Feature Story from 2003
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For more than two decades, catfish producers across the Southeast have used Mississippi State University-produced software to help manage their operations. The latest version, Fishy 2003 Version 4.0, is now available through Catfish Farmers of America.
"A licensure agreement between Mississippi State and Catfish Farmers of America to market Fishy 4.0 was signed in April," said Fishy programer and MSU professor of agricultural economics Wallace Killcreas. "So far, farmers owning more than 24,000 water acres have bought one-year licenses."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Saturated soils in some parts of the state are complicating management decisions for corn farmers and increasing the likelihood of reduced yields.
Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said small corn plants are susceptible to damage from extended periods of saturation.
By Rick Bogren
LSU AgCenter Communications
VICKSBURG -- Residents of some of the most economically depressed areas of the country soon will enjoy strengthened educational and outreach programs in four target areas.
That's the result of a unique agreement signed by Cooperative Extension Service directors from three Mississippi Delta states recently.
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Organic vegetable gardening is on the rise in Mississippi, and its benefits are attracting interest from both commercial and home gardeners.
"Organic gardening has been an increasing trend in the United States for about 10 years, but interest in Mississippi is fairly recent," said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Crystal Springs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi will be in the spotlight this fall during the 26th annual Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie, Ga.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers in the north Mississippi Delta are preparing for a vote to decide continued participation in the Southeastern efforts to eliminate boll weevils across the Cotton Belt.
Growers in boll weevil eradication regions 1A and 1B will be voting on a 10-year continuation of organized efforts to rid their fields of history's most destructive cotton pest. Eradication efforts during the last five years have reduced yield losses from boll weevils to zero.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center was established in Verona in 1984, it marked the beginning of the research and extension center concept in Mississippi.
On May 30, the center was renamed the Hiram D. Palmertree North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in honor of its first head.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Four Mississippi State University students took top national honors for the second consecutive year in the U.S. Poultry and Egg Collegiate Poultry Judging Contest held recently in Baton Rouge, La.
John Cox of Shannon, Jason Quick of Ellisville, Stephanie Thornton of Carthage and Renee Williams of Bay Springs successfully defended MSU's 2002 championship title against teams from 11 colleges and universities. The MSU team was coached by Tim Chamblee, associate professor of poultry science, and assistant coach Corey Davis of Fulton.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A poor economy and a national oversupply of milk created the worst milk prices in 25 years, and Mississippi dairy producers find themselves losing money.
Bill Herndon, dairy economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said producers are getting less than $12 per hundredweight for milk.
"The cost of production in our state is between $13 and $14 per hundredweight," Herndon said. "Dairy farmers are in dire financial stress."
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A recent theory claims extensive use of male plants in the landscape is the culprit behind the sniffles and sneezes of allergy sufferers, but many gardening experts believe such planting practices are not to blame.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The benefits of calcium to the human body are practically immeasurable, and new research shows it can even help prevent tumors and other health problems.
"Most everyone knows the major role of calcium is to help build strong bones," said Rebecca Kelly, a registered dietitian and human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Strong bones make movement possible, holding the body upright and supporting muscles."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the mention of 4-H only brings to mind children and teenagers, you need to meet some adult volunteers with 60-plus years of service in the organization.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi has benefitted greatly from revenue generated from wood products in recent years, but to maximize forestry's future value, industry representatives are being encouraged not to rest on their laurels.
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- At a time when animal health, safety and research are more crucial than ever to the welfare and security of the nation, Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has once again received national accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Anyone who has ever tried to stack watermelons has probably thought to themselves, "Wouldn't it be great if these things were square?"
It's an idea that's caught on in Japan, where small, square melons command premium prices -- more than $80 each; about triple what traditional round melons cost in Japanese produce markets.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For Patty Tucker, getting her teen-age daughters involved with Mississippi 4-H proved a smart move for the entire family.
Starting out as a volunteer leader, with duties that ranged from club chauffeur to club chef, Tucker worked her way through the program and now boasts a 24-year relationship with the club.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just as smoke indicates fire, moisture indicates mold, and where there's mold, there's trouble.
Molds and mildews are forms of fungi found year-round both indoors and outdoors. They need moisture to grow, and thrive in warm, humid and damp or water-damaged conditions. Molds have odors, look bad, can cause health problems and can damage structures.
Herb Willcutt, safety specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi offers ideal growing conditions for mold.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers will remember 2002 for the wet harvest season, but economists will remember the depressed markets across the board that resulted in a 6 percent decline from the previous year's agricultural values.
Final numbers are in from the 2002 crops, and Mississippi agricultural economists are finding tallies near last December's expectations. The grand total of all the state's commodities plus government payments is $4.5 billion, down from $4.8 billion in 2001. (See Mississippi Value of Production Estimates)
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Statistical data probably doesn't mean a lot to a single mother struggling to raise two children in the Mississippi Delta on income from a minimum wage job.
Analysis of statistical data by scientists at Mississippi State University's Social Science Research Center may, however, help her obtain the healthcare and other services her children need, or even a better paying job.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A recent case of Eastern equine encephalitis in Lamar County should remind owners of the importance of vaccinating horses against mosquito-borne diseases.
Eastern equine encephalitis is similar to West Nile virus in that it is spread primarily by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. EEE is spread by the Culiseta melanura mosquito and in horses is almost always fatal.