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News From 2001

April 2, 2001 - Filed Under: Remote Sensing Technology

By Rebekah Ray

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wild radish, winter peas, wild mustard, vetch and curly dock may sound like ingredients of a savory green salad, but these wild host plants harbor bugs that are unsavory for Mississippi crops.

April 2, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Landscapers and homeowners are always looking for what is new and outstanding in shrub selection, and this year's Mississippi Medallion winner fits that category. The plant is the Burgundy Loropetalum.

This is a great new shrub in the witch hazel family. You might ask yourself, wasn't there a white-flowered loropetalum? There is, and at the risk of offending either nurserymen or gardeners who have them, I will say I have never seen one that I thought was attractive.

April 2, 2001 - Filed Under: Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Volunteers across Mississippi are sewing for a cause, finishing up quilts which will be auctioned off in support of literacy efforts.

Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer chapters in nearly every county are quilting projects they will donate for auction. Proceeds from the auction will build a scholarship fund that will eventually grant college money to relatives of homemaker volunteers.

Maggie Harris, Extension home economist in Simpson County, is heading up this year's auction.

March 30, 2001 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The absence of positive incentives is influencing Mississippi growers to adjust planting intentions to the crops with the fewest strikes against them: cotton and sorghum.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's prospective plantings report released March 30 predicts Mississippi farmers will plant 15 percent more cotton and 11 percent more sorghum than last year. The only other crop showing any increase in acreage is rice, which is expected to increase about 2 percent. The biggest loss will be for soybeans, down 12 percent from 1.7 million acres to 1.5 million.

March 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Water

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two years of drought lowered Mississippi's underground water supplies, but recent rains have stopped the loss and should be helping replenish formations.

Aquifers are underground water stores found in sand and gravel confined between layers of clay or solid rock. These geologic formations overlap each other at varying depths and extend for miles. Individuals and municipalities tap into these aquifers with wells to supply the population's water needs.

March 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If I had a singing voice, I might do a few bars of the Hallelujah Chorus. The fourth Mississippi Garden and Patio Show was a huge success, but even better was the fact that the native azaleas had to be among the hottest plants getting carried out of the buildings.

March 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Food and Health

By Allison Matthews

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soft drinks, fast foods and super sizing are among the bad snacking habits of most Americans, and the rate of obesity in young people reflects the trend.

The increasing number of obese and overweight children is so significant that many health officials consider it an epidemic. With the extra pounds, children also gain an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

March 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Beef

FOXWORTH, Miss. -- Donald Pounds of Marion County depends on the Gelbvieh breed's reputation for heavy weaning weights and maternal characteristics, and his cattle depend on his reputation as a smart and honest producer.

Pounds has owned cattle since he was 12, but he officially entered the commercial (crossbred) cattle business with his uncle in 1969. He purchased his first Gelbvieh bull in 1987 and was so impressed with the results that he began purchasing registered (purebred) cows in 1990. He is slowly phasing out his commercial cattle in favor of a totally registered herd.

March 19, 2001 - Filed Under: Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rising fertilizer costs brought on by natural gas price increases are no longer a future worry but a present problem for Mississippi farmers.

Natural gas prices rose from $2.30 per million British thermal units to almost $10 between January and December 2000. Much of that increase came in the last couple months of the year. But why do high gas bills affect farmers more than workers in other industries?

March 19, 2001 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification

By Allison Matthews

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hundreds of Mississippians apply pesticides for private or commercial purposes, and training sessions help ensure applicators handle chemicals safely for humans and the environment.

March 19, 2001 - Filed Under: About Extension

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Planning, growing and maintaining beautiful gardens is not always an easy task. Gardeners who rely on expert advice typically have the prettiest, most successful gardens, but finding that expert advice can be difficult during the spring rush using traditional sources such as local nurseries, catalogs and books.

March 12, 2001 - Filed Under: Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- What goes into farmland as additives impacts the The Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, is the amount of a particular pollutant that can be released safely to surface water per day. TMDLs are set by the state Department of Environmental Quality, and are designed to ensure that state waters continue to meet quality standards.

March 12, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

An outstanding feather reed grass variety named Karl Foerster is the Perennial Plant of the Year, according to the Perennial Plant Association.

This Perennial Plant of the Year will work well in Mississippi, too. As a highly acclaimed cultivar, Karl Foerster is one of the most versatile, attractive and low maintenance ornamental grasses around. The deep green, shiny foliage appears in early spring and lasts until early winter.

March 12, 2001 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Allison Matthews

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Something fishy in Mississippi schools is motivating students to learn all about the state's fishery resources.

A new school enrichment module, "Something's Fishy in Mississippi," is now available to fourth grade classrooms through local 4-H agents. The traveling module features a large interactive display accompanied by two personal computers and CD-ROMs, as well as lesson materials to help teachers plan for two weeks of learning activities.

March 5, 2001 - Filed Under: Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Local cooperatives are as much a part of the agriculture scene as are farmers, but changes in agriculture are prompting similar changes in these businesses.

Darron Hudson, MAFES agricultural economist at Mississippi State University, said co-ops are formed when a group of producers pool their resources to gain a market advantage.

March 5, 2001 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

All landscapes reach a point where they need a little re-engineering. This year's storms have created problems across the state that will require repair efforts for years to come.

Re-engineering is a popular word today. Corporations use to describe changes they are making in their market focus or their corporate structure. Re-engineering basically means looking at where you are and assessing how you can capitalize on what you have.

March 5, 2001 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Neglecting nutritional needs at any stage of life is risky, but for senior adults, the results could reduce their quality of life significantly.

Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said older adults should watch their diets closely, especially if they are prone to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

March 5, 2001 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases

By Allison Matthews

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tomato spotted wilt virus is a persistent and growing problem for commercial tomato producers and home gardeners, but new resistant varieties are available for this growing season.

Alan Henn, Extension plant pathologist at Mississippi State University, said spotted wilt is a common strain of tospovirus that is becoming a more costly threat to many crops in the South and the rest of the nation.

February 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Waste Management

By Charmain Tan Courcelle

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Research conducted at Mississippi State University will soon alter existing state nutrient management plans for Mississippi broiler producers since broiler house conditions are different than what was expected.

February 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Kathy Ann, a native yaupon holly from Stone County, Miss., leads an impressive list of plants that have been announced as Mississippi Medallion winners for this spring.

You won't have to go to Stone County to find the Kathy Ann yaupon holly as this exquisitely formed small tree already has found its place in the hearts of landscapers from Texas to Georgia and the Carolinas.