You are here

News From 2008

September 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The upcoming Ornamental Horticulture Field Day in Poplarville will allow visitors to tour trial gardens and hear updates from Mississippi State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers.

This Oct. 2 event marks the 35th year the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station has hosted the field day. The day’s program begins at 9:30 a.m. and continues until 2:30 p.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The $10 fee, $6.50 for students, covers the cost of lunch and refreshments.

September 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When the owners of an organic fertilizer company in Lawrence County were trying to determine best uses for their product and develop new markets, they turned for help to a team of specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amanda Walker is the Extension director in Lawrence County. She spearheaded the efforts on behalf of Organic Growing Systems, a relatively new and growing company that produces organic fertilizer from poultry litter.

The Philippine violet is planted in front of maiden grasses' golden plumes that tower over the violet and dance in the wind. Flanking this are several Bengal tiger cannas. The striped green and gold foliage contrasts with the violet flowers. (Photos by Norman Winter/MSU Extension Service)
September 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I want to introduce you to a flower from India and Burma that is related to the shrimp plant and the ruellia, or Mexican petunia, and is called the Philippine violet. I can't imagine being without this beautiful plant.

Kipp Brown, left, Extension area livestock agent based in Carroll County, assists Al Fulton, safety officer with the Mississippi Board of Animal Health, as they adjust the security hood on Charlie Stokes, area agronomics crops agent based in Monroe County. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
September 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Disaster response training will make members of Mississippi State University's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine better prepared to respond to major emergency events than they were three years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit.

September 11, 2008 - Filed Under: Leadership

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two approaches to leadership development are helping communities address their unique and evolving needs.

Alan Barefield, economic and community development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said needs differ from place to place and from year to year. Likewise, an area's means of addressing needs vary.

September 5, 2008 - Filed Under: Rice

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rice production in Mississippi this year boils down to a tale of two different crops in the field.

Farmers typically start planting rice about April 1 of each year and conclude around May 15. This year, only 75 percent of the crop was in the ground when untimely rains came during the latter part of the planting window. The wet weather pushed rice planting well into June, which meant 25 percent of the crop suffered a late start.

Kim Morgan
September 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- New Mississippi State University Extension Service assistant professor Kim Morgan said she hopes to use her experience in consumer behavior, market research and economic analysis to find solutions relevant to agribusiness managers.

Morgan assumed her duties July 1 in the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics. She said she felt the position with the department was an excellent career choice.

September 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Fall Flower and Garden Fest in Crystal Springs will mark its 30th anniversary in October, making it older than hundreds of visitors who will step on the property at the Truck Crops Experiment Station for the celebration.

Mississippi State University sponsors the annual event for garden and horticulture enthusiasts. The Oct. 17 and 18 event will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Considered the largest home gardening show in the Southeast, past events have averaged about 6,000 participants over the two-day period.

The toasty, copper-bronze color of the Bronzita sedge sets off the brilliant Picante Scarlet salvia. (Photos by Norman Winter/MSU Extension Service)
September 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Words like bronze, copper, orange and toffee describe a great group of plants that will really strut their stuff in the next few weeks. They look pretty doggone good the entire gardening season, but the grass-like plants we call sedges hold great promise for cool-season landscapes.

Scientists at Mississippi State University studying factors that affect antler size have found that good soil and habitat quality can help deer develop significantly larger antlers. (Photo by Paul T. Brown/Mississippi State University)
September 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers are investigating the connection between soil fertility and antler size as deer hunters prepare for their annual quest for the elusive trophy buck.

As fall approaches, masses of hunters begin to dust off bows, construct tree stands and sight in rifles. Deer season opens Oct. 15 for most of the state, and once again more than 250,000 hunters will be going into Mississippi's forests in search of prized bucks. Finding the trophy can be a challenge because antlers come in all shapes and sizes.

August 29, 2008 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tropical Storm Fay was in the first wave of challenges facing Mississippi farmers during the 2008 harvest season as growers wait to see what future storms may bring.

Mississippi State University agronomists are reporting some benefits but mostly problems from recent wet, humid conditions. They all agree the timing of the storm called Gustav could hurt much more.

