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News From 2012

December 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The holidays can be a very trying time, especially if the number of people on your “nice” list exceeds the amount of money in your wallet. All you need to do is mix in a little creativity, a dash of the Internet and a pinch of old-fashioned elbow grease to have yourself a collection of creative, inexpensive gifts.

Kelley Wamsley
December 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Poultry

A new assistant professor at Mississippi State University understands the needs of the poultry industry as she works to create cost-effective, nutritionally sound, high quality feed formulations.

Kelley Wamsley recently joined MSU’s Department of Poultry Science and is building a research program focused on developing new cost-effective diets for poultry, Mississippi’s top agricultural commodity. Feed and feed-related manufacturing costs account for 60 to 70 percent of total production costs for poultry producers.

December 10, 2012 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

HATTIESBURG – Blueberry producers and backyard fruit growers can learn about the newest threats to their crops at a workshop Jan. 17.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the Emerging Insect and Disease Workshop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Forrest County Extension office in Hattiesburg.

One of the easiest ways to add tropical flair to any landscape is to use plants with large leaves, such as this rice paper plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 10, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

One of the easiest ways to add tropical flair to any landscape is to use plants with large leaves. Rice paper plant is a favorite of mine that looks amazing as a component of many landscapes.

Rice paper plant is a native of southern China and Taiwan and is known botanically as Tetrapanax paperifera. Interestingly, this is the only plant in the genus. The name refers to the use of the interior of the stem, called pith, to make a form of rice paper. This pith has the consistency and feel of plastic foam.

December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soils, Farming

JACKSON -- No-till farming, strip-till farming, crop rotation and cover crops have grown in popularity as Mississippi farmers face the challenge of conserving nutrient-rich topsoil while improving their bottom lines.

“I estimate that around 20 percent of Mississippi farmers practice no-till farming. There are probably many more who use some degree of reduced tillage,” said Ernie Flint, an agronomist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service with more than 40 years’ experience in the field.

Clarissa Balbalian receives a box of soil samples sent to the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab for evaulation. A proposed management strategy accompanies each set of test results. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soil Health, Plant Diseases, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two soil tests conducted routinely help Mississippi producers ensure the productivity of their farmland.

Soil tests in the fall to determine fertility levels and nematode tests in the spring to detect harmful pests help producers improve soil quality before spring tillage and planting begin.

Jim DelPrince, a professor in Mississippi State University's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, surrounds himself with tropical plants on display in the greenhouses at Dorman Hall on Dec. 4, 2012. DelPrince recently published a textbook for college and university courses on interior plantscaping -- using green and flowering plants and trees in indoor commercial and residential spaces.
December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cut Flowers and Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Plants can increase a person’s productivity, and a Mississippi State University floral design expert is smiling about his new textbook on using plants in interior spaces.

Jim DelPrince, a professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, spent five years developing a textbook on “interiorscaping” -- using green and flowering plants and trees in indoor commercial and residential spaces.

December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology, Family

Most holiday get-togethers involve tables heavily laden with favorite family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Recently, a friend asked me to help her put together a family cookbook as a gift. Creating a personalized cookbook can be a great gift idea for your family, but creating one can be an ordeal.

Dr. Sharon Fooshee Grace, a clinical professor in Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, has a passion to protect the vulnerable. She works with a domestic violence shelter to provide care for victims' pets, many of which may also need protection and medical care. (Photo by MSU University Relations/Megan Bean)
December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinarians often have a perspective on domestic violence situations that others would never consider.

Dr. Sharon Fooshee Grace, a clinical professor in Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, frequently addresses the connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence. She recently spoke to veterinarians and law enforcement officials about the need to work together to protect human and animal lives.

Angus Catchot, an agronomic crops entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, used an iPad while inspecting corn for insect pests on July 13, 2011. Catchot recently received the Entomological Society of America's Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension. (MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 4, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University professor recently won an award from the Entomological Society of America for his professional service to agricultural producers in the Southeast.

Angus Catchot, an Extension Service agronomic crops entomologist, was named the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension. Catchot was nominated by the society’s South Eastern Branch because of his noteworthy program creativity, impact, achievement and delivery of services.

