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Feature Story from 2007

Tate County 4-H member Canan McKellar, age 9, spends a moment with his grand champion goat before entering the arena at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions. The goat, which was the champion mediumweight goat, brought a sale record $80 per pound for a total of $7,200.
February 9, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- Records are made to be broken, but at the 38th annual Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, they were shattered.

Dean Jousan, 4-H livestock specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said six records were set at Thursday's sale. Since the sale began in 1970, buyers have paid more than $3.5 million for the champion and reserve champion market animals exhibited at the Dixie National by Mississippi's 4-H and FFA youth.

February 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A March 1 Safety and Health Summit in Stoneville will highlight some of the concerns unique to Mississippians living in rural areas.

The event is targeting farmers, farm workers, health-care professionals and others with special concerns about health-care issues in their region.

February 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- Research is proving what rice growers have suspected for years -- that a low rate of nitrogen applied to rice in the one- to three-leaf growth stage has a positive effect on production.

February 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It is a cold January morning, the sun is just breaking through the trees, birds are chirping, and Marvell Howard sits in his favorite tree stand; about 500 yards away, his teenage son occupies his own tree stand. 

Both father and son hope to get a shot at elusive white-tailed deer near their Oktibbeha County home.

Howard's father introduced him to rabbit hunting when he was 7 years old.  He in-turn introduced his son to hunting at the age of 7. 

February 22, 2007 - Filed Under: Water

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s annual Water Resources Research Conference is set for April 24-25 at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson.

Eight sessions will cover topics including Delta groundwater, computer modeling, invasive plant species, agriculture, sedimentation, wastewater and water treatment, surface water quality, flooding and water supply. 

The two-day conference will feature more than 36 presentations, a large poster session, and nine national and regional water resource leaders addressing timely water issues facing the state and nation. 

February 22, 2007 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Livestock producers saw it coming, but the hay shortage is forcing some tough decisions that may have long-term repercussions on the health, performance and profitability of their animals.

Jane Parish, beef cattle specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said surplus hay is difficult to find in the state, and the traditional spring forage flush is not yet available. She receives calls daily from producers looking for more hay.

February 22, 2007 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn has become a very attractive crop in Mississippi and nationwide, thanks mostly to the growing demand for corn-derived ethanol, an alternative fuel.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said producers have tremendous interest in planting corn this season.

“Prices are approaching twice the long-term average,” Larson said, and the state may have the largest corn crop it has had in more than 40 years.

Preston Buff
February 28, 2007 - Filed Under: About Extension, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Responding to the rapidly growing needs of the state’s horse industry, Mississippi State University has a new equine specialist in place to educate and support owners and potential owners.

Preston Buff joined MSU’s animal and dairy science faculty in January.

Terry Kiser, animal and dairy sciences department head, said the addition of Buff to the faculty will greatly expand the university’s service to horse owners.

March 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILE -- Research has determined a method to control one of the most common and troublesome weeds of Mississippi rice production -- Amazon sprangletop.

MSU Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Vance Watson, right, presents a plaque to Robert L. Williams recognizing the scholarship honoring the agricultural economist. (Photo by Bob Ratliff, MSU Office of Ag Communications)
March 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new endowed scholarship at Mississippi State University honors an agricultural economist with more than 40 years of service to the university and the state.

The Robert L. Williams Endowed Scholarship in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recognizes the career and dedication to Mississippi agriculture of the MSU economist.

March 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For more than two decades, Mississippi State University’s veterinary college has welcomed thousands of school children to its annual open house, but people of all ages will enjoy the 2007 event.

MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will open its doors from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April 13 and 14 for the 23rd annual open house at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street.

Growing herbs in containers is an easy way to provide the drainage they need. It also makes them portable and accessible to the kitchen. (Photo by Lelia Kelly/Mississippi State University horticulturist)
March 8, 2007 - Filed Under: Herb Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Herbs have a place in most American kitchens and some medicine cabinets, and many Mississippians are finding they should have a place in the yard, too.

Lelia Kelly, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said herbs are easy to grow in Mississippi and an asset to gardens.

“Every gardener should have a place for herbs because they are multipurpose plants; they smell good, they taste good, they look good and they are a pleasure to be around,” Kelly said.

Margaret Cotton
March 8, 2007 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Efforts to better serve the health of residents of the Mississippi Delta have turned to sixth and seventh grade students through the Delta Futures project.

Delta Futures is an overnight camp to introduce participating middle school children to careers in health care. The weekend event will be held April 20-21 at Camp Lake Stephens in Oxford and is directed through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The array of available plants, fertilizers, treatments and tools can overwhelm beginning gardeners, but there are ways to simplify the process and give plants a better chance of success.

Mengmeng Gu, ornamental specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said whether planting vegetables or ornamentals, take a soil test first of the garden spot.

March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- The loss of the Clearfield 131 rice variety, the second rice variety banned for planting this year in the United States, will decrease Mississippi rice acreage and complicate production in 2007.

“At least 40 percent of our rice acres in Mississippi this year would have been in Clearfield 131,” said Nathan Buehring, Mississippi State University Extension rice specialist based at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi pecan growers can learn how to maintain their orchards at an April 4 workshop in Crystal Springs.

The half-day workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Experiment Station. Lunch will be provided following the workshop.

Topics for discussion include crow control, pecan tree pruning and thinning, and how to sample and grade pecans for optimum marketing strategies.

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Lester Spell, left, and Vance Watson, Mississippi State University vice president of agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, visited the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs during the 17th annual Tomato Producers Short Course on March 5. (Photo by Andy Prosser, Department of Agriculture and Commerce)
March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An organization devoted to the advancement of agriculture will hear from Mississippi’s top agriculture official at an April 18 event.

Dr. Lester Spell, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, will be the keynote speaker at the Mississippi State University Gamma Sigma Delta chapter’s annual awards and initiation banquet. The 6 p.m. event will be held at the Leo W. Seal M Club on the MSU campus.

March 22, 2007 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Before preparing the yard for spring's arrival, homeowners should make sure their lawn-care equipment is safe and up to the challenge.

Herb Willcutt, safety specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said homeowners can handle most lawn and garden equipment maintenance if they take a little time to study the operators' manual and know the basics of simple 2- and 4-cycle engines.

“Consult the operator's manual for troubleshooting, and proper servicing and regular maintenance schedules,” Willcutt said.

March 22, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Experience, not age, was the key for five Newton County 4-H members as their knowledge of horses and participation in previous competitions took them to first place in a recent national competition in Denver.

The team had some of the youngest participants in the senior division of the Western National 4-H Roundup Horse Bowl. But at age 15, these young teens were not new to horse bowl competitions.

March 23, 2007 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dry conditions and aphids are challenging Mississippi's winter wheat just as the crop enters the weeks critical for growth and yield potential.

Grower interest in wheat was strong last fall coming off the record 59-bushel-per-acre average in 2006 and high market prices.

Erick Larson, small grains specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers planted 275,000 acres of wheat in 2006, the most in the state since 1992. Growers planted 85,000 acres in 2005.

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