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News From 2007

April 5, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Summer annuals, perennials, herbs, baskets and ferns will be available at the Mississippi State University Horticulture Club’s annual spring plant sale April 13 and 14.

Doors to the greenhouses behind Dorman Hall will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Horticulture students will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance in plant selections. Proceeds from the sale help fund academic trips, community service projects and next year’s sale.

April 5, 2007 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An unknown enemy is destroying honey bee colonies across the nation, and researchers are scrambling to discover what is causing it and how it can be prevented.

The problem is being called colony collapse disorder, and it was identified in late 2006. Hives with the disorder go from a robust colony with a large adult bee population to an empty hive with the queen and brood abandoned in the space of a few weeks.

April 5, 2007 - Filed Under: Catfish, Crops, Farming, Livestock

VERONA -- Each year for more than 50 years, representatives of agricultural producer groups in 27 northeast Mississippi counties have met to talk about their needs and to tell those needs to Mississippi State University research scientists and Extension professionals.

In the early 1950s, meetings were held under the oak trees at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Holly Springs. More recently, the site of the gathering has been the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

Dry conditions are causing some Mississippi corn producers to begin irrigating early. This tractor cultivates rows in a Sharkey County corn field near Anguilla, Miss., to make way for furrow irrigation while a center pivot irrigation system runs in a field behind the tractor. (Photo by Robert H. Wells/MSU Delta Research and Extension Center)
March 30, 2007 - Filed Under: Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE --  Corn market prices are almost double what they were a year ago, and Mississippi farmers are responding in kind.

Arkansas and Mississippi will lead the nation in percentage corn production increases with 296 percent and 279 percent, respectively. Of 48 states with a corn crop in 2006, only Massachusetts is expected to decrease its acreage this year.

March 29, 2007 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University's herd of jersey cows is among the best in the nation, and proof of it can be found in the MSU Sales Store in the form of ice cream, cheese and other dairy products.

Red ribbon
March 29, 2007 - Filed Under: Health

By Patti Drapala

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi ranks No. 1 among states in AIDS cases diagnosed in black women, and health-care officials want to focus on ways to halt the spread of AIDS, raise awareness and improve medical care for these women.

Fuego orange red verbena is a fiery, hot-colored plant coming from a company called Selecta First Class. Fuego is great in mixed containers or the landscape.
March 29, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Red is a color that evokes excitement and passion, so 2007 should stir a frenzy in the gardening soul of any verbena lover. Four new red verbenas are making their debut this spring, and all of them are vegetatively propagated, or not grown from seed.

North Mississippi Spring Garden Day logo
March 29, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Anyone looking to add some sparkle to their home lawn will find lots of ideas at the North Mississippi Spring Garden Day.

The May 19 event will be held at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona from 9 a.m until 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend the free program.

Featured speakers include Mississippi State University Extension horticulturist Mengmeng Gu, who will give a presentation on plants for shade gardening, and plant columnist Jim Long with a program on cutting-edge plants.

March 29, 2007 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Everyone involved in Mississippi’s dairy industry is invited to the Mississippi State University Statewide Dairy Field Day May 24 in Tylertown.

March 29, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, 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.

The MSU Extension Service’s 4-H therapeutic riding program will host a national workshop June 7 and 8 for up to 40 people. The deadline for registration is May 1.

March 23, 2007 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dry conditions and aphids are challenging Mississippi's winter wheat just as the crop enters the weeks critical for growth and yield potential.

Grower interest in wheat was strong last fall coming off the record 59-bushel-per-acre average in 2006 and high market prices.

Erick Larson, small grains specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers planted 275,000 acres of wheat in 2006, the most in the state since 1992. Growers planted 85,000 acres in 2005.

March 22, 2007 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Before preparing the yard for spring's arrival, homeowners should make sure their lawn-care equipment is safe and up to the challenge.

Herb Willcutt, safety specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said homeowners can handle most lawn and garden equipment maintenance if they take a little time to study the operators' manual and know the basics of simple 2- and 4-cycle engines.

“Consult the operator's manual for troubleshooting, and proper servicing and regular maintenance schedules,” Willcutt said.

March 22, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Experience, not age, was the key for five Newton County 4-H members as their knowledge of horses and participation in previous competitions took them to first place in a recent national competition in Denver.

The team had some of the youngest participants in the senior division of the Western National 4-H Roundup Horse Bowl. But at age 15, these young teens were not new to horse bowl competitions.

A single color can make impressive displays, even when flowers are not involved. The foliage of these Tropicanna canna and Rustic Orange coleus combines hot colors for a tropical-looking display all summer.
March 22, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

When I was in high school, kids loved to confess they had mono. Only teenagers can make an affliction trendy. Now that I'm a mature adult, and I would like to recommend mono to all my friends again. This time, it's a different kind of mono: monochromatic.

March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The array of available plants, fertilizers, treatments and tools can overwhelm beginning gardeners, but there are ways to simplify the process and give plants a better chance of success.

Mengmeng Gu, ornamental specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said whether planting vegetables or ornamentals, take a soil test first of the garden spot.

Coleus, such as these Mariposa and Florida City Altoona varieties, are some of the most versatile plants around.
March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It looks like spring has arrived early and based on the crowded parking lots at local garden centers and the area garden and patio shows, everyone is ready to get out and dig in the dirt again.

Since people keep asking for my predictions for 2007's hottest plants, I want to share the names of some that have me fired up.

Chicken Gizzards

March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi pecan growers can learn how to maintain their orchards at an April 4 workshop in Crystal Springs.

The half-day workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Experiment Station. Lunch will be provided following the workshop.

Topics for discussion include crow control, pecan tree pruning and thinning, and how to sample and grade pecans for optimum marketing strategies.

March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- The loss of the Clearfield 131 rice variety, the second rice variety banned for planting this year in the United States, will decrease Mississippi rice acreage and complicate production in 2007.

“At least 40 percent of our rice acres in Mississippi this year would have been in Clearfield 131,” said Nathan Buehring, Mississippi State University Extension rice specialist based at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Lester Spell, left, and Vance Watson, Mississippi State University vice president of agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, visited the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs during the 17th annual Tomato Producers Short Course on March 5. (Photo by Andy Prosser, Department of Agriculture and Commerce)
March 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An organization devoted to the advancement of agriculture will hear from Mississippi’s top agriculture official at an April 18 event.

Dr. Lester Spell, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, will be the keynote speaker at the Mississippi State University Gamma Sigma Delta chapter’s annual awards and initiation banquet. The 6 p.m. event will be held at the Leo W. Seal M Club on the MSU campus.

Growing herbs in containers is an easy way to provide the drainage they need. It also makes them portable and accessible to the kitchen. (Photo by Lelia Kelly/Mississippi State University horticulturist)
March 8, 2007 - Filed Under: Herb Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Herbs have a place in most American kitchens and some medicine cabinets, and many Mississippians are finding they should have a place in the yard, too.

Lelia Kelly, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said herbs are easy to grow in Mississippi and an asset to gardens.

“Every gardener should have a place for herbs because they are multipurpose plants; they smell good, they taste good, they look good and they are a pleasure to be around,” Kelly said.