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News From 2003

September 19, 2003 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Structural construction on Mississippi's long-awaited 4-H museum is officially under way.

The July 20, 2002, groundbreaking for the Pete Frierson Mississippi 4-H Museum in Jackson began phase one of the project. During this time, organizers raised funds and prepared for the initial construction of the museum.

September 19, 2003 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Poultry and egg prices have rebounded from the challenges of 2002 and are soaring into the fall in much better shape than they were last year.

Tim Chamblee, poultry management researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said increased consumer demand and reduced numbers of chickens have combined to boost prices for broilers and eggs.

September 15, 2003 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Third-graders in schools across the state will receive fun flying discs, along with a valuable nutrition lesson, in observance of National Eat-5-a-Day Month in September.

Representatives from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education and Family Nutrition programs with Mississippi State University's Extension Service will hand out almost 32,000 of the popular plastic throwing disc toys on Sept. 30. On the discs is the 5-a-Day Program logo.

September 15, 2003 - Filed Under: Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rick Parsons of Vance is Mississippi's Farmer of the Year and the state's nominee for the 2003 southeastern award during the 26th annual Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie, Ga.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service chose Parsons for the honor because of his exemplary management skills with Fewell Planting Co. The farming operation covers 9,421 acres in Quitman and Tallahatchie counties, including 3,892 acres of irrigated corn that produces 176.5 bushels per acre.

September 15, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Sonrise was first, then came Samson (the perfect fall plant), and now Sonset is probably the prettiest lantana ever created. These are precious gifts from a divine creator, and developer Jim Covington will quickly give the glory where it is due.

September 15, 2003 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The catfish industry's cash-strapped producers are set to receive their first-ever federal disaster assistance, and it couldn't come soon enough.

Feed accounts for half the cost of raising catfish and was $220 per ton in Mississippi in 2002. Catfish prices are at the lowest levels in 20 years and producers are finding themselves in financial stress.

September 15, 2003 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE --When Marsha Rosanelli heard she had been accepted into veterinary school at Mississippi State University, she had more to think about than classes and homework -- she was about to have a baby.

As a testament to the class's commitment to helping every student succeed, Rosanelli's fellow classmates are making sure she gets her class notes, and they also threw her a surprise baby shower. Rosanelli's daughter was born Aug. 15. Veterinary classes started July 31.

September 15, 2003 - Filed Under: Fire Ants

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just about anyone with a yard knows the frustration of trying to eliminate fire ant colonies, and now is the time of year to fight the battle again.

Making a broadcast application of an effective fire ant bait between Labor Day and first frost is the best way to get rid of existing colonies and prevent many of next spring's mounds.

September 12, 2003 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The only numbers looking good to Mississippi catfish producers this year are the disaster payment credits they have at the feed mill.

The supply of catfish is large, current prices are at break-even levels or lower than the cost of production, feed prices are inching up, and current acreage and production are down in Mississippi. But state catfish farmers are starting to receive their portion of the $20 million earmarked for disaster relief in Mississippi.

With huge, lush foliage, Black Magic elephant ears make an everyday garden look like the West Indies.
September 8, 2003 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Several landscapes in Kosciusko recently caught my eyes. This Mississippi town is not in the Tropics, but wandering into one back yard made me feel as though I were in the Balata Gardens of French Martinique. The plants that gave me the Caribbean feel were huge Black Magic elephant ears.

September 8, 2003 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children in 65 Mississippi Delta area elementary schools will learn about nutrition through an innovative curriculum funded by a grant aimed at preventing childhood obesity.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is providing $1.57 million for the five-year grant to support nutrition programs in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Childhood obesity is one of four key issues being addressed by a tri-state Extension Service "memorandum of understanding" signed May 15.

September 8, 2003 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wildlife specialists are encouraging aggressive hunting of a nontraditional large animal in Mississippi: wild hogs.

Mississippi State University researchers are gathering data on wild hog populations around the state and country. Two things they knew before they started their research were that hogs multiply rapidly, and they can cause extensive crop and property damage.

September 8, 2003 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- All veterinary students learn about swine, but one dual-degree major at Mississippi State University is gaining insight from a wildlife perspective.

Learning opportunity...

September 5, 2003 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sweetpotato growers have high hopes for this year's crop despite planting 1,500 fewer acres than in 2002.

Bad weather conditions damaged last fall's supply of the crop, which in turn increased the demand -- and price -- of sweetpotatoes this season.

"Supplies nationwide are low, so prices are pretty high at around $16.50 per 40-pound carton now," said Benny Graves, sweetpotato specialist with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce's Bureau of Plant Industry. "Now what we need to do is harvest a crop and make a profit."

September 1, 2003 - Filed Under: Beef, Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy and beef cattle producers can learn the latest recommendations from researchers and Extension specialists during the North Mississippi Beef and Dairy Field Day on Sept. 18 in Marshall County.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the program starting at 9:30 a.m. at Mississippi State University's North Mississippi Branch Experiment Station, located about three miles north of Holly Springs off of Highway 7. Lunch will be provided.

September 1, 2003 - Filed Under: Economic Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A series of four workshops sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service will highlight the benefits of electronic retailing and provide tips to small business owners.

"Electronic Retailing: Selling on the Internet" will be offered in four different locations in the state on four dates in October and November: Oct. 21 in Cleveland, Oct. 28 in Raymond, Oct. 29 in D'Iberville and Nov. 6 in Verona.

September 1, 2003 - Filed Under: Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sweat and back-breaking work are still part of Mississippi agriculture, but many of today's farmers do a portion of their work in front of computers in air-conditioned comfort.

On Mississippi's high-tech, large farms, computers are as important a tool as tractors. Will McCarty, row crops specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said most of the state's largest farmers in any commodity run their businesses using computers. Common uses include record keeping, information gathering and operating equipment.

The Minimus aureus sweet flag makes a golden street in front of blue French hydrangeas.
September 1, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to see a planting of a Japanese sweet flag variety that absolutely mesmerized me. I shot photo after photo and never captured its beauty to my satisfaction.

August 29, 2003 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- August and September are usually Mississippi's hottest, driest months, and when the cattle markets and pasture conditions are at their worst. But that is not the case this year.

An unusually wet summer for pastures and strong market prices are leaving cattle producers with fewer worries as winter approaches.

August 27, 2003 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A closer look at the Aug. 22 results of the boll weevil referendum in the north Delta has changed the outcome from passing in both regions to passing only in Region IB.

A miscalculation of invalid ballots changed the percentage in Leflore, Quitman, Sunflower, Tunica and west Tallahatchie counties (Region 1A) from a 69 percent favorable vote to 65.95 percent, which is below the 66.667 percent required for passage. Votes from Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties (Region IB) supported the program with 68 percent of the vote.