Feature Story from 2006
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn mazes, hunting leases and bird watching enterprises are some of the topics to be covered in an Oct. 10 workshop focusing on natural resource enterprises.
Mississippi landowners interested in earning additional revenue from their land can take part in this workshop held at Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. Natural resource enterprises include a variety of activities including fee hunting and fishing, trail riding, agritourism, heritage tourism, wildlife watching, and the operation of bed and breakfasts.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rising fuel prices have more than doubled the cost of keeping vehicles on the road in the last few years, and efforts to curb costs have turned many consumers and fleet operators to an alternative that is also environmentally friendly.
Biodiesel made from soybeans is selling and performing well across the state, making biodiesel a high-demand fuel for some drivers. While its price at the pump once surpassed petroleum-based diesel, its use can now save money for drivers.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's corn crop can be divided into the “haves” and “have nots”; fields with access to irrigation have outstanding yields, and fields that relied on timely rains have not produced very well.
Mississippi State University's Extension Service grain crops specialist Erick Larson has seen a lot of corn in his career, but 2006 has been “the roughest year” he has witnessed in the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians can learn how to manage waterfowl habitat during an upcoming field day in Tallahatchie County.
“Knowledge of how to plant, manage and manipulate wetland habitats across Mississippi for the benefit of resident and migratory waterfowl can put hunters and managers ahead of the game,” said Adam Tullos, natural resource enterprises associate with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High petroleum prices have made biodiesel an attractive option, and research shows that this alternative fuel has benefits beyond reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
Biodiesel can be made from vegetable oils or from animal fats and is blended with petroleum diesel to fuel engines. In Mississippi, soybeans and cottonseed are all being processed into biodiesel, and demand for this fuel is growing.
By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE -- When Leflore County rice farmer Watson Pillow saved money avoiding additional fungicide expenses and still received excellent results, he knew that he was in the RITE program.
RITE, or Rice Improvement through Technology and Education, is a program funded by rice growers' check-off dollars and initiated by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Serious gardeners and those who just enjoy a few plants their home landscapes will find something of interest at the 2006 North Mississippi Garden Expo in Verona.
The Sept. 30 expo at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center is free. Tours and other activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Heavy, mid-September rains may have been too late for row crops, but Mississippi's pastures, ponds and landscapes benefited from anything they got.
Widespread showers fell predominantly across north-central portions of the state on Sept. 12. The variable showers lasted from the predawn hours until after lunch in many areas.
By Shoshana Brackett
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many college students sit in classrooms and dream of being on the golf course. One Mississippi State University student's dream became a reality in Montana last summer.
Senior Jordan Carlisle traveled nearly 30 hours and 2,000 miles from Starkville this summer to learn hands-on about turf in a different geographical region.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Increased use of biodiesel may not end the national dependence on foreign oil, but the short-term benefits to Mississippi's farm economy should give soybean growers reasons for hope.
Gregg Ibendahl, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said increased use of biodiesel should bolster soybean prices and provide farmers with a beneficial alternative to petroleum.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The biggest gardening and horticulture event in the Southeast will be held Oct. 20 and 21 at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.
The 28th annual Fall Flower and Garden Fest will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. both days. Admission is free. Features will include three acres of vegetable, flower and herb gardens, and wagon and walking tours.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fish biologists are encouraging farmers to monitor catfish for parasites that can seriously hurt pond production.
“Recently, there has been a resurgence in concerns over trematodes in ponds,” said David Wise, research leader for the applied fish health program at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “While the number of farms with severe infestations has decreased, mild to moderate cases remain widespread in many regions that produce catfish.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi law leaves a lot of decisions up to parents on how to safely transport their children, but there are simple guidelines to ensure they do it best.
By Shoshana Brackett
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ashley Hill does not fit the profile of a traditional scientific researcher. She's a second year veterinary student who spent her summer researching a disabling skin disorder in horses.
Hill was one of 16 students participating in a student summer research program at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Jerald Ainsworth, associate dean of research and graduate studies at the CVM, said the 12-week summer program provides students with valuable insight into the work of scientists.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An upcoming workshop will help people address many of the issues related to landscape design.
The 51st Mississippi Landscape Symposium is the longest running workshop of its kind in the country. The symposium will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Bost Auditorium at Mississippi State University.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Peanut yields vary widely from one end of the state to the other as a result of the 2006 drought.
Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomists anticipate the state average to be near 3,000 pounds per acre, compared to last year's 3,750 pounds. In 2005, Mississippi growers produced the second highest state average in the country.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers in three states looking at ways to battle flies in dairy farms have turned to a parasitic wasp for help.
Scott Willard, an associate professor of reproduction and environmental physiology in Mississippi State University's Animal and Dairy Science Department, said the research looks promising. The young of the pteromalid wasps feed on the developing, pupae stage of flies, killing them.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi manufacturers will learn ways to make their plants more productive and globally competitive at an Oct. 24-25 conference at the Nissan Training Center in Canton.
Sponsored by Mississippi State University’s Industrial Outreach Service and Nissan, the 2006 Lean Manufacturing Conference is designed to help plant managers, owners, executives and engineers who have responsibility for improving manufacturing systems. Successful local production managers and national consultants will conduct the conference sessions.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Research is an important part of graduate school, and three students in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University are receiving significant research scholarships for the current school year.
Master’s degree student David F. McNeill of Louisville, Tenn., has been awarded the L.S. Olive Scholarship of the North Carolina-based Highlands Biological Station. The $2,400 scholarship supports his research into a fungus that attacks American chestnut trees in the Eastern United States.
By Chance McDavid
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- There is a program in Mississippi helping high school students answer the question, “Do I want to be a doctor?”
Rural Medical Scholars is a five-week summer program at Mississippi State University offered through the Mississippi Rural Health Corps that gives eligible students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in medicine. Except for a small registration fee, scholars receive free tuition, textbooks, housing and a food allowance.