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Feature Story from 2005

Steve Pettit inspects sweetpotatoes being harvested on his farm near Houston.
October 7, 2005 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina and Rita actually helped most of Mississippi's sweetpotato fields in 2005.

Bill Burdine, Mississippi State University Extension Service area agronomist in Chickasaw County, said although some isolated cases of rot may have occurred, none of the storms caused significant damage.

"Dennis, Katrina and Rita provided rains at mostly the right time for the crop's needs," Burdine said. "Katrina caused significant damage to area corn but helped the low-growing, ground-hugging sweetpotato plants."

October 13, 2005 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Marcus Daniels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People cannot change the weather, but they can take conservation steps to save money before colder temperatures arrive.

Jimmy Bonner, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said regardless of how high or low the nation's fuel levels and heating costs are, taking conservation measures are always a good idea.

October 13, 2005 - Filed Under: 4-H, Disaster Response-Youth

By Hannah Watts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Three tractor-trailer loads of supplies are North Carolina 4-H members' way of joining the Mississippi 4-H efforts to help the state's youngest residents struggling to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina.

October 13, 2005 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weeds and a strange animal that lives in the soil and feeds on roots are under attack by Mississippi State University researchers trying to give every advantage to the state's soybean producers.

Gary Lawrence, a nematologist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is working on the control of nematodes -- microscopic, worm-like animals in the soil that feed on the roots of plants.

October 14, 2005 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricanes continue to chip away at south Mississippi pecan trees, and the state's overall crop will be reduced again in 2005.

Commercial production has been reduced significantly in recent decades in south Mississippi, leaving the bulk of the industry in Delta and central Mississippi counties. Most of the remaining south Mississippi pecan trees are not managed for insects and diseases.

John Braswell is a horticulture specialist with Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Poplarville.

October 20, 2005 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi golfers, especially those who play the state’s smaller courses, may soon tee off on bermudagrass that is the product of university research.

While not a new variety, Mississippi State University recently licensed MS-Express to a local sod producer for commercial production and sales.

October 20, 2005 - Filed Under: Beef, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Top quality beef animals and horses will move through the auction ring Nov. 17 as Mississippi State University releases more than 100 research herd cattle and horses to the highest bidders.

MSU and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the 23rd annual Animal Production Sale at the Mississippi Horse Park, AgriCenter and Fairgrounds, which is located on Poorhouse Road south of Starkville.

October 20, 2005 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When families come together for socializing or in daily life, grandparents can use those times to do what they do best.

Patsilu Reeves, family life education specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said grandparents give the gifts of example and unconditional love. They fill a variety of roles in families.

October 21, 2005 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath destroyed much of the turf along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the entire industry supporting landscapes is reeling.

October 27, 2005 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Landowners trying to decide if they should clear-cut Katrina-damaged timber stands or try to salvage what is left have some help with their decision.

Trey DeLoach, a Mississippi State University Extension Service forester at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said the Extension Service developed a set of guidelines to help landowners assess their timber stands.

October 27, 2005 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells

STONEVILLE -- British poet William Blake wrote of seeing the world in a grain of sand, and one Mississippi State University researcher is seeing Delta towns in kernels of rice.

When Dwight Kanter, a rice breeder at MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center, chose the name of his newest rice variety, he looked no further than the small Delta town where the variety impressed him the most.

October 27, 2005 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A variety of Web sites are gathering names and contact information in an attempt to link landowners with timber on the ground with people who can help them salvage it.

Glenn Hughes, Mississippi State University Extension Service forester, said Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the standing timber in south Mississippi, and landowners are working now to salvage what they can. The salvage job is massive, but speed is critical in the recovery.

October 27, 2005 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers, consultants and distributors can get the latest in production recommendations from top agricultural specialists, economists and researchers Nov. 29-30 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 22nd annual Cotton Short Course.

Cotton is one of the mid-South’s most important industries and keeps hundreds of millions of dollars turning over in the region’s economy. Even after record-producing years, growers need the most current recommendations for planting and managing next year’s crop.

October 28, 2005 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina robbed Mississippi of pumpkins on about 25 percent of the state's acreage, but the greatest losses may be markets in the coastal and New Orleans areas.

David Nagel, horticulturist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the entire crop below Interstate 20 -- just under 100 acres -- was lost.

“The biggest blow from the hurricanes was not crop damage; it was the loss of market,” Nagel said.

November 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Holidays have a way of bringing structure and celebration to certain days, but stress and hurt feelings can follow if families do not handle change with care.

Patsilu Reeves, family life education specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said traditions are a large part of a family's identity.

November 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Family

By Hannah Watts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Families of military personnel will appreciate helping hands this holiday season while their loved ones are serving overseas.

The holidays are often seen as joyous occasions and a chance to come together with friends and family. However, this holiday season has been over shadowed with natural disasters and the war in Iraq.

November 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Memories exist in minds and hearts, but much of how Americans hang on to their past is through photographs and videos of special people, events and places.

Hurricane Katrina destroyed many Mississippians' sentimental items, videos and photographs. Family and friends can help them recover some of their loss at the holidays by sharing copies of their own photographs that include people and places of importance to them. Others can let the holidays remind them to preserve this treasure so they can pass these photographs and videos on to future generations.

November 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Thoughtful gifts that promote good health can be perfect for the people who are the biggest challenges on this year's holiday shopping lists.

Jane Clary, health specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said a wide range of gifts are available that promote healthy living. Reading materials, clothing, nutrition and exercise are categories with multiple options for every age group and price range.

Photo of poinsettias
November 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina damaged portions of the state's poinsettia crop, but plants remain available from Mississippi growers.

Kerry Johnson, area horticulturist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in George County, said Katrina may have destroyed 25 percent or more of the area's poinsettia crop. Some producers had total losses from storm damage and the subsequent power outage.

November 3, 2005 - Filed Under: Nutrition

By Marcus Daniels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With proper meal planning and attention to exercise, diabetic family members can enjoy traditional holiday meals with the rest of the family.

November is National Diabetes Month, bringing awareness to the millions of Americans who suffer from what is referred to as a silent killer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 240,000 Mississippians have diabetes, and 80,000 of those are unaware they have the disease.

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