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News From 2007

August 17, 2007 - Filed Under: Crops, Livestock, Poultry, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- From the catfish in the smallest pond to the tree with the deepest root system, Mississippi's agricultural commodities are feeling the heat.

Catfish, poultry, livestock, field crops and timber are struggling through the hottest days of summer, much like the farmers who grow them. The damage from heat stress can be seen in a matter of minutes in some of the most vulnerable animals, catfish and poultry; in days or weeks with field crops or livestock; or in months or years in the case of timber.

Women for Agriculture logo
August 16, 2007 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Women who work in farming businesses are often the sole decision-makers, and a new three-day program has been created to help them make the best choices.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, and Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce are sponsoring three business management seminars for farmwomen called Mississippi Women in Agriculture – Annie’s Project.

Mississippi State University Extension plant pathologist for the Delta, Tom Allen, inspects soybeans infested with Asian soybean rust in a sentinel plot in Stoneville. (Photo by Robert H. Wells)
August 16, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans

STONEVILE -- Although Mississippi State University Extension personnel found Asian soybean rust in the state’s largest soybean-producing area, the Delta, they anticipate less than 20 percent of the crop is at risk from the potentially devastating disease.

“We’re not too concerned at this point about having found soybean rust in the Mississippi Delta,” said Billy Moore, Extension plant pathologist emeritus.

August 16, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University Extension personnel found Asian soybean rust on soybeans in Mississippi for the first time in 2007 on Aug. 10.

Retired MSU Extension agent Lee Taylor located the disease on soybeans in a sentinel plot in Pearl River County in south Mississippi. Two days later, Tom Allen, MSU Extension plant pathologist for the Delta, found the disease on soybeans in a sentinel plot at Stoneville in Washington County in north Mississippi.

The spots on this kudzu leaf in Wilkinson County are evidence of the disease. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
August 16, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most Mississippi farmers have never seen Asian soybean rust in their fields and hope to never encounter the yield-robbing disease in their crop.

Dancing Flame salvia will live up to its name with intensely scarlet flowers that will mesmerize like a fire dancing at night. The variegated leaves are a sight to behold with brilliant lemon-lime and dark-green colors.
August 16, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Dancing Flame salvia lives up to its name in a couple of ways. This spectacular variegated salvia with scarlet flowers mesmerizes like a fire dancing at night.

Lauren Beatty is equally at home on the football as a Mississippi State University cheerleader and in the science laboratory. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
August 16, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When Lauren Beatty decided to go to a football game rather than visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she worried she made the wrong choice.

Then Mississippi State University beat the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa 24-16. Beatty was on the sidelines as a Bulldog cheerleader in that November 2006 game.

“The moment was priceless,” she said. “The Alabama fans left the stadium early because they knew they had lost.”

While sports won out over academics that time, that is not the norm for Beatty.

August 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Milk prices are strong, but hot temperatures and high production costs are making it harder for dairy farmers to turn a profit.

Class I (fluid) milk prices are at all-time record levels, near $25 per hundredweight, which exceeds the previous record set in June 2004 by about 60 cents.

As extremely hot temperatures dominate the state's weather, milk production will decrease from the stressed cattle, and dairy producers will have less milk available to take advantage of those record prices.

August 9, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

CLEVELAND -- Mississippi farmers want to show off their rice crop at its best, served in hundreds of dishes for sampling at the 17th annual rice luncheon in Cleveland.

The meal will be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sept. 21 at Delta State University’s Walter Sillers Coliseum.

Ben Spinks, Bolivar County director for Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the event attracts more than 1,000 people each September, which is National Rice Month.

Chocolate Mint is a new coleus that is making its debut this year. Its leaves are a dark mahogany with dark lime-green edges.  It offers incredible beauty and versatility when it comes to picking plant partners.
August 9, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I have fallen head over heels in love with Chocolate Mint, a new coleus making its debut this year.

The catalog refers to the leaves as having a chocolate-colored line with mint-green margins, but to me the leaves are a dark mahogany, and the margins are a dark lime-green color.

