Feature Story from 2004
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station will hold a research and demonstration tour Thursday, July 15. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.
The station is located on Highway 15 approximately 7 miles south of Pontotoc.
Research activities with corn, cotton, soybeans and sweet potatoes will be highlighted during the tour of the station’s research fields.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University veterinary graduate pledged to serve the U.S. Air Force as a public health officer during a June ceremony at the Wise Center.
Dr. Misty Purvis, a May 2004 College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, will be based at Eglin Air Force Base, one of the largest military bases in the world, near Fort Walton Beach, Fla. She will be responsible for the health of the troops based there, dealing mainly with zoonotic and communicable diseases.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona will hold its biennial Agronomic Row Crops Field Day Aug. 4 at the Lee County AgriCenter on Highway 145 South.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the field tour of the center’s cotton, soybean and corn research and demonstration plots starts at 8:30 a.m.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rainfall up to three times the normal amount across the state in June made for soggy conditions, but the state's row crops still have the potential for a good yield.
Charles Wax, state climatologist at Mississippi State University, said Mississippi averaged 9.83 inches of rain statewide in June, a new record that beat the 9.8 inches set in 1989. Normal rainfall for the state is about 7 inches in June.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Outdoor physical activities in late summer and early fall can be challenging or even deadly if Mississippians are not careful to avoid heat illnesses, and children may be at the most risk.
More than 300 people die annually from heat-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the people who end up in emergency rooms for heat illnesses and dehydration are children.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- College-bound students know that extracurricular activity looks good on college entrance and scholarship applications, and there is an award program that can help them kill two birds with one stone.
The Congressional Award program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1979 to encourage young people in leadership and personal development. The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been involved with the program for 11 years helping state youth reach goals they set for themselves.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Credit cards seem to be the American way to shop, and youth as young as high school are using them.
Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said research shows more than 20 percent of American teens have a credit card. Just over half the college freshman have a credit card, but by their sophomore year, 92 percent have at least one.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University opened its doors and the minds of 11 high school students to reveal insights into potential careers in agriculture for minorities.
The June 21-25 Mississippi State Agriscience Institute for Minority Students provided a glimpse into the value and diversity of non-traditional, agriculture-related fields.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's soybeans endured excess rains during the first half of the 2004 season and are plunging into the homestretch in surprisingly good shape.
"It is amazing how this crop has weathered the wet conditions. It helped that the bulk of the crop is early and has a more mature root system," said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "It remains important to identify any diseases quickly and determine the best way to address problems."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most people ignore eating disorders until a celebrity, close friend or relative falls victim. Awareness is an important first step in reducing this physical and emotional threat before it is too late.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Loblolly pine is the primary source of pulpwood for the entire U.S. paper industry and the most economically important crop of any kind in the Southeast.
Despite its economic importance, little is known about the genome of loblolly pine. The term genome refers to the DNA that defines an organism, including its genes and the DNA sequences containing "blueprints" for all the heritable characteristics of the organism. In short, the genome is what makes a human a human, a cat a cat and a pine tree a pine tree.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Diseases have challenged Mississippi tomatoes throughout the 2004 vegetable season, forcing growers to work harder to produce adequate yields and quality.
Rick Snyder, Mississippi State University research and Extension horticulturist in Crystal Springs, said the rains and high humidity triggered more disease problems this year than normal. Tomato spotted wilt virus, which is impacted by thrips populations rather than weather, was especially challenging.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Homeowners know summertime means mowing time, but it is also the time to improve the health of the lawn and prepare it for fall.
Wayne Wells, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said water, nutrients, proper mowing, and pest and disease management are the four keys to having a good lawn.
"Summer is the time to grow grass, and measures can be taken now to catch up for missed work in the spring or to prepare the turf for winter," Wells said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The new school year provides parents with an opportunity to help their children establish sound study habits to improve chances for academic success.
Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said good study habits are best learned early in a child's academic career. Older students also may benefit from parental encouragement before encountering problems in their schoolwork.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- June rains made it hard for turfgrass producers to do any work, but weather the rest of the year has been good to the industry.
Wayne Wells, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said rains made mowing impossible at times and made conditions poor for lifting sod.
"There were some leaf diseases caused by the rain, but surprisingly we have not had much insect or disease problems this year," Wells said. "I think growers have been pretty pleased with what they've been able to do this year."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Brown Loam Branch Experiment Station's annual Cattlemen's Field and Hay Day is scheduled for Aug. 14.
The experiment station is located off Hwy 18 west of Raymond in the Oakley community.
Registration is at 8 a.m. and the program begins at 8:30 with a beef quality assurance injection site lesion demonstration by Dr. Terry Engelken of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Brandon Carter with Elanco.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two upcoming meetings will help prepare growers and vendors for the new farmers market coming to Jackson next spring.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce are organizing the evening meetings. The first meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the Forrest County Extension Office on Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg. The second meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 at the Agriculture and Forestry Museum on Lakeland Drive in Jackson. Each meeting will last one hour.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The battle against an inevitable soybean disease has begun in Mississippi, with researchers and specialists ready to attack rust once it appears in the state.
Soybean rust is a fungal disease spread by spores. It can be carried on the wind for hundreds of miles, transported on people or machinery, or spread by infected plant material. Left untreated, it completely defoliates and often kills a plant, reducing yields by as much as 80 percent.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinary practices for years largely ignored dental problems, but a movement within the profession now is giving it the attention it deserves.
Dr. Bill Nalley, veterinarian with Animal Care Hospital in Long Beach, said periodontal disease is the most common disease in small animals.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University veterinary researcher is enlisting the help of mice to unlock the mystery of a mental disorder that affects more than 2 million American adults.
Jeffrey Eells, an assistant professor with MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, recently received a $55,000 grant from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. Eells' study focuses on a strain of mice that have a gene mutation similar to that found in schizophrenic humans.