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News From 2013

July 3, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology

Technology hurts. Whether you’re banging your head on the desk in frustration or watching money disappear with the purchase of the new, must-have gadget, technology can hurt both physically and mentally.

Like many of you, I spend a great deal of quality time with my mouse and keyboard. During a recent workday, my wrist and forearm began to hurt so badly I had to stop altogether. Most of us know this type of pain as the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome.

July 3, 2013 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE -- Rice producers, suppliers and consultants will benefit from an upcoming rice tour at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center.

Registration for the July 30 Rice Field Day begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Charles W. Capps Jr. Entrepreneurial Center.

Andy Morris, North America rice buyer for Mars Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the afternoon event.

Trailers will leave the building at 3:40 p.m. to tour research sites on rice agronomy, breeding, entomology, pathology and weed science.

Sixteen-year old Camp Jigsaw participant Price Broadhead of Mendenhall built a circuit to illuminate a tiny light bulb using aluminum foil and a battery. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Keri Collins Lewis)
July 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – One small lightbulb can make a big difference.

Oohs, ahs and wows filled a room at Mississippi State University’s Montgomery Hall on Friday when a group of teen campers finished their first experiment in building circuits. A piece of foil, a battery and a lightbulb the size of a marble launched a lesson on energy and ultimately set the campers to building their own robots.

Mississippi junior and senior 4-H'ers prepare to enter the ring for the selection of grand and reserve grand champion pony mares, registered American quarter horse mares, grade western mares, and registered paint mares on June 28 during the 2013 4-H Horse Championship at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 2, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine

JACKSON – To most people, showing horses seems a lot like work because of all the feeding, watering, stall cleaning, grooming and training involved – not to mention the countless hours spent at shows. But to Mississippi 4-H’ers involved in the horse program, all that work is a lot of fun.

Each summer, young people ages 8 to 18 converge on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds for the 4-H Horse Championship to reap the rewards of a year’s worth of effort. This year, more than 600 4-H horse program members participated in six educational contests and 105 riding events.

This container garden displays patriotic colors for the Fourth of July. The red Cora vinca is the filler, the spreading and trailing white scaevola is the spiller, and the powdery blue flowers of annual plumbago add the thrill.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Ambitious gardeners and their beautiful, themed gardens amaze me every year with their creativity. With the Independence Day holiday upon us, the most popular theme right now is red, white and blue plantings.

I have always wanted to do one of these themed landscape displays, and in my line of work, you would think it would be no problem and assume I’ve done several. But like the shoemaker’s kids who run around barefoot, sometimes my own landscape suffers during the busy seasons.

Although delayed by 2013 spring weather, these watermelons soon will be leaving the Chickasaw County field owned by Kayla and Curtis Martin, just in time for July picnic tables. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
June 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians love Fourth of July watermelons, and the 2013 melon crop should be worth the wait after weather delays.

David Nagel, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the biggest challenge has been the slow growth rate that caused some concern that the first melons might miss the holiday celebrations. The good news is that clear, sunny days with plenty of rain along the way have combined to produce large, tasty melons.

Steve Gray, director of governmental affairs for the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, updates supervisors on 2013 legislation during the association's annual conference. The Mississippi State University Extension Center for Government and Community Development coordinated educational sessions at the conference. (Photo by MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development/Bob Ratliff)
June 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, City and County Government

BILOXI – The state’s county supervisors expressed concern about funding for essential services in numerous discussions at the 2013 Mississippi Association of Supervisors Conference.

Most of Mississippi’s 410 county supervisors attended the June 17–20 meeting at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center in Biloxi. Educational session topics during the conference included transportation funding, rural economic development and the expected impact on counties of new federal health care laws.

June 27, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Faculty in Mississippi State University’s School of Human Sciences recently launched a journal to promote academic research and outreach in human sciences and Extension topics.

The Journal of Human Sciences and Extension is a peer-reviewed publication with articles about human development; family studies; agricultural education; leadership development; Extension; health and wellness; apparel, textiles and merchandising; agricultural economics; nutrition and dietetics; family resource management; and program planning and evaluation.

June 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Corn, Soybeans

STONEVILLE – Corn and soybean producers as well as others involved in agriculture will benefit from the July 18 Corn and Soybean Field Day at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. in the Charles W. Capps Building. Booths and vendors will showcase some of the latest tools in precision agriculture, irrigation efficiency and application technology until 2:30 p.m.