Chocolate Mint is made for the shade or filtered-light area of the garden. I first thought the plant could not take our intense heat and humidity, but it is a real trooper once acclimated.

4-H Technology Conference participants, from left, Tara Roberts and Shelly Guy, both of George County, and Devin Doole of Marshall County focus their cameras on a praying mantis during a photo safari. They were taking part in the digital photography track during the three-day camp held at Mississippi State University. (Photo by Jim Lytle/Mississippi State University Ag Communications)
August 9, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Like most seventh-graders, Calina Young's choice of future careers changes from day to day. Yesterday it was a nurse, but today it's a Web designer.

Young was one of 45 Mississippi 4-H members ages 14-18 taking part in a technology camp at Mississippi State University this summer. The senior 4-H members, along with eight volunteer leaders, focused on various aspects of technology, including Web design, digital photography, Flash animation and Geographic Information Systems, or GIS.

August 9, 2007 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Master Gardener

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricanes Katrina and Rita packed a one-two punch that washed away the Gulf Coast landscape, but a flood of volunteerism generated by the Mississippi Master Gardener Association aims to restore what the storms destroyed.

The association has set Oct. 24, 25 and 26 as special workdays for Master Gardeners throughout Mississippi and other states to “swarm” the Coast for Operation Rejuvenation, an ongoing project to refurbish public landscapes in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.

August 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Three weeks of rain in July came just in time to salvage acres of the state's soybeans on the verge of drought, and now the overall crop is in good shape.

Dan Poston, soybean agronomist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said the rains were extremely helpful except in low-lying areas.

“The dryland crop really got turned around,” Poston said. “For the earliest planted beans, it was too late, but the crop as a whole was late, so it helped.”

August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One north Mississippi family turned tragedy into an opportunity to bring happiness to the lives of terminally ill children nationwide when they deferred money intended for them to the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, based at Mississippi State University.

Anthony Lucas was a French Camp police chief who was slain in the line of duty in 2005. Friends and fellow law enforcement officers organized the Anthony Lucas Memorial Golf Tournament to raise money in his memory. The proceeds of the first year paid for a monument to commemorate his life.

Rocky Lemus
August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Forages, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An Extension forage specialist with experience across the United States is one of the newest experts to join the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Rocky Lemus will serve as the primary contact for Extension education information on forages and grazing lands technology, said Michael Collins, head of MSU’s Plant and Soil Sciences Department.

August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Crops

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILE -- High corn acreage and herbicide resistance are affecting crops in the Mississippi Delta, according to research presented at the Agronomic Crops Field Day held recently at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center.

Dwarf papyrus and the cool blue flowers of the ageratum make this water garden a place you would like to sit, relax and enjoy.
August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It was a hoot watching gardeners fight over the papyrus plants at this year's garden and patio shows. Botanically speaking, the papyrus is Cyperus papyrus.

If you remember your elementary history, this plant is native to Egypt and was used for making papyrus sheets for writing. Our word “paper” comes from “papyrus.” It is a close relative of the umbrella palm Cyperus alternifolius, which is from Madagascar.

August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Refinancing a home mortgage can be a useful tool to free some income or speed up a payment plan, but it also can be an easy way to get into deeper financial trouble.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said there are many dangers to avoid when purchasing or refinancing a home.

August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- They still have three years of classes ahead of them, but members of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's class of 2010 have already made a positive impact.

The class has pledged $10,000 to the Pegasus Partners Endowment Fund.

“We were speechless at first,” said Dr. Robert Cooper, associate dean at the college. “No entering class had ever proposed an ambitious undertaking such as this one.”

August 2, 2007 - Filed Under: Pets, Insects-Pet Pests

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University veterinarians are urging pet owners to practice effective tick control on cats after the emergence of a fatal feline disease in the state.

Examinations of several domestic cats suffering unexplained deaths in the state and a recent cat patient that died at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine's Animal Health Center revealed cytauxzoonosis, a parasitic blood infection that is a “death sentence.”