Feature Story from 2002
By Ned Browning
JACKSON -- Mississippi's predominantly rural communities must respond to a new economy with redoubled educational efforts, according to a just-released report "Mississippi: A Sense of Urgency."
Gov. William Winter and other state leaders discussed the Southern Rural Development Center white paper at the Stennis Institute Capitol Press Luncheon on June 10 in Jackson.
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Supplementing poultry diets with activated carbon or other odor absorbers may help take the stink out of chicken manure.
Russell Bazemore, aroma chemist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is working on methods to control the odor of poultry manure using absorbers, deodorizers and other chemical compounds. His research may provide relief from unwanted odors for farmers and their neighbors.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Shrimp harvesters in Mississippi's Gulf waters are reproducing last year's above-average catch, but they have little reason to celebrate as prices run about 20 percent lower than in 2001.
Brown shrimp season opened in Mississippi June 6. Shrimpers landed about 1 million pounds in Biloxi ports during the first week of the season. Shrimp in 2002 are smaller than those caught during the opening of the 2001 season, which was an excellent year for production.
By Jeanie Davidson
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The quality and quantity of Mississippi's melon crop this year may have depended in part on growers' use of irrigation.
Many growers in Greene County, one of the state's leaders in fruit production, use irrigation and black plasti-culture to produce melons. These costly and time-consuming techniques help prevent sunburned or misshapen melons and accelerate harvest by about two weeks, but growers need higher sale prices to offset the expense.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Scientists at Mississippi State University are counting corn borers to see why the numbers are so high and to determine better ways to control the pests.
Don Parker, entomology specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said monitoring for the Southwestern corn borer has intensified this year. The corn pest has become a bigger problem in recent years as Mississippi farmers are planting more corn.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- April rain interrupted rice planting and will create two rice harvests a few weeks apart, but both crops appear to be doing very well near mid-season.
Joe Street, rice specialist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said most of the state's rice was planted in April, but rains delayed the rest until May.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hot weather, sunshine and long days without school invite young people outdoors, but play can turn dangerous if adults don't provide proper supervision.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, nearly 3 million children ages 14 and under are taken to emergency rooms each summer for serious injuries. More than 2,500 of these children die from their injuries.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Schools get the blame when a child can't read at a young age, but experts say literacy begins in infancy.
Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the ability to read and communicate actually begins before birth.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Changes in clientele needs, technological advances and tighter budgets are prompting a major restructuring of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Joe McGilberry, director of the MSU Extension Service, said in-depth plans for restructuring have been developing for more than a year. The plans will enable the Extension Service to continue to deliver quality educational programs and assistance throughout the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With most of Mississippi's soybean crop in bloom, it's time for farmers to think about making late-season management decisions.
Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers need to check to see if fields need late-season insecticide or fungicide applications.
By Eva Ann Dorris
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's estimated planted acreage for 2002 reveals some significant swings between cotton and soybean acreage, but those changes appear more the result of weather, commodity prices and available financing than the new Farm Bill.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The open road beckons many teen drivers to throw caution to the wind, making the summer months the most deadly time of the year for these youth.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16-year-old drivers are at the most risk of dying in traffic accidents. Speeding, alcohol use, multiple passengers and driving between midnight and 3 a.m. represents the deadliest combination of risk factors for these young drivers.
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- That raw oyster appetizer might sound tempting, but you may want to consider eating it later in a meal.
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station food microbiologist Douglas Marshall has found eating raw oysters on an empty stomach can increase the risk of food poisoning. And taking an antacid beforehand could make the situation even worse.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Robert Rogers, Mississippi State University professor, recently served as an editor and author of "Meat Science and Applications," a professional reference guide for government, industry and academia.
JACKSON -- Mississippi 4-Hers will culminate their organization's year-long centennial celebration from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on July 20 at the Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's livestock producers are looking forward to adequate pasture grass and hay supplies going into the fall, leaving only one thing to worry about: cattle prices.
John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said Mississippi livestock producers pastures are better than normal for this time of the year, unlike their counterparts' pastures in major cattle producing states such as Texas and New Mexico.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers at Mississippi State University are betting that one day state producers will want to grow seedless watermelons, and when they do, MSU will be ready to help them grow the best ones possible.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Eight girls from a group home in West Point spent a week with horses as part of a therapy program hoped to be the first of many offered around the state.
Mississippi State University's Horse Park hosted FOCUS, a day camp from July 15 to 19 designed for girls age 12 to 17 for "Finding Out about Communicating, Understanding and Succeeding."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's 2002 cotton crop may not be experiencing the drought challenges of past years, but the variable conditions are not making this an easy crop to predict either.
"The state's crop is at a varied stage of development due to an extended planting season," said Will McCarty, cotton specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
"Instead of the normal five to seven weeks of planting, it took eight to nine weeks. That's longer than we would like to see."