Feature Story from 2002
By Eva Ann Dorris
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The chapters in the history of American agriculture reveal a phenomenal success story. However, some of the nation's top research scientists believe there is even more potential in the future.
The scientists, an appointed task force of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy, recently published a handbook titled "A Science Roadmap for Agriculture: Seven Challenges to Meeting our Nation's Agricultural Goals." The handbook is a result of brainstorming sessions among 24 scientists from throughout the nation.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The day 35-year-old Jeff Ruth lost his arm, he took a shortcut with a piece of farm machinery one too many times.
"It was just one of those stupid things," Ruth said of the accident that claimed his left arm to just below the elbow. "Instead of taking two seconds to step over there and turn off the PTO (power take off), I reached up there with my hand while it was still running."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With cotton harvest just getting underway in Mississippi, farmers are expecting yields that should exceed the five-year yield average.
High temperatures and generally dry weather since the end of August matured the cotton quickly. According to the Sept. 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report, 86 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition. The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated in August that state growers would harvest 759 pounds of cotton per acre from 1.17 million acres.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cooking on a gas grill is so commonplace to many people that they never think of the danger involved in the simple procedure.
Gas grills use propane gas stored under pressure in a tank. This fuel is extremely flammable and can become explosive under certain conditions.
VERONA -- Garden and landscape enthusiasts can find answers to all their gardening questions at the upcoming North Mississippi Garden Expo from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sept. 28. in Verona.
The annual event at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center on Highway 145 will enable visitors to see how well various fruits, vegetables, flowers and other plants grow in north Mississippi. Plant doctors will be on hand to diagnose problems and to identify unknown plants brought to the expo.
By Eva Ann Dorris
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers are working to establish the best methods for protecting the state's food supply, even against the threat of terrorist attacks.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Record-low hog prices in August added downward pressure on cattle prices as both industries struggle into the last quarter of 2002.
"As long as we see hog prices at historically low levels or even with a slight recovery, cattle prices will not be able to improve much either," said John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Scientists at Mississippi State University engaged in the battle against mosquitos and mosquito-borne diseases have found clues in the wingbeats of different species.
Primarily, there are three species of the Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitos found in Mississippi. One is found in the rice lands of the Delta, while two others typically inhabit the woodlands.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The task of refilling a propane tank may take more planning than it seems it might at first glance.
In Mississippi, state regulations prohibit carrying propane cylinders in the passenger compartment of vehicles, including anywhere inside a sport utility vehicle or van. Liquified propane tanks can be carried in the trunks of cars, in the beds of pickup trucks or strapped to the outside of a vehicle.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi agriculture and horticulture producers are invited to comment on biosecurity issues that might affect their farming operations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's rural health concerns will take center stage during a two-day conference Oct. 10 and 11 on the Gulf Coast.
"Managing in Turbulent Times: Healthcare in Your Community" will begin at 9 a.m. both days at the Grand Casino Hotel in Gulfport. The conference is the seventh annual meeting of the Mississippi Rural Health Association.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- National crop yields are expected to be down from last year, but Mississippi row crop-farmers are looking for increases in two major crops.
According to the Sept. 12 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production report, Mississippi farmers are expected to produce 46.9 million bushels of soybeans, up 27 percent from last year, and 65.6 million bushels of corn, up 31 percent from 2001. Cotton is projected to yield 1.85 million bales, down 23 percent from last year's production.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's Junior Master Gardener program has gone from an idea introduced two years ago to one that involves more than 1,200 youth in horticulture-related fun, service and learning opportunities.
Lelia Kelly is the state coordinator for the Mississippi State University 4-H Junior Master Gardener program. JMG, as it is known, targets young people in grades three through eight, but it is for any group of youth, not just school classes.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi and her sister southern states should continue to be the world's wood basket for decades to come, according to industry watchers and forestry specialists.
Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the prominent opinion is that as populations and urban areas continue to grow in the southeastern United States, Mississippi will be situated ideally for supplying wood products.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmweek is turning 25 years old October 3. To celebrate, the agriculture shows' producers are dedicating an entire program to the anniversary.
Farmweek is the weekly, 30-minute agriculture news program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service which airs on Mississippi ETV. The first show, produced by MSU's Office of Agricultural Communications, aired Oct. 3, 1977. Originally a Monday evening show, it moved to Thursday evenings in 1994, then Tuesday evenings in October 2001.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Registration for the popular, annual Noxubee Youth Waterfowl Workshop is nearly over, but interested hunters still have a chance to sign up.
By Charmain Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pheromones -- those chemicals that stimulate courtship, mating and other social behavior in animals and insects -- may one day be manipulated to manage the corn earworm.
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station entomologist Peter Ma is discovering how the corn earworm pheromone production pathway is wired and searching for ways to short-circuit the process in the insect.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tropical Storm Isidore brought an average of almost 7 inches of rain to the state, and farmers with crops still in the field are bracing for more rain as Hurricane Lili heads toward land.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Forty-two Mississippians received the highest honor the U.S. Congress gives to young people when they were given Congressional Awards Sept. 29 in Jackson.
Two young people received the gold award, 11 the silver and 29 the bronze. They earned these awards by meeting goals they set for themselves in community service, personal development, expedition/exploration and physical fitness.
By John Hawkins
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- This year's pumpkin harvest proved fruitful, despite challenges from insects, disease and rain.
One vegetable many wouldn't normally consider growing in Mississippi's sweltering fields is the pumpkin. Not many growers in the state raise pumpkins, and the few who do grow them usually produce only a few acres. For these growers, raising a successful harvest can have its challenges.