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News From 2003

May 26, 2003 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A recent Mississippi State University Extension Service effort helped farmers faced with difficult decisions brought about by the 2002 Farm Bill.

"The 2002 Farm Bill gave producers the chance to update their base acres and program yields to reflect more recent production history. But there were several factors that made this decision very complex, so farmers needed some help evaluating their options," said John Anderson, MSU Extension agricultural economics professor.

Mass plant the celosia in a variety of colors for a dazzling display.
May 26, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At a garden center recently, I saw one of the best buys in flowers just waiting for a good home. This plant was offered in feathery plumes, cockscombs or flowers resembling wheatears. You guessed it -- it was the celosia.

Originating in the tropics, the celosia produces flowers from summer through fall. Its ability to withstand drought and extremely hot temperatures should win it a Mississippi Medallion Award, a Georgia Gold Medal and every other honor in the South.

May 26, 2003 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For more than two decades, catfish producers across the Southeast have used Mississippi State University-produced software to help manage their operations. The latest version, Fishy 2003 Version 4.0, is now available through Catfish Farmers of America.

"A licensure agreement between Mississippi State and Catfish Farmers of America to market Fishy 4.0 was signed in April," said Fishy programer and MSU professor of agricultural economics Wallace Killcreas. "So far, farmers owning more than 24,000 water acres have bought one-year licenses."

May 23, 2003 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One night in March is preventing Mississippi's blueberry growers from harvesting a significant portion of their 2003 crop in May and June.

John Braswell, horticulture specialist with Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, said the state's commercial growers typically harvest about 4 million pounds a year. Most of the damage from the sudden March 31 freeze occurred on the eastern side of the state.

May 19, 2003 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Poultry

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- By employing vaccinations and biosecurity measures, Mississippi veterinarians and the poultry industry have brought a devastating disease under control.

Laryngotracheitis, a viral infection of the chicken respiratory tract, was suspected on at least 70 Mississippi farms from December 2002 through March 2003. Six of the nine poultry companies in the state had at least one diagnosed case of LT.

May 19, 2003 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent legislation aims to protect consumers from debt management companies that use their non-profit status to prey on easy victims.

Senate Bill 2414, the Mississippi Nonprofit Debt Management Services Act, requires these nonprofit organizations to apply for a license from the secretary of state's office by July 1. Annual relicensure is also mandatory. Only nonprofit organizations that are exempt from taxation under the United States Internal Revenue Code can apply for the license.

May 19, 2003 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A longtime member and leader of Mississippi's 4-H program was honored posthumously with induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Md.

Francis Jefferson Lundy, who served as chair of the 4-H Club Foundation of Mississippi for 11 years and was a Foundation member and adviser for 20 years, was honored recently for his significant contributions to the 4-H youth development movement.

Four sun coleuses in variations of red from maroon to burgundy have been recognized as award winners in the South. For its true potential, mass plant at least seven in a large, informal drift.
May 19, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Who knows why I remember the Brylcream slogan, "A little dab'll do ya," or what the connection is in my mind to coleus? I'm thinking that a little dab of coleus may do, but the bigger the dab, the better.

May 16, 2003 - Filed Under: Soybeans

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's soybean crop is off to a strong start, with 73 percent of the crop planted by mid-May compared to the five-year average of 58 percent.

"Soybean planting is far ahead of schedule, which is wonderful news," said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Early planting of soybeans has become the norm in Mississippi. In fact, we're leading the nation in early planting percentage."

May 16, 2003 - Filed Under: About Extension

VICKSBURG - Residents of some of the most economically depressed areas of the country soon will enjoy strengthened educational and outreach programs in four target areas.

That's the result of a unique agreement signed by Cooperative Extension Service directors from three Mississippi Delta states this week.

May 12, 2003 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Memphis Zoo's newest residents, giant pandas Ya Ya and Le Le, could provide valuable clues about the preservation of their critically endangered species.

Scott Willard, assistant professor at Mississippi State University and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station animal and dairy scientist, and his team are conducting reproductive research on Ya Ya, the 2-year-old female on loan from China's Beijing Zoo, and Le Le, the 4-year-old male on loan from the Shanghai Zoo.

May 12, 2003 - Filed Under: Food Safety

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Warm summer afternoons are perfect for picnics in the sunshine, but take special care to protect picnic foods from bacteria.

May 12, 2003 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Producers, consumers and the local economy benefit where farmers' markets operate, a Mississippi State University Extension Service study reveals.

While the Mississippi Department of Agriculture currently lists only five farmers' markets for the state, the recent survey identified at least 23 additional markets. Future efforts will focus on identifying other facilities in the state.

May 12, 2003 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy producers from across the state will converge on Tylertown on May 22 to learn the latest research-based recommendations for running a successful operation in 2003.

The Mississippi State University Statewide Dairy Field Day, sponsored by the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, will take place at the Southwest Events Center on Highway 48. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the morning tour program will begin an hour later.

Topics for stops on the tour include:

Purple oxalis has character and charm for a shady spot in the landscape. It features large, triangular leaves of deep purple, and its nearly one-inch flowers range in color from pink to lilac.
May 12, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Visitors fell in love with a previously loathed plant in a shade garden on the Gardens of Madison County tour.

While some gardeners think of oxalis as a tough plant to kill or eradicate, they also should consider the beauty of the purple oxalis. Purple oxalis has large, triangular leaves of deep purple. Its nearly 1-inch flowers range in color from pink to lilac.

May 9, 2003 - Filed Under: Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Markets in recent years have not given rice growers much to celebrate, but several factors are giving them reason to hope for better days in 2003.

Joe Street, rice specialist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said growers have planted 80 to 90 percent of the fields planned originally for rice, but the final goal remains a moving target.

May 5, 2003 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- No question is too hard for the equine experts available online at www.HorseQuest.info, a new interactive Web site maintained by southern region Extension specialists.

Gale Chrestman, 4-H livestock specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said equine personnel in 13 land-grant universities submitted frequently asked questions on a wide range of horse topics. Research-based answers went through a peer-review process before being added to the Web site.

May 5, 2003 - Filed Under: Nutrition

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite recent disputes over the accuracy of the Food Guide Pyramid, this nutritional resource is still a useful tool for making healthy food choices.

Rebecca Kelly, nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the Food Guide Pyramid is an illustration of the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

May 5, 2003 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Everyone benefits when manufacturers use lean production techniques, and consumers can get exactly what they want right when they want it.

About 90 Mississippi manufacturers learned ways to reduce wasted time and effort while increasing productivity during a recent three-day conference sponsored by Mississippi State University's Extension Service and Forest Products Department. The event was also sponsored by Tennessee Valley Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission.

May 2, 2003 - Filed Under: Beef

By Laura Whelan

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite economic uncertainties and a wet grazing season, supply and demand levels indicate a stable year for cattle markets.

"The cattle market is in a much better supply situation than it experienced three to four months ago, and so far this year demand for beef has been better than last year," said John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

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