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News From 1999

April 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Training a puppy can result in more than a well-mannered pet, it can mean the difference between life and death for the animal.

According to figures released by the American Veterinary Medical Association, as many as 1 million people each year require medical treatment for dog bites. About 12 people die each year from dog attacks, and dog bites are the No. 1 public health problem for children 12 and younger, half of which have been bitten by a dog.

April 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Pets

By Jamie Vickers

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bringing a new pet into the family isn't all fun and games. It is a decision best made by adults that allows children to gain a new best friend and learn responsibility and proper behavior around animals.

"Consider all the aspects of having a new pet before you rush out to get one," said Dr. Thomas Lenarduzzi, exotics and wildlife veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. "Consider size and temperament of the pet and the responsibility level of children involved."

April 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Pets

By Lani Jefcoat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Health, life and property insurances are common purchases for Mississippians, but an additional option for pet coverage may appeal to people with significant investments in their animals.

Major illnesses, accidents or lost pets can result in significant financial or emotional stress for pet owners. The solution to these unexpected problems may lie in pet insurance policies.

April 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Feeding the newest four-legged member of the household can be a major expense depending on the size of the animal, but options are available to keep costs down.

Dr. Andrew Mackin, assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said commercial foods available have made today's pets better fed than any previous generation.

April 2, 1999 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Planting intentions announced Wednesday show Mississippi farmers reacting to low prices across the board by planting more cotton than last year.

Cotton saw the biggest gain in acreage, with 1.1 million acres projected for 1999 in Mississippi. Rice acreage also should be up, but not as high as originally intended. Both corn and soybeans acreage intentions are down for the year.

April 1, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Virginia willows, which are native to Mississippi, have received awesome reviews in Texas, North Carolina and Louisiana where they have been chosen as plant of the year.

You may know Virginia willows as the sweetspire or Virginia sweetspire. In addition to those names, selections like Henry's Garnet and Sarah's Eve may be available at your local garden center. Virginia willow is known botanically as Itea virginica. "Itea" is Greek for willow.

March 26, 1999 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wheat growers anticipate the final hurdles for this season's crop as they hope for respectable market prices at harvest time in early summer.

Dr. Erick Larson, agronomist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said many wheat growers took advantage of favorable planting conditions last fall despite the poor market forecast.

Wheat prices in October were around $2.40 per bushel, but March prices have rebounded slightly into the $2.50 range.

March 25, 1999 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

American writer Joyce Kilmer may be most famous for his poem "Trees." I have often wondered what tree, if any, the New Jersey native was thinking about when he wrote that famous poem.

The tree that most assuredly is causing the traveler to pause now and gaze at her beauty is the dogwood. The bloom of the dogwood alone should make you want at least one for your yard, if not several.

March 22, 1999 - Filed Under: Catfish, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Growing crawfish with rice has become a common way to produce this popular shellfish, but the practice has been more successful in Louisiana than it has in Mississippi.

In 1997, Louisiana landed almost 23 million pounds of crawfish worth nearly $13 million. The state produced another 47 million pounds through aquaculture at a value of nearly $28 million. Much of this crawfish is consumed in the state, and very little leaves the South.

March 22, 1999 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An ongoing case of rice insurance policies changing after they were purchased has demonstrated why farmers should be more careful than ever in protecting themselves from crop loss.

American Agrisurance Co. recently reduced a special offer on Crop Revenue Coverage after the deadline had passed to buy insurance for spring planted crops. Farmers who had bought this insurance package, known as CRC-Plus, now had much less coverage than they were promised, and with the purchasing deadline expired, have no way to increase the coverage.

March 22, 1999 - Filed Under: Community

By Jamie Vickers

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- What do pillbox hats, drawstring pants, low shoes and the colors gray and pink have in common? They are the hottest spring fashions, of course.

Betty Fulwood, clothing specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said retro fashions are of special interest this spring, as well as colors from the winter season such as gray accompanied by a variety of shades of pink.

The 50s and 60s lend classic styles of chemise and pillbox hats. Full skirts and tiny tops are consistent with the romantic look.

March 22, 1999 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Contrary to what most children want to believe, jelly beans are not vegetables, even at Eastertime.

Like many other holidays, sweets abound at Easter. Parents should remember that moderation is the key to providing special treats for their children.

March 22, 1999 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Homeowners sprucing up their lawns for spring should be careful using fertilizers as two of the most common types may harm area water quality if managed poorly.

Dr. Larry Oldham, soil fertility specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said movement of nitrogen and phosphorus from soils to water supplies raises water quality concerns.

March 19, 1999 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crawfish are showing up in restaurants and stores in large numbers and at falling prices as crawfish season is in full swing.

Crawfish season extends from November through May, but peaks in April. Prices currently in South Mississippi range from about $1.19 to $1.49 a pound live, and $2.09 to $2.19 a pound boiled. Prices are expected to drop at least 20 cents a pound next week as more crawfish flood the markets.

March 18, 1999 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Growing fresh produce for the picking doesn't always mean having an intensive garden, a square-foot garden or an acre or more. It can be as simple and fun as growing a basket of petunias, and baskets are where I would like to start.

March 11, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The environment where I grew up made azaleas out of the question, so the site of all our azaleas erupting into spectacular blooms astounds me.

I'm further amazed that the native azaleas haven't caught on around here. Perhaps it's because growers haven't perfected the mass production of these azaleas or that demand is so great for the other azaleas. Maybe it is simply not worth the time, expense and effort to grow these on a grand scale.

March 8, 1999 - Filed Under: Farm Safety

By Lani Jefcoat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Home may feel like the safest place, but it is often a dangerous environment for children with poison hazards around every corner.

Children age 18 months to 3 years old face the highest risk of being poisoned. Children constantly explore their environment and tend to put things in their mouths. In some cases, adults carelessly or unknowingly leave poisonous items within their reach.

March 8, 1999 - Filed Under: Health

By Jamie Vickers

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Computer-related eyestrain, which may lead to more serious damage, can easily be prevented by making minor adjustments in work space.

Linda Patterson, health education specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said significant time spent viewing computer screens can result in temporary but unpleasant aches and vision problems. Fortunately, there is no evidence that eyestrain caused by computers results in permanent vision damage.

March 8, 1999 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Turkey season opens soon in Mississippi, and hunters are encouraged to be safe when enjoying this popular and challenging sport.

Turkey season runs from March 20 to May 1 in Mississippi. Richard Cain, hunter education program director with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in Jackson, said there are about 40,000 turkey hunters in the state annually. These account for about 18 percent of the total hunting licenses sold.

March 8, 1999 - Filed Under: Environment, Invasive Plants

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi battles well known non-native species such as kudzu and fire ants, but experts say the state is vulnerable to other introduced species.

Known as nonindigenous species, these plants and animals become part of ecosystems outside their native range. According to figures released by Cornell University, non-native species cost the United States more than $122 billion a year, but not all introduced species are harmful.

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