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March 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Turkey hunting can be exciting because of the skills required, but it shouldn't be exciting because of the risks involved.

Turkey hunting is one of the most dangerous sports because hunters are heavily camouflaged, make turkey calls and sit very still. From March 22 to May 1, hunters will take advantage of the gobblers-only season as they try for the one gobbler per day, three per season bag limit.

March 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Forages, Livestock, Animal Health, Beef, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cattle and pregnant horses could suffer serious health problems this spring from a grass intended for cool-season nourishment.

Dr. Michael Brashier, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, encouraged veterinarians to be on the lookout for fescue toxicity. Brashier addressed the concern during the recent meeting of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association.

March 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Family

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bunnies and chicks with pastel fur have become one of the most recognizable symbols of Easter, but don't give in to the temptations of buying a pet impulsively.

"Young bunnies and chicks are heavily marketed during the Easter season, but too many people buy these animals on the spur of the moment without being prepared," said Dr. Richard Hopper, extension leader of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University.

March 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many pet owners and veterinarians depend on trained veterinary technicians to identify animals needing pain relief.

Dr. Stephen Jaffee, a veterinary consultant with Fort Dodge Laboratories, said technicians are the "front line of pain management" for animals.

Jaffee recently addressed members of the Mississippi Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians. The association held its winter conference in conjunction with the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association meeting in Starkville.

February 20, 1997 - Filed Under: Fruit, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Peaches and plums grow well in Mississippi and can be an asset to the home garden if placed correctly. Gardeners must pay close attention to the basics of site selection, varieties, weed control, irrigation and pest management to produce high quality fruit.

Good soil drainage is imperative since wet feet spell doom. Soils with standing water or ones that remain saturated for even a day or two following a heavy rain are unsuitable for fruit trees.

February 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Biotechnology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- While some scientific breakthroughs never seem to touch everyday lives, genetic engineering affects many Mississippians on a daily basis.

Two Mississippi State University extension agronomists said bioengineered crops are riding a wave of popularity. In five years, nearly all the corn planted in Mississippi will have bioengineered traits. Because of limited seed supplies, about 5 to 10 percent of the state's soybeans are genetically modified now, but that number is growing quickly.

February 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Family

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Springtime means flowers will bloom, butterflies will appear and, of course, new clothes will be worn.

During this time of the year, everyone wants a fresh start, and an easy way to do this is with new spring clothing. Stephanie Wayne, extension textile and apparel clothing assistant at Mississippi State University, said this season's styles will reflect nature's own bright spring colors.

February 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Health, Nutrition

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most Americans have heard the staggering statistics about heart disease, but when it comes to changing unhealthy habits, many people have trouble.

In 1995, about 45 percent of the deaths in Mississippi were due to cardiovascular diseases, which include heart attacks and strokes, said Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension human nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University.

But Mississippians are not doomed to heart disease. Risks can be significantly decreased by leading heart healthy lifestyles.

February 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents often find battles over bedtimes as difficult as those at the dinner table. But those fights are worth the effort as the health benefits of "beauty" sleep may be as beneficial as that proverbial apple a day.

Parents with school age children may find it hard to get the kids to bed at a decent hour without hearing cries of protest or rebellious fits of rage. Linda Patterson, extension health education specialist at Mississippi State University, said a period of transition is one key to forming good sleeping habits.

February 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi poultry producers in the past two decades have transformed an industry into the state's top agricultural enterprise, with annual poultry and egg sales in excess of $1 billion.

Researchers at Mississippi State University support the growth of the industry and continue to aid producers in finding new ways to manage the health and productivity of their flocks.

Increasing Fertility...

February 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many of you probably get intense about gardening, especially when you see pests attacking. But there is a different kind of intensive gardening catching on in the South.

French intensive, square-foot, interplanting, vertical, wide-row, gardening by the yard and succession planting are all names for intensive gardening.

February 6, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The petunia has been one of the most popular annual flowers ever to grace our gardens. Whether edging a flower bed, covering bare ground, or spilling over a container or hanging basket, petunias give us some of our best color.

Taking into consideration the new vigorous petunias like Purple Wave and Surfinias, the petunias we know today are a far cry from the ones our ancestors grew.

February 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Healthy diets need not fall by the wayside simply because Americans are eating out more today than ever before.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, Mississippi State University extension nutritionist, said it is possible to eat right while dining out.

"It is not difficult to eat well while at a restaurant," Mixon said. "It just requires the will power to make the healthy selections on the menu.

"Moderation is the key. Every food can fit into a healthy diet, just maybe not as often or in as great a quantity."

February 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Family

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Get-rich-quick fantasies can be appealing, but use common sense when an opportunity comes along that sounds too good to be true.

Becoming a distributer for a multilevel marketing company may appear to be a good way to make extra income. But before investing, make sure you know the difference between a legitimate opportunity and a pyramid scheme.

February 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean growers with Internet access have a valuable resource to help them as they choose what varieties to plant in their fields.

Dr. Alan Blaine, Mississippi State University extension agronomist, said 1997 soybean variety trial information is now posted on the Internet. Information is available on yield, maturity dates, disease reactions, lodging scores and long-term yield averages.

Results of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station soybean variety trials for 1994-1996 are available at

February 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The fight against a costly virus affecting the state's billion dollar poultry industry recently got a boost when researchers improved the testing procedure.

Dr. Chinling Wang, a researcher with Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, has found a way to shorten the time needed to run the RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) test. This test accurately and now quickly detects and identifies infectious bronchitis virus in poultry.

January 30, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Little Gem southern magnolia has been chosen as a 1997 Mississippi Medallion award winner. This is the first woody ornamental to win the award.

This southern magnolia will fit into almost any landscape and bloom continuously throughout the growing season. The southern magnolia is one of the South's prized trees, but they are very large. The National Champion is in Mississippi and is more than 122 feet tall and has a crown width of 63 feet.

January 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As vegetable gardening season rapidly approaches, it's time to decide whether to use transplants or direct seed. If you are as anxious as I am to get under way, then you might consider growing transplants.

Almost everything can be sown directly into the garden, but there are some vegetables that do better when transplanted. These include several of the most popular vegetables.

January 22, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Pesticide Applicator Certification, Farm Safety

CLEVELAND -- What is scientifically true about pesticide health risks and what is commonly believed are often at odds, a national expert on toxin exposure said recently.

Dr. Ronald E. Gots, managing principal of the International Center of Toxicology and Medicine in Rockville, Md., has been involved in toxic exposure cases since 1975. He spoke on this topic at the 1997 Delta Production Conference and Ag Expo.

"Pesticides stir passions, and often passion and reality differ," Gots said. "Pesticides can be dangerous, but they also can be used safely."

January 20, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Prospective grooms no longer have to climb ladders to their sweethearts' windows late at night and race with them across state lines to elope.

Instead, these nontraditional weddings often are announced and held with the full blessing of everyone involved. Many times they are planned far in advance with arrangements made as carefully as in a typical wedding.

Eloping has gained popularity in American culture as a hassle- free, less-expensive way to tie the knot. Many couples --and their families -- are seeing elopement as an attractive alternative.