News From 2012
POPLARVILLE – The hot, humid climate of South Mississippi can make it challenging for home gardeners and landscape professionals to choose plants that will perform well under additional pressures from diseases and pests.
All gardeners are invited to the annual Ornamental Horticulture Field Day on Oct. 4 at Mississippi State University’s South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville to hear about the latest research on plants in South Mississippi.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When someone asks the Mississippi State University Extension Service for information, the answer soon might be, “There’s an app for that.”
Kelli McCarter joined the Extension Center for Technology Outreach in March as an applications developer. Her primary job is to write apps, which are computer programs that run inside another service. These apps will run on Apple Operating System, or iOS, devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Later, she hopes to develop apps for the Android platform.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Long before scientists created commercial fertilizers, farmers used cover crops to increase soil health and productivity and many of today’s producers are returning to those roots.
Mississippi State University professor Jac Varco, a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said a cover crop is one planted during the off-season to benefit the soil. Common cover crops include clover and vetch.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University students recently discovered making paper is a noisy, messy and creative activity.
Internationally known fiber artist Mary Hark, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, came to MSU’s campus to teach art and fashion students about the beauty and versatility of handmade paper.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A new app is being written to help farmers properly calibrate sprayers, an involved process with the potential for making mistakes.
Many things have changed since Hurricane Katrina hit our beautiful state seven years ago, including how we communicate with one another. Since Katrina, many private companies and federal agencies have developed smartphone apps to help with natural disaster preparations and recovery.
MISSISSIPPI STATE — Lights, camera, action! The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is inviting children to submit artwork that showcases animals on the “silver screen.”
PICAYUNE – School groups, 4-H groups and families are invited to Bugfest, a two-day event at Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.
The hands-on learning event will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 21 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 22. Participants can collect and identify insects, make crafts and play games.
MSU professor John Guyton and entomology student Breanna Lyle will bring a traveling classroom and a portable scanning electron microscope for an up-close look at Mississippi’s insects.
You may have heard me talk over the last couple of years about my interest in using ornamental peppers in Mississippi landscapes. That’s because I am a true “chili head.”
I have a passion for hot peppers. Besides the culinary heat many of these hot peppers bring, they are colorful and have great potential for use in the landscape. There are many to choose from: some are big, others small; some come with green foliage, while others have purple; many offer multicolored fruit.
Using ornamental peppers can be unique way to add interest to your garden.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The annual field day for Mississippi’s blueberry growers will showcase innovation and good management techniques at a Wayne County farm on Oct. 11.
Tom Giles and John Giles of Giles Farm in Waynesboro will host producers, specialists from the Mississippi State University Extension Service and employees from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service and exhibitors from across the United States.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Delta fields that once turned white with cotton are now yielding a below-ground crop and helping propel Mississippi up the list of peanut-producing states.
The state has an estimated 47,000 acres of peanuts this year, up more than 200 percent from the 14,000 acres grown in 2011. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the crop is slightly ahead of schedule, with 8 percent of peanuts harvested by Sept. 2. More than 80 percent of the crop is rated in good or excellent condition.
POPLARVILLE – Dairy producers in Mississippi and Louisiana can learn more efficient ways to produce, store and use forage crops at the Dairy Forage Production and Utilization Pasture Walk on Sept. 12.
STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University recently named a building in honor of a retired agricultural researcher and administrator.
More than 200 attended the Aug. 30 dedication of the new Verner G. Hurt Research and Extension Building at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center, despite Hurricane Isaac’s inclement weather.
As Southerners at the start of the 2012 football season, it seems only fitting that we dedicate a little time to discussing technology and football. Most of my friends have their priorities in this order: football, tailgating and technology.
I am a tried and true Mississippi State University football fanatic, and I think it’s hard to beat the cowbell app for Android and iPhone. The Bulldog faithful can download that app for free from Google Play. Simply shake your phone to imitate the cowbell or tap the football roster button to see who made the big play.
JACKSON – The surge in heartworm-positive animals, some of them on preventatives, has stirred debate about the cause and worries pet owners.
“The high incidence of positive cases in the Delta has made some of our clients very nervous,” said Dr. Edwin Nordan, a veterinarian at Greenville Animal Clinic and Hospital. “Some have installed pesticide misting systems around the exterior of their homes to help reduce the number of mosquitoes their pets are exposed to. I understand their anxiety. We deal with positive cases every day, and it is a serious disease.”
Hurricane Isaac’s recent visit reminds us that weather can play havoc with our landscapes. While flooding is a problem in some areas, most of the damage tends to happen to trees in the landscape.
Trees can fall or be uprooted and can have broken and torn limbs, wounds, split branches and exposed roots. In many cases, damaged trees must be removed.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A poultry specialist with industry and Extension Service experience recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Thomas Tabler began work as an Extension professor Aug. 1 in MSU’s Department of Poultry Science after teaching a year in Shungnak, Alaska, 20 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Even as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac were leaving Mississippi on Friday, Mississippi State University Extension agents were assessing its impact on crops that were so close to harvest.
Lodging, or laying down, can be a significant harvest challenge in wind-blown fields, especially corn.
Extension corn specialist Erick Larson is cautiously optimistic that most of the corn crop escaped with minimal damage.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Mississippi sod farmer David Rainey says, “Business is better than last year,” he is not suggesting it is good.
The Alcorn County farmer said he sees greater challenges in turning a profit in 2012 than when he started Rainey Sod Farm about 36 years ago. Rainey said he started downsizing his sod business when the housing market bubble burst in 2007.