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News From 2012

Dianthus, such as these bicolor picotees in the Telstar series, come in a range of colors that bring life and interest to fall gardens. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
October 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gardeners getting ready for fall planting should consider dianthus, a versatile group of plants that grow well in Mississippi gardens and landscapes.

Dianthus come in annual and perennial selections. There are cool season and warm season varieties. I really like their color palette – we can grow a wide variety of pinks, purples and whites, along with bicolors. Dianthus is one flower that lets us keep a sense of landscape and garden color continuity across all the seasons.

September 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health, Catfish

Sidebar to MSU veterinary expert shares expertise in Nigeria

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Fish make up about 41 percent of the meat in the average Nigerians’ diet, but domestic supply falls short of that, forcing the country to spend $500 million a year on imported fish.

Dr. Skip Jack, Mississippi State University veterinarian, spent three weeks in Nigeria teaching about fish health. Here, he holds a Clarius catfish with some students in Lagos, Nigeria. (Submitted Photo)
September 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Commercially grown catfish in North America or Africa face similar challenges, a fact that sent one Mississippi State University veterinarian on a training mission to Nigeria in June.

Dr. Skip Jack, a professor of pathobiology and population medicine at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, spent almost three weeks teaching Nigerian catfish farmers, veterinarians and students about health issues related to their fish. He was part of the Farmer to Farmer project, teaching under the oversight of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

September 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A doctoral student in Mississippi State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences recently received a national fellowship from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Andre Payne of Mount Olive, Miss., was selected as a fellow for SREB’s competitive State Doctoral Scholars program, which works to increase the number of minority faculty members at universities in the South. Payne will receive $20,000 per year for up to four years of study.

Mississippi State University scientists are evaluating a free software tool that can increase irrigation efficiency for the state's soybean producers. PHAUCET, or Pipe Hole and Universal Crown Evaluation Tool, has the potential to reduce water pumped from the Delta's underground water supply. (MSU Ag Communications/File Photo)
September 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soybeans, Irrigation, Technology

By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University scientists are evaluating a free software tool that can increase irrigation efficiency for the state’s soybean producers.

September 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Having recently returned from a family vacation, I am all set to show off the more than 800 digital photos I took. In days gone by, we would have hooked up the slide projector and clicked through the carousel in a darkened living room. Today, we have more options.

September 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Most people avoid thinking about animal cruelty, but two groups recently joined efforts to train and support law enforcement officials who encounter these cases across Mississippi.

Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Mississippi Animal Control and Protection Association hosted a course for animal control officers, veterinarians and others at MSU’s Wise Center on Sept. 13. The goal of the course was to increase awareness of animal cruelty issues and the laws related to them.

September 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University will host row-crop producers for a conference dedicated to Mississippi Delta agriculture.

The Delta Crop Summit will be Nov. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Registration for the free event begins at 7:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Charles W. Capps Jr. Entrepreneurial Center.

This 3-acre garden site at MSU's Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs will host the Fall Flower and Garden Fest Oct. 5 and 6. A complementary event is the Ornamental Horticulture Field Oct. 4 at the South Mississippi Branch Station in Poplarville. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications)
September 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

For more than 30 years, those interested in home horticulture have been found at two events in early October that showcase landscapes and gardens.

 

The back-to-back events are sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES). The 39th annual Ornamental Horticulture Field Day is Oct. 4 at the South Mississippi Branch Station in Poplarville. The 34th annual Fall Flower and Garden Fest is Oct. 5 and 6 at MSU’s Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

September 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Natural Resources, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Landowners interested in increasing the return on their investment through recreational business can learn more about habitat management and new income opportunities at an upcoming workshop.

Specialists from Mississippi State University, state and federal agencies, and the private sector will share information about starting and managing a natural resource enterprise, such as wildlife watching, fee fishing, fee hunting and horse trail-riding. The workshop will be Nov. 13 at the Quail Hollow Ranch in Purvis.

Mississippi's grain sorghum yields are projected to be 77 bushels per acre, an increase of 3 bushels per acre compared to 2011. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
September 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Grains

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Timely rains followed by sunny days provided optimal growing conditions for Mississippi’s grain sorghum crop, and yields may be higher than anticipated.

Mississippi producers planted about 63,000 acres in grain sorghum in 2012, up from 50,000 acres in 2011. The state ranked No. 8 nationally in grain sorghum production in 2011.

