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News From 2001

July 1, 2001 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Long-time state program leader and administrative support coordinator Joe McGilberry was named director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service effective July 1 after serving one year as its interim director.

July 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Charmain Tan Courcelle

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new project at the Coastal Aquaculture Unit of the Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center may keep Mississippi saltwater anglers in fish year-round.

Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers Ben Posadas and Mark LaSalle have initiated a study to develop an economically viable baitfish production system that will provide a year-round supply of live bait to the state's saltwater recreational fishing industry.

June 29, 2001 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE - Mississippi's turf growers may have survived the last three dry summers only to face a drought of another kind: economic.

Building booms in DeSoto and Tunica counties and along the Gulf Coast in the last decade have attracted a number of new sod growers into the business, but a leveling off in new construction could signal lean days ahead.

June 25, 2001 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish farmers have economic evidence that battling the most common cause of off-flavor with copper sulfate brings higher profits.

Research shows that adding copper sulfate to catfish ponds to kill blue-green algae greatly reduces problems with off-flavor. By treating to keep the fish on-flavor, producers can expect higher profits.

Cleome can be planted from young transplants or direct seeded in warm spring soil.
June 25, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The future is looking bright for the cleome, one of the old time favorites in the Southern cottage garden. Unbelievably, there are new varieties of cleome poised to make their debut.

Cleome, sometimes called spider flower or spider plant, is native to several South American countries. Botanically speaking, it is known as Cleome hassleriana and is in the caper family. The capers we eat are known as Capparis.

June 25, 2001 - Filed Under: Insects-Pet Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the area is dark, damp and warm with pets nearby, chances are good there will be fleas, too.

Dr. John Tyler, small animal internal medicine veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said fleas like these environments. Flea habitats include under porches, and in woodpiles, dog houses, piles of debris and similar areas.

"Mississippi is an ideal place for fleas. Up north, fleas are mainly a problem in the summer, but here they can be a problem year-round," Tyler said. "It never gets too hot for fleas."

Shrimp grow fast in warm weather and typically grow a size category every two weeks.
June 22, 2001 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite weather putting a damper on the shrimp season this year, shrimpers managed to land twice as many pounds of shrimp in the early part of the season than they did last year.

Dave Burrage is a marine resources specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He said despite the early high landings, the season looks to be an average year.

The crape myrtle is widely planted throughout the South because it flowers during the hot summer months when little else is in flower.
June 18, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Crape myrtles are starting to bloom all over the South, and it's not hard to see why they are the most popular summer flowering tree. Many gardeners mistakenly think they are native to this area, but Europeans discovered the Southeast Asia natives around 1750 and early settlers brought them to this country.

June 18, 2001 - Filed Under: Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Food that is good for one person can be dangerous to another because of food allergies that affect about 7 million Americans.

Common foods that people are allergic to include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. More children than adults have food allergies, although many outgrow their allergies as they mature.

Rebecca Kelly, human nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said food intolerances are often confused with true food allergies.

June 18, 2001 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The efficiency and sustainability of Mississippi's timber industry has helped grow it to the $1.2 billion value it has today.

The state has about 18.5 million acres of timberland. Of these, 70 percent are held by private, non-industrial owners. Mississippi's forest types are about 30 percent pine, 25 percent oak/pine mix and 45 percent hardwood.

Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said forests are quite resilient and the state is using more of its pine than its hardwoods.

June 15, 2001 - Filed Under: Watermelons

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Watermelon harvests have begun in some Mississippi counties, but homegrown supplies are slower for other parts of the state.

George County extension agent Mike Steede said some harvesting started the first week of June for the county's 600 to 700 acres of watermelons, and the biggest challenge this year has been the recent rains.

"Up until the tropical storm (Allison), we were having a dry growing season," Steede said. "About 70 percent of the county's crop is irrigated, so the rains mainly helped the smaller, non-irrigated fields."

June 11, 2001 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A short-term study of a common catfish pond treatment suggests copper sulfate is an environmentally sound procedure for controlling off-flavor problems.

John Hargreaves, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station aquaculture biologist with the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, completed a study of the effects of copper sulfate applications to catfish ponds over three years.

June 11, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many gardeners want plants that will bloom all summer right up until fall. The first option always seems to be New Gold lantana. Believe it or not, there is a tropical vine that will bloom until the first freeze as well. It is called Brazilian Jasmine, or Mandevilla.

June 11, 2001 - Filed Under: Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Preparing beef, pork or chicken may be routine to some people, but catching on to the tricks of cooking seafood that is delicious and safe can be a bigger challenge than the catch itself.

Overcooked seafood can become rubbery and tasteless, while raw or undercooked seafood can pose many health risks. With a little extra care, seafood can be a delicious and safe addition to a family's menu.

June 8, 2001 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Finally, dairy producers have something more than a nutritious product to celebrate during National Dairy Month: milk prices.

"Milk prices should average about $2 more per hundredweight than last year," said Bill Herndon, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "That's about a 15 percent increase over 2000."

Herndon said prices will likely remain strong throughout the summer and peak-usage period in early fall. Class I milk prices have the potential of record prices this fall.

Blue passionflower, known botanically as Passiflora caerulea, is a tropical vine and prolific bloomer across most of the state. Although called blue, this native to South America actually has white petals and scores of attractive blue filaments.
June 4, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Gardeners everywhere seem to be searching out vines for that special fence, trellis or arbor. The passionflower, one of my favorites, is not only one of the most beautiful and exotic blooms in the world, but the fruit also yields one of the favorite flavors in tropical fruit juices.

June 4, 2001 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy products are among the best sources of calcium and many other nutrients, but not everyone consumes the recommended amounts of these products daily.

Health experts recommend that Americans eat three servings of dairy products daily. This quantity helps the body receive the calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, protein and vitamins A and D that it needs daily.

June 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Students typically come to teachers for education, but technology is enabling the education to come to students, especially in rural areas.

June 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dry conditions in April and May, especially in the Delta, played havoc with Mississippi's corn crop this spring, leaving the root systems confounded about which way to go.

Erick Larson, corn specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said wet conditions delayed planting some, but most of the crop was in the ground by the end of April.

May 28, 2001 - Filed Under: Biofuels

By Charmain Courcelle

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A search for alternative fuels may uncover an additional source of income for Mississippi farmers and provide a solution to the waste disposal problems encountered by the state's agricultural industry.