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Feature Story from 2008

Mississippi State University biological engineering students Sam Pote of Starkville, left, and Caleb Dulaney of Collinsville conduct their research project on isolating an enzyme that initiates lignin breakdown in plant cells. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
December 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Biofuels

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Plant waste offers a nearly unlimited supply of raw material for biofuel production, but the substance that stands in the way of its use is the same one that makes the plants stand.

December 11, 2008 - Filed Under: 4-H, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wheelchairs and crutches are not common sights at most horseback riding classes, and laughter is not always heard at physical therapy sessions, but all of these can be found at the Mississippi Horse Park.

The therapeutic riding program available at the horse park near Starkville offers children and adults with physical challenges a chance to develop skills atop a living, breathing animal.

December 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Poultry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Everyone is looking for ways to save on fuel costs these days, and poultry growers are no exception. Fuel used for heating poultry houses during the cold winter months can be very costly.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and Mississippi State University's poultry science department have explored ways to reduce energy usage and improve energy efficiency in poultry houses.

Mississippi State University food science club members, from left, Tony Garcia of Brandon, Gabrielle Bryant of Vicksburg and V. J. Radhakrishnan of India pack jars of muscadine jelly they made for area food pantries. (Photos by Patti Drapala)
December 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Food and Health

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The experience of bagging sweet potatoes and boxing jelly for food pantries this semester has taught Mississippi State University students who focus on food and health issues that helping others is a sweet gift, too.

Mississippi State University entomology alumnus Joe Lewis conducted research with parasitic wasps as part of a cooperative United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service project to investigate plant response to insect attacks. (Photo courtesy of Tifton Gazette, Georgia/Paula Stuhr)
December 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A working relationship that began 40 years ago has led to international recognition for a pair of Mississippi State University entomology graduates.

James H. Tumlinson and W. Joe Lewis are recipients of the 2008 Wolf Prize in Agriculture for their contributions to the field of chemical ecology. The Israel-based Wolf Foundation gives Wolf Prizes in the areas of medicine, agriculture and the arts. The Wolf award is considered agriculture’s equivalent of a Nobel Prize.

December 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Agricultural economists are predicting Mississippi's 2008 crop values will reach a record $5.9 billion, but cost-of-production increases have dampened most year-end celebrations.

December 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The continuing decline in housing construction was supposed to decrease the value of Mississippi's timber harvest for the third consecutive year, but an increase in pulpwood demand kept that from happening.

December 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans rode increased acres and high prices to a second straight year as Mississippi's top row crop, increasing 15 percent to bring an estimated $604 million to producers in 2008.

Mississippi farmers planted 2.1 million acres of soybeans, 35 percent more than was planted in 2007.

“The increase was primarily due to excellent prices for soybean,” said Trey Koger, state soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “The other commodity crops had lower prices and high costs for inputs, especially for cotton and rice.”

December 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Poultry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With an estimated production value of $2.3 billion in 2008, poultry remains Mississippi's No. 1 agricultural commodity.

“When following agricultural commodity trends for the past several years, we see that poultry stays at the top of the leader board,” said Vanessa Kretzschmar-McCluskey, an assistant professor of poultry science at Mississippi State University. “Poultry will likely remain a big producer as Mississippi ranks fourth in U.S. broiler production and 13th in egg production.”


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