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News From 2006

September 28, 2006 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi law leaves a lot of decisions up to parents on how to safely transport their children, but there are simple guidelines to ensure they do it best.

September 28, 2006 - Filed Under: Equine

By Shoshana Brackett

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ashley Hill does not fit the profile of a traditional scientific researcher. She's a second year veterinary student who spent her summer researching a disabling skin disorder in horses.

Hill was one of 16 students participating in a student summer research program at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Jerald Ainsworth, associate dean of research and graduate studies at the CVM, said the 12-week summer program provides students with valuable insight into the work of scientists.

September 22, 2006 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fish biologists are encouraging farmers to monitor catfish for parasites that can seriously hurt pond production.

 “Recently, there has been a resurgence in concerns over trematodes in ponds,” said David Wise, research leader for the applied fish health program at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “While the number of farms with severe infestations has decreased, mild to moderate cases remain widespread in many regions that produce catfish.”

September 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The biggest gardening and horticulture event in the Southeast will be held Oct. 20 and 21 at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

The 28th annual Fall Flower and Garden Fest will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. both days. Admission is free. Features will include three acres of vegetable, flower and herb gardens, and wagon and walking tours.

September 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Biofuels, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Increased use of biodiesel may not end the national dependence on foreign oil, but the short-term benefits to Mississippi's farm economy should give soybean growers reasons for hope.

Gregg Ibendahl, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said increased use of biodiesel should bolster soybean prices and provide farmers with a beneficial alternative to petroleum.

September 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

By Shoshana Brackett

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many college students sit in classrooms and dream of being on the golf course. One Mississippi State University student's dream became a reality in Montana last summer.

Senior Jordan Carlisle traveled nearly 30 hours and 2,000 miles from Starkville this summer to learn hands-on about turf in a different geographical region.

Bouquet Rose Magic dianthus blooms open white and mature to light pink, then a deep rose color. One flower stalk may contain all of these colors at once. The stalks reach 18 to 24 inches in height and produce an abundance of bouquets, ready for cutting.
September 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It took some time, but two of my favorite cool-season plants just got siblings: Frosty Rain pansy and Bouquet Rose Magic dianthus.

For years, everyone has adored Purple Rain pansy, the only mounding, cascading selection. Popular demand usually makes it hard for procrastinators to find them, yet for years this has been a series of one.

September 15, 2006 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Heavy, mid-September rains may have been too late for row crops, but Mississippi's pastures, ponds and landscapes benefited from anything they got.

Widespread showers fell predominantly across north-central portions of the state on Sept. 12. The variable showers lasted from the predawn hours until after lunch in many areas.

September 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Waterfowl

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians can learn how to manage waterfowl habitat during an upcoming field day in Tallahatchie County.

“Knowledge of how to plant, manage and manipulate wetland habitats across Mississippi for the benefit of resident and migratory waterfowl can put hunters and managers ahead of the game,” said Adam Tullos, natural resource enterprises associate with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.

September 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Serious gardeners and those who just enjoy a few plants their home landscapes will find something of interest at the 2006 North Mississippi Garden Expo in Verona.

The Sept. 30 expo at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center is free. Tours and other activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.

September 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- When Leflore County rice farmer Watson Pillow saved money avoiding additional fungicide expenses and still received excellent results, he knew that he was in the RITE program.

RITE, or Rice Improvement through Technology and Education, is a program funded by rice growers' check-off dollars and initiated by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board.

September 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High petroleum prices have made biodiesel an attractive option, and research shows that this alternative fuel has benefits beyond reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Biodiesel can be made from vegetable oils or from animal fats and is blended with petroleum diesel to fuel engines. In Mississippi, soybeans and cottonseed are all being processed into biodiesel, and demand for this fuel is growing.

The goldenrain tree fits nicely in urban landscapes. They are small, reaching 20 to 40 feet in height, and they erupt into long 12- to 15-inch sprays of yellow blossoms. They are drought tolerant once established in the landscape with little-to-no insect or disease threats.
September 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Every day as I drive back and forth to the office, I get jealous of a neighbor who has an incredibly beautiful goldenrain tree blooming.

This is such an exotic-looking tree that it also has names like Bougainvillea goldenrain tree and Chinese flame tree. The latter is a very descriptive name because these trees erupt into long 12- to 15-inch sprays of yellow blossoms.

September 8, 2006 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's corn crop can be divided into the “haves” and “have nots”; fields with access to irrigation have outstanding yields, and fields that relied on timely rains have not produced very well.

Mississippi State University's Extension Service grain crops specialist Erick Larson has seen a lot of corn in his career, but 2006 has been “the roughest year” he has witnessed in the state.

September 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn mazes, hunting leases and bird watching enterprises are some of the topics to be covered in an Oct. 10 workshop focusing on natural resource enterprises.

Mississippi landowners interested in earning additional revenue from their land can take part in this workshop held at Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond.  Natural resource enterprises include a variety of activities including fee hunting and fishing, trail riding, agritourism, heritage tourism, wildlife watching, and the operation of bed and breakfasts.

September 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians will be encouraged to support the state’s sweet potato industry before the holidays during an upcoming event at the Farmers’ Market in Jackson.

Sweet Potato Day will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sept. 30. The Farmers’ Market is located on High Street across from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

September 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most Americans depend on gasoline-powered vehicles for their personal travel, but when it comes to mass transit and freight, diesel power moves the nation.

Anyone who has sat in traffic behind a diesel-fueled bus or big truck knows the fumes can be unpleasant. Burning petroleum diesel also produces harmful emissions, according to Mississippi State University biological engineer San Fernando.

September 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rising fuel prices have more than doubled the cost of keeping vehicles on the road in the last few years, and efforts to curb costs have turned many consumers and fleet operators to an alternative that is also environmentally friendly.

Biodiesel made from soybeans is selling and performing well across the state, making biodiesel a high-demand fuel for some drivers. While its price at the pump once surpassed petroleum-based diesel, its use can now save money for drivers.

The tall candlestick plant on the left with the bright yellow blossoms combines with cannas, bananas and salvias for a fall Caribbean style garden.
September 7, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you have noticed beautiful yellow candelabra-type blossoms around your neighborhood, a candlestick plant probably is blooming close to your house.

It is considered a shrub in the tropics, yet growing wild there they are dwarf compared to how they look in our landscapes. Their low height in the tropics is probably due to shallow topsoil in their native islands.

September 1, 2006 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rice may set a state record average yield this year and be the bright spot across Mississippi's drought-stricken farmland if early harvest rates continue.

Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said harvest started at the end of August and early yields are promising.