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News From 2007

November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Irrigation

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When rains don't meet the needs of crops in Mississippi's agriculturally rich Delta, producers rely on irrigation to meet their plants' needs, drawing water from the deep and plentiful alluvial aquifer below their soils.

An aquifer is a ground formation of coarse gravel and small rocks filled with water in the cracks and empty spaces. Aquifers are recharged slowly by underground water supplies fed by rainfall often hundreds of miles away.

This combination with Harmony Lavender stock in the center, surrounded by Fantasy White with Yellow Eye linaria and Gem Sapphire viola around the rim makes a great cool-season arrangement.
November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Colorful, cool-season containers near the front door or entryway serve as welcoming beacons to friends and visitors coming our way this fall and during the holiday season.

I just returned from speaking at the 19th annual Southern Garden Symposium in St. Francisville, La., where historic homes were accented with colorful flower containers. The landscapes all had incredible form and texture from evergreen trees, shrubs and groundcovers.

Mississippi State University student Jordan Jones of Olive Branch gets ready to pack sweet potatoes headed to food pantries across the state. (Photo by Lynn Reinschmiedt)
November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes, Community

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Neither the chill nor the early hour dampened the enthusiasm of 100 Mississippi State University students who gave up their weekend beauty sleep to bag 20,000 pounds of sweet potatoes for the Mississippi Food Network.

November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's Christmas tree producers should see a $1.6 million holiday season, but there is room in the market for other growers to join the party.

Steve Dicke, forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state is expected to produce 49,500 choose-and-cut Christmas trees this year. This number is slightly down from last year, and significantly down from pre-Hurricane Katrina years.

Attila Karsi, research assistant professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, and Nagihan Gulsoy, a visiting professor, examine a catfish fingerling with the disease enteric septicemia, a bacterial disease that costs the catfish industry millions of dollars each year. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers are working to develop a new vaccine to protect catfish from a devastating bacterial disease that costs the industry millions of dollars each year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $371,400 to MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine to study enteric septicemia, or ESC. Researchers believe a modified live vaccine against the disease could dramatically reduce economic losses to catfish farmers.

Horse trainer Michael Freely instructs Mississippi State University students in an equine behavior class. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- No matter how much they thought they knew, the two- and four-legged students in Peter Ryan's new “special topic” class are learning a lot.

The class, Equine Behavior Modification, is giving 15 students the opportunity to learn how to break horses without breaking themselves. The horses -- as untamed as rarely handled cattle -- are learning that people are more trustworthy than they originally suspected.

October 26, 2007 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rains that started the third weekend of October put the state's cotton harvest on hold, but they did not substantially damage the crop remaining in the field at the end of the month.

Jason Behrends
October 25, 2007 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A scientist with a background in home canning, food preservation and processing, and culinary arts is the new food safety specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Jason Behrends began working in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion on June 1. In this position, Behrends is responsible for working with consumers through the food processing industry on food safety issues in both retail and food service establishments.

October 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers across the state should mark their calendars for the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 24th annual Cotton Short Course to be held Dec. 11-12.

Cotton continues to be a major crop for the state of Mississippi, and the short course will help producers stay current with recommendations for planting and managing next year’s crop.

Flowering kale and cabbage are wonderful winter options. Try planting bold drifts of one color adjacent to a drift of another or a drift of pansies.
October 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Flowering kale and cabbage are starting to show up in garden centers everywhere along with the other cool-season flowers. There still seems to be a little perceived mystery about using these plants for their colorful foliage in the landscape.

Your first question might be, “How cold tolerant are they?” The Chicago Botanic Garden has seen them survive minus 10 degrees.

Canine physical therapist Ruby Lynn Carter-Smith keeps an eye on Mississippi State University's mascot Bully XIX as he undergoes 15 minutes of whirlpool therapy at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
October 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- His auspicious debut at a 1935 football game between Mississippi State and Alabama brought the Bulldogs good luck and a 20-7 victory.

More than 72 years later, the university's canine mascot has become an icon. Because people instantly see Bully as the face of MSU, he must look good, feel great and behave properly to create a favorable impression. He succeeds as a goodwill ambassador because of the College of Veterinary Medicine's comprehensive approach to overseeing his health care and daily routine.

Clayton Salmons picks out a pumpkin for his jack-o-lantern at Fresh-Way Produce in Ridgeland. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
October 19, 2007 - Filed Under: Pumpkins

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's hot, dry summer reduced pumpkin yields to a ghost of what most growers hoped to see.

David Nagel, horticulture specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said about half of the state's growers produced an average crop and the other half had no crop at all.

The Peek-A-Boo spilanthes flower has no petals, but it is a golden olive-sized ball with a round eye in the center. The edible foliage is dark green with a hint of bronze. It can be grown in full sun to filtered light. It will bloom all summer and reach 12 to 18 inches tall, spreading outward more than a foot
October 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Spilanthes caused quite a stir this year at Mississippi State University's Fall Flower and Garden Fest held at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

I say its botanical name first because the marketing and common names are really just a hoot. If you are looking for a plant to get a child interested in gardening, this one will do the trick.

October 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Forestry

By Andrea Cooper
College of Forest Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wood products contribute $4.3 million to the Mississippi economy, but weather, insects and other destructive elements destroy one-tenth of the forest products produced each year.

Wood preservatives are used to protect against losses, but there are environmental issues and toxicity problems associated with these products.

October 12, 2007 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's poultry industry is overcoming challenge after challenge even as U.S. consumers continue to flock to the stores for more.

Kenneth Hood, agricultural economics professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, assisted with a recently released report on the economic impact of the state's poultry industry. Naming Hurricane Katrina as one of the biggest challenges in recent years, Hood described poultry as a “resilient industry” to bounce back from some economic obstacles.

Tom Knecht
October 11, 2007 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tom Knecht, head of the Mississippi State University Office of Agricultural Communications, recently received the highest award given by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences.

October 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A one-day workshop on Nov. 1 for farmers, landowners and resource managers will provide attendees with the resources to start and manage a natural resource enterprise.

Fee fishing, fee hunting, agritourism, trail riding and wildlife watching are examples of outdoor recreational businesses based on the natural resources commonly found on Mississippi private lands.

This workshop will be held near Benndale in George County. Benndale is located at the intersection of Highway 26 and Highway 57, just west of Lucedale.

P.C. “Mac” McLaurin Jr.
October 11, 2007 - Filed Under: City and County Government

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- P.C. “Mac” McLaurin Jr. of Starkville will serve on a national association’s committee to address financial issues that face counties.

McLaurin is a professor of local government and leader of the Center for Governmental Training and Technology in the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He has been appointed a member of the Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties.

October 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Top quality beef animals will move through the auction ring Nov. 15 as Mississippi State University plans to market 84 lots of bulls and heifers from the research cattle herds to the highest bidders.

Women in Agriculture logo
October 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmwomen living in the Delta can learn how to improve their business management skills during a Mississippi Women in Agriculture – Annie’s Project seminar.

The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. session will be held Nov. 3 at the Charles W. Capps Entrepreneur Center, located at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.