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News From 2001

September 17, 2001 - Filed Under: Family

By Allison Matthews
Southern Rural Development Center

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Kids involved with extracurricular activities are more likely to complete high school than students who spend time alone between the end of their school day and the end of their parents' workday.

September 17, 2001 - Filed Under: Economic Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Companies trying to remain competitive look for every way to be more efficient and increase profits, and one way to do that is to become lean.

Lean production is a concept learned from Japanese automaker Toyota that emphasizes producing more with less effort, raw materials, space and waste. It is also a concept being taught by the Food and Fiber Center at Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

September 17, 2001 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new program that fulfills outdoor dreams of youth with life-threatening diseases got a boost from friends of a youngster who died participating in an outdoor activity.

Sixth grader Josh Thurman died in March in an ATV accident. Not content to remember him through a traditional memorial, his class at Brookhaven Academy decided to make a gift to the Catch-A-Dream Program in Josh's name.

September 14, 2001 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Late August rains that devastated much of the state's row crops at harvest appear to have spared rice from much of the losses.

Joe Street, rice specialist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said 15 to 20 percent of the rice is down, or lodged, because of the rains.

"Harvest was just getting started when the rain began," Street said. "It delayed harvest for 10 days or so and caused some lodging. Much of the rice that is down and some of the rice still standing has germinated."

September 11, 2001 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children often need extra attention whenever catastrophic events dominate the news and generate increased concerns among adults.

Louise Davis, family and child development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said children often realize when parents are concerned or scared by disasters such as the United States has experienced. Children often experience great feelings of insecurity and need special attention to calm their fears.

September 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Food Safety

By Charmain Tan Courcelle

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A research and outreach program at Mississippi State University is helping the state's poultry industry meet new federal food safety regulations.

The food safety program, a partnership between the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the College of Veterinary Medicine, will also enable the industry to continue to provide safe and wholesome poultry products for the consumer.

Mulch marigolds when the seedlings are large enough or after setting out transplants. Deadhead to keep a tidy appearance and to encourage more blooms.
September 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This has been an awesome summer from the standpoint of temperature and moisture. Landscapes are looking great, and it is pleasant to get out and dig in the dirt. I'm sure my agronomy professor just rolled his eyes because we were taught never to call it dirt, but soil.

September 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Nutrition

By Carrie Reeves

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With hurricane season underway and the potential for flooding across parts of Mississippi, now is a good time to put together emergency food supplies and other necessities in the case of a disaster.

Food items with a long shelf life are recommended, but prepare early, because these products disappear from stores quickly when disaster warnings are issued.

September 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ensuring the safety of the food supply is a never-ending effort that requires the participation of everyone involved with food.

Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said everyone is a partner in making sure the food eaten is safe.

"It's not the responsibility of the government, growers, farmers, restaurants or consumers. It's everyone's responsibility because somewhere in the process, we all handle food," Mixon said.

September 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The joys of winning the big game and celebrating with an impressive picnic meal can fade quickly if a foodborne illness is part of the post-game aftermath.

The physical effects of a foodborne illness can hit quickly or days after consuming food that has not been handled properly. Often, the culprit cannot be seen, smelled or tasted when the meal is being enjoyed. Some of the more at-risk foods include meats, milk products and eggs, or foods that contain those items.

September 7, 2001 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Late summer rains are pushing Mississippi yields to the verge of a multi-crop disaster.

Will McCarty, leader of Extension plant and soil sciences at Mississippi State University, said the list of rain-related problems or potential problems is a long one. Excessive moisture and warm temperatures are causing seeds to rot and/or sprout in the heads of grain sorghum, soybeans and cotton in some areas. Saturated soils are increasing the risk of winds putting some crops on the ground and complicating the upcoming harvest.

September 3, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Copper is worth as much as gold in landscapes, especially now through fall. Some of the hottest commercial landscapes are using the copper plant and looking really good.

Southern gardeners have grown the copper plant for decades, but lately it has taken a backseat to the beautiful sun coleus. Despite my affection for the coleus, I do believe the copper plant has attributes that make it worthy of having around year after year.

September 3, 2001 - Filed Under: Farm Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Heightened awareness and crime prevention measures may be the keys to comfortable, independent lifestyles, especially for vulnerable individuals.

Herb Willcutt, an agricultural engineer with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said there are several ways homeowners can make their homes more secure. These are especially good practices for elderly people and women living alone.

September 3, 2001 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Caregiving is an act of love that takes a lot from a person who provides care to someone who cannot look after themselves.

According to the most recent figures available from the National Long Term Care Survey, 65 percent of older Americans who live at home and need assistance are cared for by family and friends. Thirty percent have some paid help, while just 5 percent rely completely on paid help.

August 31, 2001 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rulings on Canadian lumber trade could have far reaching effects on Mississippi landowners considering the timber market this fall.

Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the bottom of the pine sawtimber stumpage market is probably behind, thanks in part to the recent tariff imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

August 27, 2001 - Filed Under: Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A two-year trial pitted kenaf against pearl millet and a mix of dallisgrass and bermudagrass to see which forage brought the best results in cattle production.

More questions may have been raised than were answered, and Mississippi State University researchers would like to conduct the tests over a few more years to learn more.

August 27, 2001 - Filed Under: Farm Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farms seem like beautiful, safe places, but they can present dangers to those living and working on them.

Children can be at particular risk unless precautions are taken. Sept. 16 through 22 has been set aside as National Farm Safety and Health Week with the theme this year of "Kids #1 in 2001."

Herb Willcutt, agricultural engineer with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said Mississippi has relatively few children working in agriculture, but two or three children are killed in farm-type accidents each year.

Daylilies are among our best perennials.
August 27, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If someone advertised free daylilies, would you go? Free daylilies may be waiting for you in the backyard already. Fall is just around the corner, and now is a good time to take a close look at your daylilies because they may have rewarded you with some free plants or "prolifs."

August 27, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Carrie Reeves

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Companion planting to keep harmful insects out of gardens is an old practice gleaned from years of experimentation and folklore passed down through generations.

Gardeners use this practice to camouflage, confuse and repel pests and disease by planting vegetables, flowers and herbs that compliment each other.

August 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many soybean farmers across the state are seeing great yields cut in half or more as heavy rains are causing seed deterioration before the crop is harvested.

Group 4 soybean varieties that were ready for harvest are being hit the hardest from a week of rains that came near mid-August. Specialists have identified the disease that is deteriorating the seed in the pods as phomopsis. Yield losses are estimated as high as 50 to 60 percent in some fields.