News From 2012
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.