April 30 based on aerial surveys conducted after the storms. Russell Bozeman, director of forest protection and forest information with the commission, said the total affected area was about 26,240 acres. Of this, 15,564 were forested acres.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Long before and long after tornadoes are on the ground, Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel are in position to lend a helping hand in every community impacted by a disaster.
Chickasaw County Extension director Scott Cagle is helping communities cope in the aftermath of two tornadoes: one that passed through around 3 a.m. on April 27 and the second, stronger tornado that followed a different path about 12 hours later.
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.
Many gardeners believe they can remember every plant in the garden, and I’ll admit I’ve told myself I could do just that. But even gardeners with great memories will one day say, “Now, what is that plant?”
Plant tags, or garden markers, can be both useful and stylish. They can denote different gardeners or different parts of the garden. They can be plain or fancy. Use your imagination and creativity when creating yours.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes of April 27 took a toll on Mississippi’s agriculture, with timber, the state’s No. 2 most valuable agricultural commodity, taking the biggest hit.
Massive storms have swept the state all month, bringing hail, torrential rains and tornadoes. Wednesday was the worst day, with the majority of the damage scattered across the northern part of the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently formalized a partnership with the Mississippi State University Small Business Development Center to enhance economic development opportunities for entrepreneurs across the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – April’s heavy rains have been devastating Mississippi’s agriculture, as they delay planting, postpone management and flood fields.
Heavy rains that accompanied the late-April storms added to already soggy soils and are pushing some planting dates dangerously late.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Federal and state government experts have teamed up with Mississippi State University to search for a small beetle that could mean big trouble for Mississippi.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A museum showcasing the contributions of Mississippians who have participated in America’s largest youth organization is getting a high-tech renovation.
The Mississippi 4-H Learning Center and Pete Frierson Museum is undergoing a transformation of its exhibits, funded by a $120,000 grant from the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Board. As part of the larger Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, the 4-H learning center focuses on the connection between youth and agriculture.
By Lelia Scott Kelly
Consumer Horticulture Specialist, North Mississippi Research & Extension Center
MISSISSIPPI STATE – As Mississippians begin the process of rebuilding and cleaning up their tornado-ravaged landscapes, they should consider ways to make the process safer and easier.
Safety is the first consideration, so removing of any damaged trees or large limbs that pose a hazard to homes or people should come first. Hire a professional to do this if you cannot safely do the job.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The cumulative effect of many individual bad choices can be as harmful to the water quality in an area as if a major disaster occurred.
Amy Schmidt, water quality specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said overfertilizing lawns and pouring chemicals into storm drains harm water quality. But dumping unneeded medicines and personal care products into the sewer system can be just as bad.
Editors Note: The class scheduled for June 2 at the Prairie Research Unit was canceled on May 24 and will not be rescheduled.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer its annual spring grazing school to help livestock producers with their forage management practices.
Containers aren’t just for flowers; they can be used to grow fresh vegetables for aspiring gardeners who don’t have a traditional garden.
Container gardening isn’t just for flowers (top). Many vegetables can be grown in containers, such as these tomatoes in 3-gallon nursery containers.
A container is a great way to grow fresh produce in a small space. These mini bok choy (bottom) are thriving in window boxes. (Photos by Gary Bachman)
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi soybean farmers have started planting in spite of unpredictable spring weather that has brought strong wind and heavy rains to some areas while leaving other regions dry.
About 10 percent to 20 percent of the soybean crop is planted.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Northeast Mississippi will be noisier than usual later this spring when periodical cicadas make their once-every-13-year appearance.
Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the periodical cicadas are different from the large, green, annual cicadas that emerge and sound off each summer, usually from mid-June through fall.
“Periodical cicadas are black and orange with red eyes, and they hatch in the thousands,” Layton said. “The singing of the males is loud and long.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cattle producers and buyers are finding a win-win method of marketing cattle in the Cattlemen’s Exchange and Homeplace Producer Sales.
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is partnering with several organizations and sale barns to offer auctions in Winona and Hattiesburg for cattle that may never pass through either of those cities. Cattle remain on their home farms while buyers cast bids based on written descriptions of the cattle and video technology.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will teach kids there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen at the fifth annual Fun with Food camp.
MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is offering the Fun with Food camp for students entering third through sixth grade.
It takes a special plant to be named a Mississippi Medallion winner, and the Mississippi native Virginia sweetspire was one of the plants that earned that honor this year.
The Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association names Medallion winners based on their superior performance in gardens and landscapes across the state. In response to renewed interest in native plants, the association has begun choosing a Mississippi native each year for one of its awards.