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News From 2013

About 50 percent of salamander species worldwide are threatened. Researchers at Mississippi State University are working with these and other threatened salamanders to help them breed in captivity. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A tough bunch of salamanders found a home in a brand-new lab at Mississippi State University, where they are helping researchers learn how to keep populations of these amphibians from declining worldwide.

The 62 tiger salamanders took a long road before reaching MSU. They came from Nevada by way of Iowa and the Omaha Zoo before arriving at a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station lab at MSU.

Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, evaluates the maturity of soybean plants on Aug. 2, 2013, in a research plot located at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center in Starkville, Miss. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The spring’s planting challenges and last year’s Midwest drought boosted soybean prices for a while, but the winds of change are starting to blow.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the soybean market had been strong until mid-July. The market typically drops before harvest, but he said prices dropped a bit faster this year.

An adult kudzu bug, left, and an immature kudzu bug rest on a kudzu leaf. These insects entered the state in 2012 and now are a pest in soybeans. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
August 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The kudzu bug is a nonnative insect that is becoming a management headache in soybeans and a pest in houses after just one year in the state.

The insect was first found in Georgia in 2009 and quickly spread to Mississippi and six other Southeastern states. By the end of July, it had been found in 17 Mississippi counties in kudzu, and seven of these counties had the bugs in soybeans.

Gardeners can replant some summer vegetables, such as peppers, when their existing plants stop producing. Tomatoes, squash and cucumbers can also  produce before cold weather arrives. (File Photo/MSU Ag Communications)
August 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Cole Crops, Vegetable Gardens

JACKSON – The vegetable garden’s homegrown goodness can last well into the fall and early winter with proper care.

Summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and peppers can all be replanted this time of year for a second harvest, said Rebecca Bates, Mississippi State University’s Extension Service coordinator in Lincoln County.

July 31, 2013 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agri-tourism, Natural Resources, Agricultural Economics

Belzoni -- Landowners who want to branch out and earn extra income can attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop Aug. 15.

Hosted by Mississippi State University, the workshop offers attendees the opportunity to learn different ways to make more money from their land. Topics include recreational businesses, managing wildlife such as waterfowl and wild hogs, marketing, cost-share programs and reducing liability.

Wayne Ebelhar, a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, compares on July 16, 2013, an energy beet planted at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center last September with one planted in March to see the size differences. Researchers are establishing the growth and profit potential for this bioenergy source most commonly grown across the Northern Plains. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
July 30, 2013 - Filed Under: Biofuels

STONEVILLE – Energy beets could be the answer to Mississippi farmers’ quest for off-season income and provide an alternative energy source for the nation’s expanding biofuels markets.

Mississippi State University researchers and Extension agents are examining the growth and profit potential for varieties of energy beets, a nonedible relative of sugarbeets used only in biofuel production.

Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Jim McAdory and Choctaw Fresh Produce general manager Dick Hoy check plants at the high tunnels near Conehatta Elementary. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A partnership between two Mississippi State University alumni and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is bearing fruit under three hoop houses next to Conehatta Elementary School.

For 10 years, Dick Hoy, Class of 1976, and Jim McAdory, Class of 1998 and an MSU Extension agent for the tribe, have been exchanging tips on agriculture and greenhouse operations. This year, they broke ground on the first of at least three school-based farms designed to teach students about gardening and healthier eating.

Removing spent flowers has big benefits for plants. For plants having single flowers, such as this Echinacea, simply deadhead spent flower stalks with a pair of scissors. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gardens look beautiful when the flowers are in full bloom and there’s a profusion of color, but alert gardeners know this is the time to get the scissors ready.

It’s time to deadhead once the new has worn off and the flowers are past their prime and starting to dry up. This important garden maintenance activity simply refers to removing the spent flowers.

July 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An experienced leader in the child development field has been named the new director of the Child Development and Family Studies Center at Mississippi State University.

Melissa Tenhet accepted the permanent position in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences after serving as the center’s interim director for three months. She will also teach part-time as an instructor of human development and family studies in the School of Human Sciences.

July 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting

School-age children are filling up backpacks with pencils and crayons as they prepare for the first day of school, which will be followed closely by homework assignments to complete on home computers. Increased computer usage brings the need for parental supervision and vigilance.

