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News From 2002

October 21, 2002 - Filed Under: Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Handling food safely is a science, and those preparing food should make sure they have the tools needed to do it right.

Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said bacteria can grow rapidly when food is between 40 and 140 degrees. Perishable foods in this temperature zone have a two-hour window in which they are safe.

"The rule of thumb is that anytime a food has been in that temperature zone for two hours or more, don't eat it," Mixon said.

Prawns are best raised in specially designed ponds that can be drained for harvest.
October 18, 2002 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Growers of freshwater prawns, one of the state's smaller and newer crops, wrapped up harvest in early October with what appears to be profitable yields.

Mississippi has at least 1,000 water acres in commercial prawn production in the state. There is no state yield estimate, but Lou D'Abramo, professor with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said several growers reported yields of 800 to 1,000 pounds an acre.

October 14, 2002 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

PASCAGOULA -- Professional loggers and anyone interested in logging have an opportunity to learn more about the industry through a Nov. 20 and 21 logger education program developed by Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

The two-day program consists of three classes. An introduction to sustainable forestry will begin at 8 a.m. on the first day, followed by a logger safety class at 2 p.m. A class on best management practices will begin at 8 a.m. on the second day. Classes will take place at the La Font Inn at 2703 Denny Ave. in Pascagoula.

October 14, 2002 - Filed Under: Insects

By John Hawkins

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Specialists met in Starkville recently to study a subject that most people would find rather questionable: how to raise and keep insects alive and well.

"Growing quality insects is crucial to many areas of entomology and integrated pest management," said Frank Davis, Mississippi State University emeritus adjunct professor of entomology and workshop coordinator.

October 14, 2002 - Filed Under: Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A grant exceeding $1 million will enable researchers to study the extent food-safety pathogens exist in the poultry production process to determine the best point to concentrate treatment efforts.

Orange Atlantico is one of the many varieties of Belgian mums available this fall. They are durable and produce an abundance of flower buds in a quantity much greater than any other mum. Many have more than 600 buds on a single plant.
October 14, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Shop quickly if you expect to get any Belgian mums this fall because they are disappearing like snow cones in July.

Chrysanthemums have always been the premier fall plant, but this year the Belgian mums have added an even greater furor for these boldly colored flowers. They are popping up on porches and patios everywhere bringing a festive look to the landscape.

October 11, 2002 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It was easy to see how above-ground crops suffered from back-to-back tropical storms, but those growing below ground took a less obvious beating.

Projections at mid-October were that the state lost at least 10 percent of its sweet potato crop from heavy rains in the middle of harvest. Mississippi has about 15,000 acres of sweet potatoes and typically harvests these from the second week of August until early November.

October 7, 2002 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

By John Hawkins

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- This year's pumpkin harvest proved fruitful, despite challenges from insects, disease and rain.

One vegetable many wouldn't normally consider growing in Mississippi's sweltering fields is the pumpkin. Not many growers in the state raise pumpkins, and the few who do grow them usually produce only a few acres. For these growers, raising a successful harvest can have its challenges.

The oriental fountain grass is a 4-foot tall grass with pristine white blooms. It offers added excitement in the garden with its plumes that move in the wind. Ornamental fountain grasses add extra value when planted so they are back-lighted from the setting sun or landscape lighting.
October 7, 2002 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The fountain grasses are among the prettiest plants in the landscape at this time of the year. They transition well from working with summer flowers to fall mums and ornamental kale and cabbage.

October 7, 2002 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Forty-two Mississippians received the highest honor the U.S. Congress gives to young people when they were given Congressional Awards Sept. 29 in Jackson.

Two young people received the gold award, 11 the silver and 29 the bronze. They earned these awards by meeting goals they set for themselves in community service, personal development, expedition/exploration and physical fitness.

October 7, 2002 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Less than two years after test results identified the first West Nile virus case in the state, two Mississippi laboratories are working hard to identify hot spots needing increased control efforts by the state Health Department.

October 3, 2002 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tropical Storm Isidore brought an average of almost 7 inches of rain to the state, and farmers with crops still in the field are bracing for more rain as Hurricane Lili heads toward land.

September 30, 2002 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Waterfowl

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Registration for the popular, annual Noxubee Youth Waterfowl Workshop is nearly over, but interested hunters still have a chance to sign up.

Farmweek co-hosts Leighton Spann and Artis Ford
September 30, 2002 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmweek is turning 25 years old October 3. To celebrate, the agriculture shows' producers are dedicating an entire program to the anniversary.

Farmweek is the weekly, 30-minute agriculture news program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service which airs on Mississippi ETV. The first show, produced by MSU's Office of Agricultural Communications, aired Oct. 3, 1977. Originally a Monday evening show, it moved to Thursday evenings in 1994, then Tuesday evenings in October 2001.

September 30, 2002 - Filed Under: Insects

By Charmain Courcelle

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pheromones -- those chemicals that stimulate courtship, mating and other social behavior in animals and insects -- may one day be manipulated to manage the corn earworm.

Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station entomologist Peter Ma is discovering how the corn earworm pheromone production pathway is wired and searching for ways to short-circuit the process in the insect.

The mahogany color blended with an almost translucent fiery yellow-orange of Dynamite Wine Splash will capture the hearts of Mississippi growers.
September 30, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The fall planting season is one of my favorite times of the year, and it is evident that many Mississippians feel the same way. The first cool snap makes people want to get ready for pansies and violas. Garden centers are already bringing in supplies of the rugged winter annuals.

September 27, 2002 - Filed Under: Forest Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi and her sister southern states should continue to be the world's wood basket for decades to come, according to industry watchers and forestry specialists.

Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the prominent opinion is that as populations and urban areas continue to grow in the southeastern United States, Mississippi will be situated ideally for supplying wood products.

The unique, blue flowers of the Sea Holly are most welcome in Mississippi gardens. Sea Holly was one of the stalwart performers in the trial grounds at the Mississippi State University arboretum.
September 23, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Three recent experiences provide evidence that tells me Mississippi growers and garden centers are hitting the mark when it comes to the newest plants.

September 23, 2002 - Filed Under: Youth Gardening

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's Junior Master Gardener program has gone from an idea introduced two years ago to one that involves more than 1,200 youth in horticulture-related fun, service and learning opportunities.

Lelia Kelly is the state coordinator for the Mississippi State University 4-H Junior Master Gardener program. JMG, as it is known, targets young people in grades three through eight, but it is for any group of youth, not just school classes.

September 20, 2002 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- National crop yields are expected to be down from last year, but Mississippi row crop-farmers are looking for increases in two major crops.

According to the Sept. 12 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production report, Mississippi farmers are expected to produce 46.9 million bushels of soybeans, up 27 percent from last year, and 65.6 million bushels of corn, up 31 percent from 2001. Cotton is projected to yield 1.85 million bales, down 23 percent from last year's production.