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News From 2001

October 19, 2001 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most of Mississippi's Christmas trees made up this year for lost growth over the last couple of dry years, but the summer rains also increased the challenges from diseases.

Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said 2001 was a much better year for growth, but growers had to control twig and shoot blight with fungicides, especially on Leyland cypress. In recent years, Leyland cypress trees were especially susceptible to Cercospora, which is associated with drought stress.

Red Belgian mums
October 15, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Chrysanthemums have always been the premier fall plant, but this year a new group known as Belgian mums have gardeners everywhere talking.

These are no ordinary fall-flowering, winter-hardy chrysanthemums. Belgian mums produce an abundance of flower buds in a quantity much larger than any other mum.

October 15, 2001 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in Mississippi women, but early detection and treatment mean a better chance for survival.

"Many deaths occur each year because women do not have regular mammograms or practice thorough breast self-exams," said Linda Patterson, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some breast cancer victims discover lumps that could be treated successfully, but fail to get treatment in time."

October 15, 2001 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hunters who bag a great buck now have another shot at the attention they deserve through a recognition program that honors quality deer across the state.

The Magnolia White-Tailed Records Program was started in late June to serve as an unofficial record book for white-tailed deer in Mississippi. It is a joint effort of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

October 12, 2001 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For some Mississippi pumpkin growers, the real profits are found in creative marketing efforts, not just growing a good crop.

This year was Marshall Estes' first attempt at growing pumpkins on his family farm in Grenada County. His couple of acres may not make a major economic impact in the state's economy, but the sentiment behind it speaks volumes.

Bouquet Purple dianthus
October 8, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Though far apart in geography and climate, Mississippi and Minnesota both named the same plant an award winner. Bouquet Purple dianthus is the Minnesota Select perennial plant of the year and the Mississippi Medallion winner for this fall. When something like this occurs, you realize you have an extraordinary plant.

October 8, 2001 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University will produce about 300,000 pounds of cheese in 2001, but the cupboard will be bare after Christmas, the big buying time of the year.

The Edward W. Custer Dairy Processing Plant is best known for making 3-pound, red wax-coated cannonballs of Edam cheese stamped with the MSU logo. Each year, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station plant produces 55,000 of these signature products, along with another 2,000 reduced-fat versions of the same.

October 8, 2001 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi veterinarians could find themselves on the front line of defense if the country were ever attacked by bioterrorists.

October 8, 2001 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Confirmed cases of encephalitis and the West Nile Virus in Mississippi have health officials at a state of heightened awareness to the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses.

Dr. Lanny Pace, director of the State Diagnostic Lab in Jackson, told College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members at Mississippi State University in August that it was just a matter of time before the West Nile Virus hits Mississippi. State health officials have been monitoring closely for WNV as well as LaCrosse, St. Louis and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

October 5, 2001 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sweetpotato growers are finding strong yields but weaker prices as they enter the homestretch for this year's harvest.

October 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of many changes in agriculture is a move to produce crops with specific traits for particular end uses, but producing those crops can be risky business.

An identity-preserved crop is one in which specific genetic traits are known to exist. Special steps have been taken in buying the genetically-modified seed, planting, harvesting and storing to ensure crops with these traits are not mixed with other crops.

If you want beautiful larkspurs next spring, the time to plant is at hand.
October 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

There are no doubt hundreds of us who see beautiful larkspurs each spring in gardens all over the South and wish we had them in our own gardens. The problem is timing.

October 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Plants that have been outside all summer need special care before they are rushed inside this fall to protect them from cooler temperatures.

Norman Winter, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University's Extension Service at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said outdoor plants should be eased inside.

September 28, 2001 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rains may help pecans grow plump, but the nuts first must survive the increased challenge of diseases that attack quality and threaten losses.

David Ingram, Mississippi State University's associate plant pathologist at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said parts of the state have been hit hard with scab disease. Some varieties, including Desirable and Pawnee, were hit harder than others, such as Owens.

September 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Waste Management

By Charmain Tan Courcelle

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Traditionally, poultry litter has been spread as a fertilizer on pastures located in the 34 poultry-producing counties in Mississippi.

But a combination of long-term land application of poultry litter and decreases in pastureland has made this valuable byproduct too much of a good thing. The nutrient storage capacity of the soil in these south Mississippi counties has been pushed close to its limits, raising concerns of potential environmental problems from nutrient runoff into water sources.

September 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

In recent years, requests have gone out to gardeners and commercial landscapers to plant flowers in country colors for the Palaces of St. Petersburg, Splendors of Versailles and the Majesty of Spain exhibitions in Jackson. Recent national tragedies have inspired Americans to show their colors, and flowers can be part of the waving of the red, white and blue.

September 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians are a very generous people, and when tragedy strikes as it did in the terrorist attacks on the United States, many want to give money for a good cause.

Unfortunately, some people see the opportunity for fraud at times when emotions are high. Bogus charities are formed and unscrupulous people sometimes take advantage of the good intentions of people.

September 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When President George W. Bush placed 29 species on the protected lists with the most recent Endangered Species Act in late August, he included a species of toad found only in one pond in Harrison County.

The gopher toad now joins more than 700 other Mississippi plants and animals receiving state or federal protection because of dwindling numbers. Numerous others are being monitored to see that their numbers are maintained and improved.

September 21, 2001 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton farming in Mississippi was just another part of the national way of life affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

National cotton markets were headquartered in building 4 of the World Trade Center before the attacks. When all airplanes were grounded across the United States, Mississippi cotton was at its peak need for defoliation before harvest, which is done by aerial application.

With flowers like pansies, panolas, violas, flowering kale or cabbage, dianthus and chrysanthemums, the choices for your fall planter are great.
September 17, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

In the 18th century, the symbol of the pineapple was a welcome sign to visitors. Today, even if you don't do a lot of gardening, some well-placed colorful planters can welcome family and guests to your home. The gorgeous fall colors don't have to be limited to the yard or landscape, but can be artistically arranged as floral accents at your home's entrance.