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News From 2006

Powis Castle artemisia partners well with Purple Heart. Powis Castle has feathery gray foliage and is very showy against the deep, dark purple-leafed Setcreasea.
May 18, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

One of the most beautiful plants for the spring and summer garden is the artemisia, and I am convinced it is not being used enough, especially the hybrid known as Powis Castle.

We filmed an upcoming Southern Gardening TV segment at the garden of Rhonda and Tracy Simpson in Sumner. Rhonda uses artemisias to perfection throughout her garden.

May 18, 2006 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many graduating seniors believe their hardest lessons are behind them, but life's future tests may prove to be their toughest exams yet.

Graduation milestones often give students the impression that their new diplomas are symbols of attained wisdom and their arrival into adulthood.

May 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's blueberries have overcome weather obstacles and now are approaching harvest time with a good fruit load.

John Braswell, horticulture specialist with Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Poplarville, said Hurricane Katrina removed about 10 percent of the state's plants from production, and a late frost caused additional 2006 yield reductions. However, the remaining bushes are sporting a good fruit load as they approach harvest time, which typically runs the last week of May through the second week of July.

Kent Hoblet
May 11, 2006 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dr. Kent Hoblet, a native of Ohio, has been named dean of Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Currently a faculty member and administrator at Ohio State University, Hoblet will assume his new duties at the Starkville campus June 16.

May 11, 2006 - Filed Under: Goats and Sheep

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An upcoming goat sale in Raymond will help youth become involved in the rapidly expanding 4-H and FFA junior livestock program.

The Mississippi Club Goat Association will be holding a sale on June 10 at Hinds Community College. About 60 meat goats born this spring will go on the auction block. All will be age-appropriate for the 2007 Dixie National Junior Livestock Show. Vaccinated and dewormed, they have been weaned and are on feed.

Oktibbeha County Hospital physical therapist Glenda Tranum holds Preston Cook, age 3, up to pet his therapy horse before a recent hippotherapy session at the Mississippi Horse Park. Denise Latil helped handle the horse throughout the session. The Mississippi State Extension Service 4-H TEAM (Therapeutic Equine Activity Member) Program is one of two accredited therapeutic riding programs in the state.
May 11, 2006 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A horse’s retirement last fall means Mississippi State University’s Extension Service needs one additional safe, gentle horse for hippotherapy and therapeutic riding sessions.

The MSU Extension Service’s 4-H TEAM (Therapeutic Equine Activity Member) Program is one of two accredited therapeutic programs in Mississippi. The selection criteria for their horses require they be in reasonably good health, have a current Coggins test, and be people friendly and extremely calm.

The Picante salmon salvia is part of a series that sends up multiple branches at a record pace. Salvias bloom from spring through frost, making this annual an exceptional buy. Its spiky texture is most welcome in a garden world dominated by round flowers.
May 11, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Scarlet sage is an old-fashioned plant has come out this year with new colors and varieties that will ensure its popularity for years to come.

Scarlet sage is an annual salvia known botanically as Salvia splendens. One new group that has caught my attention is the Picante series. This one seems to send up multiple branches at a record pace. It also comes in some weird colors that make the term “scarlet” seem obsolete.

May 11, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Months after Hurricane Katrina tore through Mississippi and Louisiana, the storm is still doing damage to landscapes.

Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said some effects of landscape trees damaged or destroyed by Katrina's winds are only beginning to be felt. Many azaleas and St. Augustine lawns that once thrived in the shade are now in bright sunlight.

May 5, 2006 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina has flooded the timber market with trees as landowners try to salvage some of their investments. The storm of the century also provided insights into which species might hold up best in future hurricanes.

Bob Daniels, forestry professor with Mississippi State University Extension Service, said landowners with smaller tracts of timber have not been able to salvage as many trees as the owners of larger tracts.

May 4, 2006 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Everyone involved in Mississippi’s dairy industry is invited to the Statewide Dairy Field Day May 25 in Tylertown.

“Mississippi has lost a lot of dairy producers in recent years due to extreme fluctuation in the price they are paid for their milk coupled with increasing production costs,” said Lamar Adams, event organizer and Walthall County director with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

May 4, 2006 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi landowners interested in earning additional revenue from their land can take part in a one-day workshop May 23 focusing on natural resource enterprises.

May 4, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Commercial plant growers, retail garden centers, landscapers and people planning to enter one of those professions can preview the plants of tomorrow during an upcoming conference in Raymond.

The Mid-South Greenhouse Growers, Retail Garden Center/Landscape Conference will be held June 5-7 at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, just south of Jackson on Highway 18.

May 4, 2006 - Filed Under: Cotton

By Robert Wells

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University is using genetically modified plants in its cotton breeding program to create better cotton varieties for producers.

“We hope something great will come out of this to help the farmers,” said Peggy Thaxton, a cotton breeder at MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center.

Fusion Glow impatiens have blossoms that are yellow with an orange and yellow bi-colored center. They look beautiful here with Aztec Violet verbena and Galleria Deep Rose geranium.
May 4, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Most of us first encountered the word fusion in physics or chemistry classes, but now we see it everywhere. Fusion is a Ford car, razor blades and also one of the hottest new impatiens varieties.

Normie Buehring, senior research agronomist at the Northeast Mississippi Branch Experiment Station, checks corn in a research plot at the Verona station. Buehring says the 2006 crop is growing fast and running ahead of normal.
April 28, 2006 - Filed Under: Corn

By Linda Breazeale

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Warm spring temperatures have pushed corn quickly through its most vulnerable stages and given fields the potential for a good year.

The Goldilocks variety of Creeping Jenny is an excellent accent in mixed containers. With leaves that resemble small discs, Goldilocks will it serve as a colorful filler plant, then climb over and plummet down the container. The leaves have a lime green color that will turn an iridescent yellow given more sun.
April 27, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If blondes really have more fun, then Goldilocks should be the key to a fabulous time in this summer's gardens.

Goldilocks is known botanically as Lysimachia nummulari, which also has the common names of Creeping Jenny and Moneywort. This Lysimachia is native to Europe and is perennial from zones 3 through 11. It's a pretty tough plant that can survive those extremes in temperatures.

Kelcei Williams, a first grader at Wilkins Elementary School in Jackson, looks at a mouth full of teeth at one of the nine interactive learning stations in the Body Walk exhibit.
April 27, 2006 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A colorful, interactive human body exhibit is part of an effort to change nutrition and health decisions Mississippi's children are making.

Body Walk is a fun-filled exhibit of the human body with nine interactive learning stations. Each station teaches children to make healthy choices for their mind and body. The free exhibit has been seen by thousands of school children across the state in its first semester of use.

April 27, 2006 - Filed Under: Pets, Insects-Pet Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dogs, cats and sometimes people are targets of fleas and ticks as warm weather brings out these annoying parasites.

Dr. Stanley Robertson, Extension veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said fleas and ticks are a problem from spring to early fall in Mississippi.

“These are external parasites that use animals and humans for a blood meal,” Robertson said. “Ticks and fleas can transmit diseases and animals, especially dogs, can become allergic to a protein in the flea's saliva.”

April 27, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many people work hard to keep weeds out of their yards, but other troubling pests, such as moles and voles, need aggressive treatment as well.

Moles are small, furry creatures with beak-like noses, tiny weak eyes, no visible ears, paddle-like front feet with large claws and stubby, hairless tails. Moles are not likely to be seen, but they leave behind unmistakable evidence.