Qi Li
June 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A recent Mississippi State University doctoral graduate received a top award sponsored by the International Forest Products Society.

Qi Li accepted the Wood Award at the society’s annual conference in Austin, Tex. for her research paper on the chemical composition of woody feedstock used in biofuel production.

Li's work at MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center focused on finding suitable, fast-growing, renewable resources to replace the use of fossil fuels.

Formosan termites are an invasive species known to be established in 25 south Mississippi counties. Compared to Mississippi's native Eastern subterranean termites, Formosan termites are bigger, form larger colonies and can consume more wood in less time. (Photo courtesy of Marco Nicovich)
June 24, 2013 - Filed Under: Insects, Insects-Pests

JACKSON -- Seasonal termite swarms cause Blake Layton’s phone to ring off the hook this time of year.

Layton, a Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said all three major termite species in Mississippi mate from January through June in hopes of forming a new colony. Mating season is one of the rare times people see the secretive insects. Sightings often spark suspicion of an infestation.

Using compost as a soil amendment or mulch around plants adds texture to the soil, improves its water-holding capacity, encourages earthworm populations and gives plants needed nutrients. (Photo from ThinkStock Photography/iStockphoto)
June 24, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Some summer days -- okay, honestly, most summer days -- seem just too hot to do anything in the garden and landscape. But a couple of tasks will pay off in the long run with better landscape performance. You guessed it: this column is all about mulching and composting.

Whether you are an experienced gardener or have a brown thumb, you can mulch like a pro. Few gardening activities have as much of an impact as mulching. Mulch reduces erosion, influences soil temperature, helps control weed growth and gives your landscape a well-groomed look.

Jessica Tegt
June 24, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University program for elementary students has been recognized for teaching environmental and natural sciences.

The Youth Environmental Science program received the third place Gulf Guardian Award in the Environmental Justice and Cultural Diversity category. The Gulf of Mexico Program, a consortium sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, gives the award annually.

Mississippi producers are harvesting winter wheat, such as this planted at Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility, later than usual because of the late, wet spring, but overall yields are better than expected. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 21, 2013 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Producers are bringing in Mississippi’s amber waves of grain later than usual, but sunny weather has allowed them to make strong progress on the winter wheat harvest during the last two weeks.

Wet conditions that began in February and cooler-than-normal conditions in March, April and most of May delayed the crop’s maturity.

June 21, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – For the third year, the Mississippi State University Extension Service will partner with NASA to share hands-on science activities with the state’s young people.

This year, Summer of Innovation camps will be offered in 33 counties and serve 1,400 children and teens. Campers will enjoy all-new activities designed to promote science and space exploration, such as developing a rover that can land on the moon.

MSU Extension entomologist Jeff Harris holds a bee frame while Emmett King, 10, carefully harvests the honey. Beekeeping was one topic covered in Mississippi State University's 20th annual Bug and Plant Camp. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 20, 2013 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some people want nothing to do with the insect world, but 26 adults, teenagers and kids paid money to spend a week catching, examining and learning about bugs.

The 20th annual Bug and Plant Camp was underway at Mississippi State University from June 16 to 20. Campers, ranging from veteran teachers to 10-year-olds, participated in five full days and nights of insect work.

June 20, 2013 - Filed Under: Marine Resources, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

BILOXI -- Seafood producers and processors, regulatory agents and other interested individuals can receive training on mandatory procedures for the safe production and handling of seafood during a July 8 workshop.

Specialists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will introduce participants to the principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point management system for seafood, regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

June 20, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology

Summer is in full swing, and the boys of summer are keeping us entertained in ballparks across this great nation. As college baseball winds up in Omaha and Major League Baseball heads toward the All-Star break, fans are turning to technology to enhance their baseball experience.

June 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Forages, Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Forage and livestock producers across the state are invited to learn the latest research-based forage management recommendations at a warm-season grass tour at Mississippi State University.

Bill Evans, center, helps Bayleigh Newman, left, and Olivia Leigh Williams, right, plant their watermelon seedlings at Mississippi State University's Truck Crops Station June 12. Employees at the station held a short program on gardening to complement the Dig into Reading theme of this year's statewide library summer reading program. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
June 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Soils

CRYSTAL SPRINGS -- Books are just one of the things children at the Crystal Springs Public Library are digging into during June. Soil is on their lists, too.

Kids enrolled in the Dig into Reading-themed summer library program recently got a lesson on plants from specialists at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station.