Mississippi's 2012 sweet potato crop should be slightly above average. These Beauregard sweet potatoes grew at White and Allen Farms in Calhoun County. (Photo by Mississippi Sweet Potato Council/Benny Graves)
September 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s soil and climate are ideally suited to producing sweet potatoes, a crop that gives the state a No. 2 national ranking.

Harvest began about Aug. 20 on Mississippi’s 22,500 acres of sweet potatoes. North Carolina comes in first with 64,000 acres. Acreage in both states varied little from last year. The Mississippi crop was valued at nearly $66.5 million in 2011.

September 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

CRYSTAL SPRINGS – The largest home gardening event in the Southeast will focus on more than healthy plants during the festivities in Crystal Springs on Oct. 5 and 6.

“Healthy Living – Healthy Gardening” is the theme for the 2012 Fall Flower and Garden Fest at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station. The 34th annual fall fest will take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission and parking are free.

The Let’s Go Walkin’ Mississippi initiative will kick off this year’s event at 9:30 a.m. Friday with a 1-mile fun walk.

During a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, Mississippi State University scientist Barakat Mahmoud (left) talked to a local Extension agent and a potato farmer about harvesting techniques that reduce the chances of bacterial contamination and food-borne illness. (Submitted Photo)
September 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Food

PASCAGOULA -- Barakat Mahmoud is one of many Mississippi State University scientists whose work improves the safety and security of the global food supply.

The world population topped 7 billion in March 2012 and is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. Feeding this many people puts tremendous pressure on the food industry.

Agritourism is increasing in popularity as Mississippi farmers and landowners look for ways to diversify income and share their passion for agriculture. One such business, Bluejack Ridge Kids Ranch near Poplarville, Miss., offers Western-themed fun on weekends in October with activities such as a corn maze, petting farm, wagon train and zip line. (Submitted Photo)
September 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-tourism

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Finding fall fun at a pumpkin patch or corn maze may be easier this year as new signs point the way to Mississippi’s agritourism operations.

Agritourism businesses combine agriculture and tourism to offer fun to visitors and additional revenue to the family farm.

September 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Anyone living with students knows the challenge of creating a science fair project. For those of us who procrastinate, the challenge is even bigger.

When I was growing up, students had to do a science project every year starting in first grade. By the time I got to high school, I was a pro. I knew what I was going to do my project on; I would even do the project weeks ahead of time.

Peanut producers from northwest Mississippi learn about successful production techniques at the Aug. 30 peanut field day near Clarksdale. (Photograph by DREC Communications/Rebekah Ray)
September 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Peanuts

By Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE – About 80 farmers gathered for two North Mississippi peanut field days in late summer to learn how to cash in on one of Mississippi’s increasingly popular crops.

Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station scientists gave producers research updates and introduced new field harvesting techniques.

As a precaution against a new strain of swine flu, Extension agents and veterinarians will be closely monitoring the health of hogs involved in the 2012 Mississippi State Fair in Jackson. (MSU Ag Communications file photo)
September 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Swine, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi veterinarians and livestock officials will address new swine flu concerns with increased educational messages and surveillance during the upcoming State Fair in Jackson.

Mark Crenshaw, swine specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said like humans, pigs occasionally get the influenza virus. Typical pig influenza viruses do not cross over to humans, but a new strain is proving to be an exception. As with all flu strains, frequent hand washing and other good hygiene practices are the best defense.

Persian shield requires full sun to develop bold colors and will fade if planted in the shade. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
September 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

As we move into fall I’ve been paying attention to the combination containers that have looked so good through the summer months. Many of the flowering plants have started to fade. Colorful foliage plants can now transition from supporting roles to the stars of the containers.

One foliage plant in particular has been a standout lately. Persian shield, which is known botanically as Stobilanthes dyerianus, is typically considered a houseplant. But when added to a combination container, it has a lot of potential as a landscape plant.

Mississippi's rice harvest was nearly complete by mid-September. Yields of close to 160 bushels per acre are near state records. (Photo by DREC Communications/Rebekah Ray)
September 14, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi producers have the bulk of the state’s rice crop safely in storage, and yields may approach the record set in 2007 of 160 bushels an acre.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said September’s weather was nearly ideal for rice harvest.

“Isaac slowed us down and put a little bit of rice on the ground that was ready to harvest, but overall, the harvest season has gone pretty well,” he said.

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