A tree-shaped rosemary plant can make a fun and aromatic miniature Christmas tree to brighten up holiday homes. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

As a gardener, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year because I get to enjoy indoors the scents and colors of the garden. Christmas looks like poinsettias, live trees indoors and greenery decorating the house, and it smells like pine, cedar, fir, and, in my house, rosemary.

In addition to the traditional holiday staples, Christmas isn’t Christmas at my house unless there is a rosemary plant shaped and decorated like a Christmas tree. These plants are available at many of the garden centers, grocery stores and other plant outlets.

Steve Martin
November 29, 2012 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An experienced administrator has been named the new head of Mississippi State University’s North Mississippi Research and Extension Center.

Steve Martin will assume his duties at the center’s Verona headquarters on Dec. 1. He currently serves as the director of the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, where he has been an administrator since 2008.

Joe Street
November 29, 2012 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE -- A veteran administrator will return to his roots as the interim leader of Mississippi State University’s center in the Mississippi Delta.

“Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station director George Hopper and I are pleased to announce that Dr. Joe Street will serve as the interim head of the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville beginning December 1," said Gary Jackson, director of MSU's Extension Service. "This special assignment will be in addition to his duties and responsibilities as associate director for MSU Extension."

Populations of glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass, such as this weed photographed in Washington County in 2010, have been found in 31 Mississippi counties. (Photo by MAFES/Tom Eubank)
November 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Weed Control for Crops, Weed Control for Forages, Invasive Plants

STONEVILLE – Research is backing producers’ intense efforts this fall to attack glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass using a variety of methods in attempts to limit the damage this troublesome weed can cause.

In 2005, Italian ryegrass resistant to the commonly used herbicide glyphosate was first identified in the state. Since then, it has been found in 31 Mississippi counties and is widespread throughout the Delta. This glyphosate-resistant weed emerges in the fall and grows throughout winter and early spring.

November 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The Christmas season is fast upon us, and many children and adults alike have put an iPad or similar product at the top of their Christmas wish list.

Shoppers can be overwhelmed with the range of tablet choices, including the iPad, the new iPad Mini, seven new Kindles from Amazon, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Google’s Nexus 7. Soon, the Nexus 10 (a larger-screen tablet) will be added to that list.

Remember that the more gigabytes the tablet has, the more books, music and movies it will hold. Common storage sizes for a tablet are 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB.

Master Naturalists participate in hands-on surveys such as the Audubon Coastal Bird Survey, which is done monthly to assess the impact of the 2010 oil spill on resident and migratory birds. (MSU Ag Communications/ file photo)
November 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources, Wildlife

BILOXI -- A few dedicated volunteers are keeping their eyes on Mississippi’s coastal birds and amphibians in hopes of preserving the area’s wildlife for years to come.

Master Naturalists are trained by the Mississippi State University Extension Service to help protect the state’s natural resources. They promote environmental stewardship through education and service in their communities.

Dogs from 10 Mississippi animal shelters and rescues get ready to head north as part of the Homeward Bound project at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Volunteers record the arrival of each dog before it goes to various stations to ensure it is ready for transport to the Northeast, where there is a shortage of puppies available for adoption. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Gibson)
November 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Family, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – This month, some kids have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, and others dream of finding a new furry, four-legged family member under the tree.

Mississippi State University students and staff help some of these wishes come true through a program that gets family-friendly dogs to Northeastern states, but these volunteers have a Christmas wish of their own.

Cool Wave trailing pansies such as these Violet Wing and Lemon pansies have a unique spreading and trailing growth habit that makes them must-haves in gardens. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how much I enjoy pansies for the cool-season garden. These are really easy plants to grow, and they provide great color during colder winter temperatures.

But the story on pansies doesn’t end there. Plant breeders are always looking for ways to make our garden and landscape plants better. I have been really impressed with the group of trailing pansies that hit the market in the past few years.

November 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Not all stores have consumer-friendly return policies, so be a savvy shopper this holiday season and read the fine print when purchasing gifts.

Mississippi State University Extension Service family life management specialist Bobbie Shaffett said even the most thoughtful shoppers occasionally give gifts that need to be returned, so understanding store policies is important.

November 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The season of Thanksgiving is upon us and I am reminded that I need to take time out to count my blessings and give thanks for the small things in life. For starters, I am very thankful for computer users who take the time to learn how to maintain and safeguard their computers. They make life much less complicated.

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