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News From 2012

Mississippi State University assistant professor and aquatic scientist Peter Allen, left, and doctoral student Daniel Aboagye examine an alligator gar near the outdoor tank facilities at MSU's Aquaculture Facility. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

By Laci Kyles
MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi has some of the best fisheries in the nation, and Mississippi State University researchers are working to keep the threatened species in them from disappearing.

Peter Allen, assistant professor of aquatic sciences, conducts research on the fisheries that provide food and fun for Mississippians. He works at MSU’s South Farm Aquaculture Facility, a joint venture of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service is preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac’s landfall, shutting down county and district offices and making information available online to Mississippians.

Counties in western Mississippi remain in the projected path of the storm that by midmorning Monday continued to move farther west than originally expected. South Mississippi is under a hurricane warning. Tropical storm-force winds are expected as far north as Highway 84 across the state.

A simple worm bin made from a 12-quart plastic tote will soon produce valuable vermicompost. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Last week I highlighted the benefits of making and using compost in the garden and landscape. This week I’m explaining how and why you should use vermicompost. That’s right; I’m talking about worms.

Vermicomposting is a common activity at many of our elementary schools, and the kids generally enjoy participating. Students do it to learn the science of the process. As adults, we use vermicompost to enhance our garden soils and plant growth.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Technology

With Isaac charting a course in the Gulf of Mexico, now is the time to make sure your house or business is ready to weather any storm.

Before the storm…

Take steps to prepare for you and your loved ones to be safe in the event of a disaster or evacuation. You want to be ready to grab important items and head for a safer location. Checklists for emergency supply kits are available on many websites, such as http://www.ready.gov.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As Tropical Storm Isaac heads toward Mississippi, residents in flood-prone areas may have to consider evacuation, and those with pets should have a plan of departure that includes their furry and feathered family members.

The 2012 harvest is under way on Mississippi's 840,000 acres of corn with most growers reporting record or near-record yields. The record, 148 bushels per acre, was set in 2007. (File photo/MSU Ag Communications)
August 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The drought across the nation’s Corn Belt is contributing to record high grain prices and near-record low river levels, both of which are impacting Mississippi’s corn.

Corn prices are at $8 per bushel and have been trading in that range for the past couple of weeks. This is compared to about $5.20 per bushel at the start of June before the drought really took hold.

A low-grade weir, such as this one, slows runoff water leaving fields, allowing microbes in the soil and vegetation to pull nutrients out of the water, reducing the nutrients going downstream. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Water

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Much of agriculture’s success depends on effective water management, which must be done to keep both farmland and surrounding areas healthy.

Agriculture was a $6.7 billion industry in Mississippi last year, and the state is on track to match that value in 2012. That makes agriculture big business with a big responsibility to the environment.

Dillon Harris of the Furrs Community in Pontotoc County adjusts the 30-foot tomato vines in the 12,000-square-foot greenhouse at St Bethany Fresh on Aug. 2, 2012. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture

TUPELO – Steve Hale is banking on today’s young consumers embracing sustainable vegetable production for the good of the environment and their health.

2012 is Hale’s first year in the hydroponic tomato business. St Bethany Fresh tomato farm, located just west of Tupelo in Pontotoc County, started with 3,000 plants in December. By mid-April, Hale was harvesting blemish-free, vine-ripened tomatoes.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

There is just no escaping technology these days. As I entered a new, swanky restaurant on one of my travels, I saw the host tapping away on his iPad. He explained there would be a 15-minute wait and asked for my cell phone number. This particular restaurant has joined a growing number of businesses replacing their pager systems with text messaging.

The Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi uses a mobile farm to take examples of renewable energy and food production strategies to schools around the state. (Submitted Photo)"
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

STARKVILLE – A growing number of Mississippians are interested in how their food gets from the farm to the table and are looking for local fruits, vegetables and meat.

Ali Fratesi, a graduate student in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said more people are choosing locally grown food. When they do, they can ask farmers how it was grown or raised.

Mississippi State University students and professors designed and built this pavilion with a "green roof" at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. The structure marks the last in a series of sustainable storm water management strategies developed for the site. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Landscape Architecture

STARKVILLE – A Mississippi museum is conserving the past inside and embracing the future outside with its modern, sustainable landscape.

Visitors to the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum will enjoy a new pavilion’s shade but may not realize they are surrounded by environmentally friendly solutions to a challenging landscape using environmentally friendly solutions.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Remote Sensing Technology, Environment, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Seeing the forest and the trees is a lot easier with software developed by scientists at Mississippi State University.

Researchers at MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center have created the Mississippi Forest Monitoring and Information System, a forest inventory and information system that combines satellite remote sensing data and ground surveys. It is the first time forest-related satellite data and ground measurements have been combined on such a large scale in the United States.

Matt Mundy
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University veterinary student interested in bovine health recently won a national scholarship.

Matt Mundy, a third-year student at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, received an American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ Amstutz Scholarship. This is the first time an MSU student has received this prestigious award.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Gardeners may be getting ready to put away their gloves for the year, but now is the perfect time to get a head start on environmentally friendly landscaping projects.

Planning ahead can make yard maintenance easier, save money and conserve natural resources.

Mississippi State University defensive lineman Kaleb Eulls of Yazoo City defends his title as returning hay toss champion against fellow football players Sunday afternoon, Aug. 19, 2012, on the MSU campus. The second annual Beefin’ up the Bulldogs included a steak supper and activities promoting MSU’s land-grant heritage. Sponsors included First South Farm Credit, Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Mississippi Beef Council and MSU’s Animal and Dairy Science Department. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat
August 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, About Extension
Mississippi State University defensive lineman Denico Autry of Albemarle, N.C., has explosive results with his throw during a friendly hay toss competition against fellow football players on the MSU campus Sunday afternoon, Aug. 19, 2012. The second annual Beefin’ up the Bulldogs included a steak supper and activities promoting MSU’s land-grant heritage. Sponsors included First South Farm Credit, Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Mississippi Beef Council and MSU’s Animal and Dairy Science Department. (Ph
August 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, About Extension
Ted Benge, a landscape architecture student from Nashville, turns a steaming compost pile at Mississippi State University as part of a project begun last spring. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Soils, Lawn and Garden

One of the final gifts a productive garden can give us is raw materials to compost for use in the next year’s garden.

As we move into autumn, many of us will be cleaning up the garden, pruning and getting rid of leaves. A lot of this yard trash will end up at the curb for the city to pick up. Some of this will be chipped and composted for municipal use. The rest probably will end up in the landfill, which is not ideal.

Jerome Goddard
August 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Insects-Human Pests, Insects

JACKSON – Seventy-eight Mississippians have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, and one death is attributed to the disease.

Mississippi is one of the three hardest-hit states, following Texas and Oklahoma. Specialists predict the number of cases will continue to increase through early fall.

Caught in a trap of high input costs and low pond bank prices, Mississippi's catfish farmers struggle to break even as the nation's drought tightens feed supplies. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians do not have to look far to see the impact of the Midwest’s historic drought, as the state’s catfish farmers already feel the pinch of sky-high feed costs.

August 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 32,000 grasshopper specimens from the Smithsonian Institution are now housed in the Mississippi Entomological Museum to support ongoing research at Mississippi State University.

JoVonn Hill, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station research associate in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, has been working since last summer to secure the collection’s loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

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