Feature Story from 2003
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Plans for a new 30,000 square foot horticulture laboratory complex were unveiled during July 11 ceremonies at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
The $10 million Pearl River County facility will house research laboratories and offices for U.S. Department of Agriculture and Mississippi State University personnel. The laboratories will be used for ornamental horticulture and small fruit research. Construction will begin later this year.
HATTIESBURG -- South Mississippi cattle producers are counting on (market) strength in numbers as well as the quality of their heifers to bring a more satisfying experience for buyers and sellers alike at an upcoming sale.
With the aid of Mississippi State University's Extension Service, a group of 25 cattle producers are planning a bred and open heifer sale in the Southeast Mississippi Sale Barn at 1 p.m. on Aug. 30. The barn is on Highway 49 North in Hattiesburg.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An average crop may not seem worth bragging about without considering the obstacles growers faced along the way.
Mississippi's wheat harvest concluded in June much as it started last fall: in the rain. Growers posted yields near the five-year average despite rainy conditions all along the way.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Adults can change a job environment that is unsuitable, but children have no such option when it comes to their 8-to-5 lives.
All children need to spend their time where they are safe and will thrive. For healthy development to occur, children must be talked to, played with, and given love and attention.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers at Mississippi State University are converting grasses and agricultural waste into energy, hoping to lower ethanol's cost enough to compete with gasoline as a fuel.
Researchers at MSU and Oklahoma State University are pursuing the conversion of biomass from switchgrass or agricultural byproducts into energy. This energy is in the form of either biofuels, such as ethanol, or electricity.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi soybean growers are looking in August at a potentially record-setting crop for the third consecutive year. They are hoping rains will hold off to make this year the charm.
Late-season rains in 2001 and 2002 doused opportunities to surpass the 34 bushel per acre record of 1992. However, growers managed to average 33 and 32 bushels per acre despite weather conditions those years.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Childhood obesity in Mississippi is a growing problem, but avoiding this common problem -- or reversing its effects -- is not as difficult as it may seem.
Very minor dietary and lifestyle changes can drastically improve the physical and emotional health of overweight children, who have a staggering 70 percent likelihood of becoming overweight adults.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- American teens spend an average of $104 a week and qualify for credit cards, but they don't necessarily know how to handle financial opportunity.
According to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, high school graduates have the earning potential to make more than $1 million in their lifetime. When freshmen enter college, most have at least two credit cards, and by the time they graduate, they are carrying $20,402 in education loan and credit card debt.
STARKVILLE -- Bob L. Karr, associate dean for Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources and associate director for the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, has been named interim dean and interim director.
Vance Watson, vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine and George Verrall, the university's provost, announced the interim appointment effective June 9. This is the third time that Karr has served in an interim capacity in the college and center.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- While too much rain hurt corn fields in north Mississippi, the rest of the state's crop is expected to set new record yield levels.
Much cooler conditions in June and July and well above average rainfall throughout the season are responsible for the high expectations. However, the excessive rainfall did cause yield reduction in northern counties, and too much more rain during harvest could be bad news.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When considering clothing purchases this fall, the real challenge may be figuring out what's not in style.
Phyllis Miller, associate professor of human sciences at Mississippi State University, said "anything goes" as long as people express their own individuality in their clothing selections.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University recently named Steve Turner as the new head of the Department of Agricultural Economics.
Turner came to MSU from the University of Georgia where he was an associate professor and undergraduate coordinator in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He assumed his duties at MSU Aug. 1.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University forest entomologist recently authored the Integrated Forest Pest Management section of a 246-page report by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Landowners and hunters can learn in-depth management techniques for planting and managing a field that will be legal to hunt and attractive to doves and other birds during an Aug. 23 event at the Black Prairie Wildlife Management Area in southern Lowndes County.
The free, three-hour demonstration begins at 9 a.m. and is co-sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The management area is about 10 miles south of Columbus at 744 Firetower Road outside Crawford.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton is looking fairly good across the state despite a faltering start, but the message to growers is that their job is not over yet.
"We can't walk off and leave the crop," said Will McCarty, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of the costs of operating a catfish farm is rebuilding ponds once a decade, but research is showing that if they are built deeper, they will last longer.
Jim Steeby, Extension aquaculture specialist with the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, spent much of the summers of 1999 and 2000 documenting the age of ponds and the depth of sediment accumulated on the bottom. Catfish ponds have historically been built about 4 feet deep and must be rebuilt every eight to 10 years.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A sophomore College of Veterinary Medicine student at Mississippi State University is one of only 50 students nationwide to receive a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fellowship award.
Jennifer Marie Hughes of Olive Branch competed with about 1,500 other graduate applicants nationwide in this first year of the highly competitive award program.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most people want to avoid federal offenses, but Mississippi bird hunters push their luck every year in illegal fields.
Jim Miller, outreach and research professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said state and federal wildlife regulations require any field management activities in a field for hunting doves or other migratory birds be within "normal agricultural practices." Grain or seed must be incorporated appropriately into the soil within the proper planting dates.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's rice crop is progressing into harvest season with most growers optimistic that they will have reasons to celebrate National Rice Month in September.
Joe Street, rice specialist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said the state's growers began harvesting 253,000 acres of rice in the middle of August.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians put tremendous effort into their landscapes during the spring and summer, but fall is also a good time to give yards special attention.
Typical summer chores most gardeners think about are pruning, planting, fertilizing and watering. These activities should continue into late August and September.
Norman Winter, horticulture specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said shaping plants with trimmers or shears one last time before winter is a good idea, but avoid major pruning.