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News From 2004

May 13, 2004 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's population is reflecting national trends as it undergoes a generational shift in assets, and that means a lot of forest land is changing hands without clear ownership.

Glenn Hughes, forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Purvis, said a recent survey indicated that many Mississippi landowners do not have a written will and are unprepared for the transfer of land and other assets.

May 13, 2004 - Filed Under: Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For most people dirt is just dirt. Farmers, however, know all too well that soil properties can mean the difference between the success or failure of a crop.

Soil scientists also don't take dirt for granted. That's especially true of a group of Mississippi State University and Canadian researchers changing the way natural organic matter in soil is studied.

Gardeners can buy hanging baskets already blooming or make their own.
May 13, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Garden centers all over the state are offering some incredible baskets of plants, often with several species of plants rather than just a few petunias. The baskets might hang and gently swing in the breeze or attach firmly to a fence, wall or balcony.

This look started years ago in the Pacific Northwest and has now exploded all across the South. You see them in cities like Branson, Mo., New Orleans and Birmingham.

May 7, 2004 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish producers saw actual profits last year after two years of losses, and are hoping feed prices in 2004 won't put their operations back into red ink.

Jim Steeby, Extension aquaculture specialist with the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Belzoni, said feed prices have made it difficult to see a profit in the catfish industry.

"Last year, our average feed price was $230 a ton," Steeby said. "This year's feed prices are going to be at least $50 a ton above that price."

May 6, 2004 - Filed Under: Health, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The itching and scratching associated with poison ivy rashes can sometimes be avoided if those seeking the outdoors learn to identify and kill the vine.

John Byrd, weed scientist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a mild winter and early warm weather allowed poison ivy to be more advanced earlier in the year than it normally is.

May 6, 2004 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Efforts to increase financial literacy among Mississippi's high school students are beginning to pay off.

National surveys were conducted in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004 for the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy by Lewis Mandell, a professor of finance at the University of Buffalo School of Management. The survey demonstrates students' aptitude and ability to manage financial resources such as credit cards, insurance, retirement funds and savings accounts.

May 6, 2004 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Entrepreneurs who dream of creating and manufacturing food products can learn how to make those dreams reality at a day-long workshop offered in two locations across the state in June.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is sponsoring Food as a Business workshops at the county Extension offices June 2 in Greenwood and June 29 in Starkville.

May 6, 2004 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The young and young-at-heart will enjoy studying insects during a unique, five-day camp offered in two summer sessions by Mississippi State University.

In the flower garden, plant Honey Bee Blue boldly in drifts adjacent to gold-yellow and orange marigolds .
May 6, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Keep your eyes open when shopping at local garden centers and you just may find Honey Bee Blue agastache. Herb lovers have been growing this plant, also known as anise hyssop, for years and relishing in not only its beauty but also its tough nature.

April 30, 2004 - Filed Under: Forages, Weed Control for Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rains and warmer temperatures caused explosive growth of summer grasses in Mississippi's pastures and hay fields, but producers have faced an unrelenting battle with weeds throughout the spring.

John Byrd, weed scientist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the best time to treat weeds is before they have the opportunity to bloom and produce seeds. Producers should follow label directions regarding grazing and haying restrictions.

Yellow fields of buttercups are among the most visible weeds in Mississippi every April.

April 29, 2004 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High school students can learn about horticulture and landscape careers in a unique summer seminar at Mississippi State University.

April 29, 2004 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As therapeutic riding programs catch on across the state, Mississippi State University is planning to host a national training workshop for instructors and volunteers interested in improving their skills.

April 29, 2004 - Filed Under: Farming, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A primary tool for managing risk of any sort is insurance, and many Mississippi farmers have found that crop insurance remains an important component of their farming operations.

The most basic kind of entry-level crop insurance is catastrophic coverage, known as CAT. This insurance provides 50 percent coverage for average yields at 55 percent of the established price. CAT coverage costs $100 per crop per county in which the producer farms.

April 29, 2004 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The program for the upcoming Statewide Dairy Field Day reflects that successful dairy producers must be up-to-date on a wide variety of topics from herd health and nutrition to financial management, all at the same time.

Mississippi State University's annual dairy event will take place on May 27 at the Buddy and Neville Rials dairy farm in western Marion County. Registration and exhibits will open at 8:30 a.m., one hour before the program begins.

Kong red coleus displays a broad vein in a brilliant red down the center of each leaf. These shade-loving plants produce leaves large enough to cover a person's face and also come in scarlet, rose and mosaic colors.
April 29, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Magilla Perilla had everyone paying homage last year, but by the end of this summer or next year depending on supplies, Kong coleus will likely be the new reigning king.

April 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Vaccinate horses now against the West Nile Virus to reduce the risk of contracting the potentially deadly disease and fears of infection during the 2003 mosquito season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently granted a full license to Fort Dodge Animal Health for its WNV vaccine, labeled West Nile - Innovator. The vaccine previously was available through a conditional license while studies were conducted.

April 28, 2004 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Half a lifetime is a long time to commit to anything, but a 4-H horse program volunteer believes the program's benefits to families make his time well spent.

"I've been involved with the 4-H horse program for 35 years, and I raised four children in the 4-H program. Now I have grandchildren in 4-H," said Bobby Crawford of Indianola. "It's a wonderful program. I've contributed time and effort for half my lifetime, and I've enjoyed it so much."

Crawford said it would be difficult to count the number of hours he spends helping out with the program.

April 23, 2004 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- First strawberries then blueberries are ripening to provide Mississippians with locally grown, flavorful fruits for nutritious early summer dishes and snacks.

In Mississippi, strawberry harvest started in April and blueberries follow in early May. South Mississippi strawberry grower David Courtney said he is expecting a good quality crop in the absence of insect damage and disease pressure. His irrigated crop likely benefitted from the spring drought that reduced diseases.

April 22, 2004 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Tricia Hopper

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Blue ribbons proudly displayed in April encourage everyone to do their part to prevent child abuse.

Ox Eye daisies add just the right touch to this bed of Gold Yarrow and verbenas.
April 22, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Sometimes when a plant gets labeled a noxious weed my first thought is that the most negligent gardeners, even someone like me, can grow it. Since I am on the road constantly, I need tough plants and one of the hardiest varieties that I adore is the Ox Eye daisy.