News From 2013
Even though the weather in the middle of winter prevents much gardening with plants, dedicated and enthusiastic gardeners find ways to keep fun and interest in the yard all year long.
You may have seen garden art in other people’s yards, but have you considered bringing it into your own? A whimsical way to jump right in is to bring home a gnome.
Let me offer a suggestion if you have looked around your house this Christmas season and enjoyed the poinsettias but wished for a little variety. Next year, bring home some cyclamen to decorate your living area over the winter.
Cyclamen is a great indoor plant with a long blooming period that produces loads of colorful flowers.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Three Mississippi State University faculty in the College of Forest Resources and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center were named distinguished professors for exceptional teaching, service and research accomplishments.
Forestry Extension professor Stephen Dicke was named the George L. Switzer Extension Professor of Forestry. Dicke, based at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, specializes in urban forestry and timber taxation.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn retained its No. 4 spot in Mississippi agriculture with an estimated value of $631 million, despite a 31 percent decrease in value caused mostly by reduced commodity prices.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s forest products bounced back into the No. 2 spot in the state’s list of agricultural commodities based on annual production values.
James Henderson, associate Extension professor in the Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources, estimated the state’s forest products 2013 harvest value to be $1.17 billion, compared to the 2012 value of $1.02 billion. That is a 14.6 percent increase over the 2012 harvest. Final figures will be available in February.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Poultry ranked No. 1 among Mississippi’s commodities for the 19th straight year, with a preliminary estimated value of $2.7 billion.
The total estimated value of poultry increased by about 10 percent from 2012. Broilers gained about 10 percent in value. Eggs and chickens saw a gain of 4.5 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the rise in values is largely attributed to higher bird prices because production is mostly steady with 2012.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans continued their reign in 2013 as the state’s biggest row crop, posting an estimated value of $993 million, down 21 percent from 2012.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s top two agricultural commodities -- poultry and forestry -- maintained their strength in 2013, but most agronomic crop values took a hit from significantly lower prices than those earned in 2012.
John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said agronomic crop prices were a major drag in the state’s total agricultural commodity value despite good-to-great production levels.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Producers accumulate a variety of unused materials on the farm over time, and some of them require special handling for disposal.
A pesticide disposal program has been making clean-up on the farm easier since 1994 by providing a way to get rid of waste pesticides and potentially hazardous materials.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station welcome a new state turf specialist on Jan. 1.
Jay McCurdy is a native of Dyer, Tenn. He worked on his family’s farm, where they raised row crops, cattle and sod. He worked as a golf course superintendent in Hong Kong, China, where he performed research and designed and implemented turf grass evaluation and management techniques.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University faculty in the College of Forest Resources and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center were recently recognized for exceptional teaching, service and research accomplishments.
The following were honored during a ceremony at the college’s annual advisory banquet.
JACKSON – Holiday leftovers often end up in Rover’s dish, but those tasty morsels can lead to more than just an upset stomach.
Dr. Sarah Garcia, veterinarian in the Department of Clinical Science at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said veterinary professionals advise against feeding table scraps to any pet because they can cause health problems.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – If Jason Krutz could put one item on the Christmas list of every row crop farmer in Mississippi, Santa’s elves could not make enough soil moisture sensors to keep up with demand.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – To find out how important packed dirt is on a rodeo floor, just ask a barrel racer whose horse has just fallen in a timed event.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University department has been renamed to reflect the renewable, natural and sustainable resources used in the industry.
The MSU Department of Forest Products is now the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts.
As much as I like decorating with colorful poinsettias during the Christmas season, I’m always on the lookout for nontraditional plants that can add interest and be just as effective in spreading holiday cheer.
One of the most unusual plants I’ve seen is miniature cherry tomato, in full fruit, displayed for holiday sales. While I didn’t run out and buy one of those, a plant I have admired for many years for the shady summer garden is Rex begonia.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – After testing scores of samples taken from rice fields across the state, Mississippi State University scientists found that seed treatments are effective in managing the crop’s most troublesome insect pests.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Paige Nicholson has a new personal illustration to use in speeches about dusting yourself off and getting back on the horse, and she will have many opportunities to use it as she travels the country as the 2014 Miss Rodeo America.
Nicholson, who recently graduated in agricultural information science from Mississippi State University, earned the national crown Dec. 9 in Las Vegas. She was the reigning Miss Rodeo Mississippi.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi is one of the best places in the country for deer hunting because of excellent natural habitat and good management by landowners and hunters.
Bronson Strickland, wildlife specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said bagging a trophy buck is the successful result of time and careful implementation of a management plan.
PONTOTOC – Most deer hunters will not encounter wild hogs, but if they do, wildlife biologists want them to be prepared.
At a recent wild hog seminar in Pontotoc, wildlife biologists emphasized the trouble these disease-carrying pests can cause human and wildlife populations. Speakers addressed the environmental impacts, the threats to fawns and ground-nesting birds, hunting decisions and field-dressing precautions.