Professor of surgery Dr. Philip Bushby gets to know a patient of the school's mobile clinic. (Photos by Tom Thompson)
August 29, 2008 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina are helping the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University prepare to respond if Gustav strikes the state's Gulf Coast as a hurricane-strength storm.

“Our first mission will be to support the state veterinarian under the provisions of the state's emergency plan,” said Dr. Stanley Robertson, CVM director of outreach and external affairs. “Our personnel will be part of the teams assessing the needs of both livestock and domestic animals in any storm-damaged areas and then helping meet those needs.”

August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Divorce, unplanned pregnancies, predators, substance abuse and behavior issues are some of the topics that will be discussed at an upcoming North Mississippi conference addressing the needs of families and communities.

The Families and Communities Together, or FACT, conference will take place Sept. 30 at The Summit in Tupelo. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and sessions take place from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Early registration is $40 by Sept. 25 and $60 after that date. The fee covers lunch and program materials.

August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Turfgrass care, maintenance and research are topics of an upcoming field day and expo hosted by Mississippi State University.

The Bulldog Turf Field Day and Turf Equipment Expo will be held Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MSU’s North Farm near the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and the MSU Extension Service are sponsoring the event.

The $20 cost to attend covers lunch and the day’s educational presentations and demonstrations.

Amy Schmidt
August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Agricultural Engineering, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University has a new expert in environmental topics. Amy Schmidt was hired in June as an Extension Service instructor in agricultural engineering.

Schmidt also is the new Extension water-quality specialist responsible for program areas such as water quality, irrigation, waste management and related environmental topics. She previously was a research associate in MSU’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

The Electric Pink cordyline is the thriller plant in this mixed container combined with the cascading, lime-green foliage of the Sweet Caroline Sweetheart ornamental sweet potato. (Photo by Norman Winter)
August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Daggers have become extremely popular in the garden in recent years. I'm not talking about knives, but the kind of leaves found on plants like the new Electric Pink, Purple Sensation and Cardinal.

You may be wondering what kind of plants these are, and after my revelation, you still may be a little confused. These plants are all varieties of cordyline. You may be familiar with Hawaiian Ti plant, which is a cordyline.

Amy Schmidt, right, Extension water quality specialist, shows 4-H youth agents Navlean Pittman of Lawrence County and Patrick Morgan of Copiah County a groundwater model depicting a water table. The three attended in-service training for state 4-H agents held recently in Tupelo. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Toyota is putting down roots in Mississippi with its new auto manufacturing plant near Tupelo, and the company also intends to influence the environment by funding a 4-H water-quality project.

In June, Toyota gave the $80,000 Mississippi Operation 4-H2O grant to the state's 4-H program. 4-H programs in California, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia received similar grants.

August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As another hurricane approaches the Mississippi and Louisiana shores, many coastal horse owners will be seeking refuge at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville.

“We expect to see a lot of repeat customers from past hurricane evacuations,” said Bricklee Miller, manager of the Mississippi Horse Park and Agricenter. The facility is located on Mississippi State University's South Farm.

Mississippi State University equestrian team member Megan Dorris, left, steadies her mount while coach Molly Nicodemus pins on her number before an equitation demonstration. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
August 28, 2008 - Filed Under: Equine

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The challenge of drawing an unfamiliar mount and competing with someone else's saddle and bridle would throw many of the best riders in the world, but Mississippi State University's equestrian team does not find that aspect of intercollegiate club sports hard to handle.

To prepare for the realities of intercollegiate competition, team members train with different horses each time they ride. Molly Nicodemus, the team coach, said she believes this approach is one of the best ways to learn to read horses.

August 22, 2008 - Filed Under: Swine

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fuel, feed and packers have Mississippi pork producers over a barrel.

According to statistics from the National Pork Board, Mississippi's hog production numbers over the last seven years (2000-2006) averaged about 470,000 head, which includes market hogs, feeder pigs and sows. But from 2005 through 2007, the average was about 434,000 head. Production at the end of 2007 totaled 412,000 hogs valued at $63 million.