Truck crop production is increasing steadily in Mississippi as consumers demand high-quality, local produce. Thomas Horgan examines tomatoes growing in test plots at Mississippi State University's North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on July 16. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Bonnie Coblentz)
July 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Horticulture, Farmers Markets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Greater consumer demand for locally grown produce has made truck crops a bigger part of the state’s overall agricultural production and increased related research at Mississippi State University.

Truck crops get their name from the fact that they are often sold from the back of pickup trucks. They are produce crops, including blueberries, strawberries, sweet corn, beans, tomatoes, watermelon, greens and squash.

Alexis Parisi of Oxford, left, and Kate Thompson of Picayune are taking part in National Science Foundation research programs for elite undergraduate students. Working in a laboratory in the Mississippi State University Department of Animal and Dairy Science, both are studying reproduction issues. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
July 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Their classmates may be taking the summer off, but two undergraduate students at Mississippi State University are spending long hours in a laboratory conducting studies that would challenge seasoned researchers.

Their supervisor, Erdogan Memili, is not surprised. He nominated Alexis Parisi and Kate Thompson for National Science Foundation research programs for elite undergraduates.

Mississippi State University researcher Natalie Calatayud checks on female Boreal toads hibernating in a laboratory refrigerator. Researchers found the toads will lay eggs in captivity after spending time in simulated conditions that mimic their native environment. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University researchers successfully promoted egg laying in threatened Boreal toads when they moved the amphibians out of the refrigerator and into the wine chiller.

Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers at MSU are working with a group of 52 threatened Boreal toads native to the Colorado Rockies. The toads are housed in a special lab in the MSU Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.

July 23, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H

CANTON – The filmmaking process recently came to life for 13 4-H’ers who attended the Canton Young Filmmakers Workshop.

With instruction from experienced film students and professionals, teens from George, Pontotoc, Greene and Union counties spent six days conceiving, writing, filming and editing a 3- to 5-minute video. A 4-H Tech Wizard grant funded their participation in the camp. The grant enables children of military families from three areas of the state to attend the camp.

Sam Chang
July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University administrator has been named a fellow in the American Chemical Society’s Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division.

Sam Chang, head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, will be honored at the 246th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Indianapolis in September.

July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Muscadine grape growers can hear about the latest research and see fruit on the vine at Mississippi State University’s McNeill Experiment Station in Pearl River County on Aug. 24.

Gaillardia Mesa Yellow are large, sunny yellow flowers that seem to radiate color. As the flowers fade, each begins to resemble a fluffy pincushion. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

It is during the midsummer months in Mississippi that I most appreciate gaillardia in gardens and landscapes.

This plant makes a fantastic addition to the summer garden. Gaillardia is a native plant with few pests and a palette of bright, warm colors that really liven up the landscape. Adding to its usefulness is the fact that gaillardia is ideal for the entire state of Mississippi. Gaillardia often grows wild in the most neglected and harshest conditions.

Terri Thompson, Jackson County Extension family and consumer sciences agent (from left); Jennifer Williams, Webster County Extension family and consumer sciences agent and Cassandra Kirkland, Extension family life specialist, cook ground beef during a demonstration at a professional development session held in Jackson on July 16, 2013.  (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, About Extension

JACKSON – Families can find it difficult to eat healthy and watch their wallets while meeting the demands of everyday life.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service family and consumer sciences educators can help.

July 19, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some of the nation’s leaders in the field of robotics will be at Mississippi State University August 11-15 for the first 4-H Robotics Academy.

The workshop is open to 4-H agents, volunteers, teachers and senior 4-H’ers, and will train them in the ROBOTC and NXT-G programming languages.

The 4-H Robotics Academy will be at the Bost Extension Center’s Building B. At the end of the week, participants can take an optional exam for certification by the National Robotics Academy.

July 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Corn, Soybeans

STONEVILLE – Irrigation and precision agriculture were hot topics for corn and soybean growers and crop consultants who gathered in Stoneville for a July 18 event.

Mississippi State University scientists and Extension specialists shared current research findings and ongoing efforts to determine the best production methods at the annual Corn and Soybean Field Day.

MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center hosted the event to address numerous agronomic issues.