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Feature Story from 2012

Mississippi State University has 32,000 grasshoppers on loan from the Smithsonian Institution. Many of the specimens are more than 100 years old and have hand-written identification tags. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – July brought 32,000 grasshoppers to Mississippi State University, but rather than being a plague of locusts, they are a research bonanza.

The Mississippi Entomological Museum is borrowing a portion of the grasshopper collection from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. JoVonn Hill, a research associate with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said the collection complements what MSU already has.

August 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 32,000 grasshopper specimens from the Smithsonian Institution are now housed in the Mississippi Entomological Museum to support ongoing research at Mississippi State University.

JoVonn Hill, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station research associate in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, has been working since last summer to secure the collection’s loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Jerome Goddard
August 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Insects-Human Pests, Insects

JACKSON – Seventy-eight Mississippians have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, and one death is attributed to the disease.

Mississippi is one of the three hardest-hit states, following Texas and Oklahoma. Specialists predict the number of cases will continue to increase through early fall.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Remote Sensing Technology, Environment, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Seeing the forest and the trees is a lot easier with software developed by scientists at Mississippi State University.

Researchers at MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center have created the Mississippi Forest Monitoring and Information System, a forest inventory and information system that combines satellite remote sensing data and ground surveys. It is the first time forest-related satellite data and ground measurements have been combined on such a large scale in the United States.

Dillon Harris of the Furrs Community in Pontotoc County adjusts the 30-foot tomato vines in the 12,000-square-foot greenhouse at St Bethany Fresh on Aug. 2, 2012. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture

TUPELO – Steve Hale is banking on today’s young consumers embracing sustainable vegetable production for the good of the environment and their health.

2012 is Hale’s first year in the hydroponic tomato business. St Bethany Fresh tomato farm, located just west of Tupelo in Pontotoc County, started with 3,000 plants in December. By mid-April, Hale was harvesting blemish-free, vine-ripened tomatoes.

A low-grade weir, such as this one, slows runoff water leaving fields, allowing microbes in the soil and vegetation to pull nutrients out of the water, reducing the nutrients going downstream. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Water

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Much of agriculture’s success depends on effective water management, which must be done to keep both farmland and surrounding areas healthy.

Agriculture was a $6.7 billion industry in Mississippi last year, and the state is on track to match that value in 2012. That makes agriculture big business with a big responsibility to the environment.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Gardeners may be getting ready to put away their gloves for the year, but now is the perfect time to get a head start on environmentally friendly landscaping projects.

Planning ahead can make yard maintenance easier, save money and conserve natural resources.

The Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi uses a mobile farm to take examples of renewable energy and food production strategies to schools around the state. (Submitted Photo)"
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

STARKVILLE – A growing number of Mississippians are interested in how their food gets from the farm to the table and are looking for local fruits, vegetables and meat.

Ali Fratesi, a graduate student in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said more people are choosing locally grown food. When they do, they can ask farmers how it was grown or raised.

Matt Mundy
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University veterinary student interested in bovine health recently won a national scholarship.

Matt Mundy, a third-year student at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, received an American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ Amstutz Scholarship. This is the first time an MSU student has received this prestigious award.

Mississippi State University students and professors designed and built this pavilion with a "green roof" at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. The structure marks the last in a series of sustainable storm water management strategies developed for the site. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Landscape Architecture

STARKVILLE – A Mississippi museum is conserving the past inside and embracing the future outside with its modern, sustainable landscape.

Visitors to the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum will enjoy a new pavilion’s shade but may not realize they are surrounded by environmentally friendly solutions to a challenging landscape using environmentally friendly solutions.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As Tropical Storm Isaac heads toward Mississippi, residents in flood-prone areas may have to consider evacuation, and those with pets should have a plan of departure that includes their furry and feathered family members.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service is preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac’s landfall, shutting down county and district offices and making information available online to Mississippians.

Counties in western Mississippi remain in the projected path of the storm that by midmorning Monday continued to move farther west than originally expected. South Mississippi is under a hurricane warning. Tropical storm-force winds are expected as far north as Highway 84 across the state.

Mississippi State University assistant professor and aquatic scientist Peter Allen, left, and doctoral student Daniel Aboagye examine an alligator gar near the outdoor tank facilities at MSU's Aquaculture Facility. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

By Laci Kyles
MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi has some of the best fisheries in the nation, and Mississippi State University researchers are working to keep the threatened species in them from disappearing.

Peter Allen, assistant professor of aquatic sciences, conducts research on the fisheries that provide food and fun for Mississippians. He works at MSU’s South Farm Aquaculture Facility, a joint venture of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

August 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Individuals receiving paper benefits checks from the U.S. government have only a few months to sign up to receive payments electronically under the new paper-free system.

August 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Even as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac were leaving Mississippi on Friday, Mississippi State University Extension agents were assessing its impact on crops that were so close to harvest.

Lodging, or laying down, can be a significant harvest challenge in wind-blown fields, especially corn.

Extension corn specialist Erick Larson is cautiously optimistic that most of the corn crop escaped with minimal damage.

August 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A poultry specialist with industry and Extension Service experience recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Thomas Tabler began work as an Extension professor Aug. 1 in MSU’s Department of Poultry Science after teaching a year in Shungnak, Alaska, 20 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Verner G. Hurt, from left, and his wife, Norma, join Mississippi State University Vice President Greg Bohach and MSU President Mark Keenum at the Aug. 30 dedication of the Verner G. Hurt Research and Extension Building in Stoneville. The new building provides more than 19,000 square feet for offices and research. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Rebekah Ray)
September 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University recently named a building in honor of a retired agricultural researcher and administrator.

More than 200 attended the Aug. 30 dedication of the new Verner G. Hurt Research and Extension Building at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center, despite Hurricane Isaac’s inclement weather.

September 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Dairy

POPLARVILLE – Dairy producers in Mississippi and Louisiana can learn more efficient ways to produce, store and use forage crops at the Dairy Forage Production and Utilization Pasture Walk on Sept. 12.

September 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Pets

JACKSON – The surge in heartworm-positive animals, some of them on preventatives, has stirred debate about the cause and worries pet owners.

“The high incidence of positive cases in the Delta has made some of our clients very nervous,” said Dr. Edwin Nordan, a veterinarian at Greenville Animal Clinic and Hospital. “Some have installed pesticide misting systems around the exterior of their homes to help reduce the number of mosquitoes their pets are exposed to. I understand their anxiety. We deal with positive cases every day, and it is a serious disease.”

September 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The annual field day for Mississippi’s blueberry growers will showcase innovation and good management techniques at a Wayne County farm on Oct. 11.

Tom Giles and John Giles of Giles Farm in Waynesboro will host producers, specialists from the Mississippi State University Extension Service and employees from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service and exhibitors from across the United States.


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