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News From 2005

September 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most people just want to get their life back together quickly after a storm deals a devastating blow to their house, but rushing too fast can compound the problem.

Homeowners across the Southeast are trying to reassemble the pieces of their homes and belongings after Hurricane Katrina tore through Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama Monday. It will take several weeks to get basic services back to many areas, and months for life to even begin to resemble what it used to be.

September 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High waters from Hurricane Katrina will drive snakes, rodents and fire ants into areas they may not venture normally, such as homes and storage buildings.

Bill Maily, area wildlife agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said any time a building has been flooded, people should enter it with extra caution.

September 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pets separated from their owners or injured in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are finding shelter at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. Trained professionals and volunteers staff the shelter.

"People come first in an emergency, but there are animals that need help as a result of the hurricane," said Dr. Carla Huston, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the Mississippi Animal Response Team. "We will assist state veterinarian Dr. James Watson as long as we're needed."

September 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- While pets are considered family during the good times, a disaster like Hurricane Katrina makes them runners-up.

Dr. James Watson, state veterinarian with the Board of Animal Health in the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, said Wednesday (Sept. 1) that the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson is accepting rescued animals, agricenters around the state have taken in horses, and plans are being made to set up animal shelters in South Mississippi.

August 31, 2005 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- No age is immune from stresses that accompany natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, but children may need extra help coping with the situation.

"Adults may get so caught up in all the traumatic details like relocations and damaged property that they overlook the emotional needs of the children around them," said Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

August 31, 2005 - Filed Under: Environment, Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- After Hurricane Katrina has passed, the deadly aftermath may be just beginning.

Glenn Hughes, a professor of forestry with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said older, historic-type neighborhoods are often the hardest hit. Those areas typically have trees that are past their prime and possibly not as healthy.

Hughes, who is based in Hattiesburg, said each time a major hurricane hits the state, people learn the importance of removing at-risk trees before a storm hits.

August 26, 2005 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The heat and humidity of August took its toll on cotton, and producers are ready for some relief both for themselves and their crop.

Producers will begin harvesting the bulk of Mississippi's cotton in late September. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a state average of 928 pounds an acre, down from last year's record high of 1,024 pounds. State production is forecast at 2.30 million bales, down 2 percent from the previous year.

August 25, 2005 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Before new soybean technologies arrived, soybeans were losing ground in the state, so Mississippi State University researchers looked for opportunities to improve this crop's potential.

In the 1970s and 1980s, state average soybean yields were 22 bushels an acre. Most producers kept this crop on heavy soil and grew it alone or rotated it with rice. Soybean irrigation was limited, and producers made few inputs due to marginal profits.

Today, soybeans are a viable crop in Mississippi. Last year, the state averaged a record 39 bushels an acre.

Wind Dancer love grass in the top of this photo makes a spectacular backdrop in a bed with Peach Sunrise lantanas, some of the new selections in the Landmark series.
August 25, 2005 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Even if the heat has been oppressive, you must admit that late summer opens the door to one of the best times in the landscape for ornamental grasses. Just when you are ready to throw in the towel for the gardening season, these landscape warriors start sending up blooms and plumes demanding attention.

August 19, 2005 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomists credit good management of diseases and a recent doubling of peanut acreage for what they expect to be Mississippi's largest peanut crop ever.

Still with fewer acres than most peanut-producing states, Mississippi growers have 20,000 acres in rotation plans with cotton and corn, primarily in the state's southern counties.

August 18, 2005 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Alan Blaine was named the interim head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona after its current head took another position within Mississippi State University.

Late summer- to early fall-planted marigolds can give gardens the pick-me-up of color they need. Use the complementary color of blue when growing marigolds in the orange to red color scheme, or violet when growing those in the yellow range.
August 18, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Late yesterday evening, I was surveying the landscape and looking at the results of being gone for almost a week. The conclusion is it is time to begin some late-season planting. If you are like me and ready for a colorful pick-me-up, then late summer- to early fall-planted marigolds could certainly be what is needed.

August 18, 2005 - Filed Under: Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A food allergy does not have to keep a student out of the cafeteria, but parents should work with the school in advance to develop a plan of action.

The National Institute of Health defines a food allergy as "an abnormal response to a food triggered by the body's immune system." Allergic reactions can cause serious illness and even death. The institute estimates 6 to 8 percent of children under the age of 3 and 2 percent of adults have true food allergies.

August 12, 2005 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather conditions may prevent Mississippi's rice farmers from posting a third consecutive year of record yields, but their biggest battle may be economics.

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.
August 11, 2005 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

To say that blue passionflower is a vigorous vine is a huge understatement, and the flower production is also very impressive. The blue passionflower is known botanically as Passiflora caerulea and is cold hardy over the entire state.

Brad Adams, a member of the Grenada High School's 4-H Leadership Club, listens to his options for a credit card from Eric Tate, playing the role of a credit card company representative in a Reality Check simulation. Tate, the director of human resources at Heatcraft in Grenada, was a resource volunteer assisting in a real-life simulation designed to enhance financial lessons.
August 11, 2005 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Middle and high school students are discovering that it is never too early to learn about finances with "reality checks" supplied by Mississippi State University's 4-H program.

Marianne Clark, Grenada County 4-H agent, is helping to bring a program called Reality Check to youth, and sometimes adults, needing help with life's financial lessons.

August 11, 2005 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Seeing, hearing and touching have their place in the learning process, and the best teachers know how to incorporate all of them in their lessons.

Some people like to handle something to learn about it, others want to hear information while still others prefer written instructions. Some people visualize abstract concepts well. The way a person likes to learn is often referred to as a learning style or a learning preference.

August 5, 2005 - Filed Under: Corn, Soybeans, Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wheat farmers weighing their options for fall plantings are finding the scales tipping less and less toward double-cropping methods.

In June, Mississippi wheat growers harvested a slightly below-average yield after battling stripe rust and water-logged soils much of the growing season. Fields averaged 48 bushels per acre, five fewer than last year. The state's growers planted 110,000 acres of wheat and harvested 95,000 acres for the fifth consecutive year of declining acreage.

MSU's Kappa Sigma fraternity raised $20,000 for the national Catch-A-Dream Foundation this year through their annual Charity Classic football game against the members of Sigma Chi. Kappa Sigma leadership is pictured here with the plaque they received to commemorate their donation. Pictured from left are: (front row) Newton Wiggins, Darrell Daigre from Mossy Oak, Jim Hunter Walsh, Marty Brunson from Catch-A-Dream, and Phillip Bass; (back row) alumni advisor Kevin Randall, Henry Minor, Hunt Gilliland, Luke Ui
August 4, 2005 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A football game earlier this year raised enough money to give seven children with life-threatening illnesses an outdoor adventure of a lifetime.

The annual Kappa Sigma Charity Classic raised $20,000 from sponsors for one football game. The game pits these Mississippi State University students against members of Sigma Chi fraternity. The winner takes home bragging rights for the year, and the charity, the national Catch-a-Dream Foundation, is able to continue providing hunting or fishing trips for ill youth.

August 4, 2005 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Joe Street has been named the new head of the Delta Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University's facility in Stoneville.

Street replaces Jimmy Smith, who served as head of the center for 11 years before requesting reassignment as research professor. Effective Aug. 15, Street will transfer from the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona to Stoneville.