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News From 2007

Shane Kitchens and Kevin Ragon
February 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Forestry, Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Research by Mississippi State University scientists has yielded a new weapon in homeowners' battle with wood-destroying termites.

Terry Amburgey of MSU's Forest Products Laboratory and employees of the U.S. Forest Service were called to Hawaii by the U.S. Navy about 14 years ago to combat infestations of Formosan termites in wooden poles supporting communications antennas at a naval base.

Tequila sweet bell peppers start off green, then change to yellow, orange, deep dark purple and eventually become a tasty sweet red pepper. Suitable for harvest in any color, these Mississippi Medallion award-winning peppers add a colorful zest to salads.
February 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Winter's coldest days drive most of us deep into the cushions of our easy chairs, and gardening is largely in the form of dreams about spring and summer plantings.

Permit me to do a little armchair quarterbacking by encouraging gardeners to consider growing an incredible sweet bell pepper called Tequila. The Mississippi Plant Selections Committee recently introduced it as a 2007 Mississippi Medallion award winner. 

February 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi producers are showing that working for peanuts is not a bad thing.

The state produced the second highest per acre peanut yield in the country in 2005 with between 1.7 and 1.8 tons grown per acre. Since 2001, Mississippi jumped from obscurity in peanut circles to No. 9 in the nation on the strength of about 17,000 acres of the crop. Peanut acreage is expected to increase about 10 percent this year.

February 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Rice

By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- Rice producers will need to consider other variety options this year after losing the popular variety Cheniere to contamination.

“The discovery in August of Liberty Link Rice 601 contamination in U.S. commercial long-grain rice supplies will significantly affect variety selection for Mississippi rice producers in 2007,” said Tim Walker, assistant agronomist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

February 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Upcoming workshops in Jackson will address landowners’ potential to produce fruit and vegetables for a profit on small tracts of land.

Experienced and beginner farmers can benefit from a series of three workshops that will take place from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Feb. 10, 24 and March 10 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. Sponsors of the workshops include the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, and the Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

January 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The decision to use homegrown flowers may cut wedding costs, but at what price?

Julie Reeves of Starkville wanted to help with her son's May 1999 wedding.

“We wanted so many flowers that we knew we couldn't afford to pay a florist for all of them. It seemed like the effort would be worth it,” she said. “There really wasn't much cost involved, just a lot of effort.”

January 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Whether as guests or part of the wedding party, children add an element of uncertainty that may or may not be welcome at these ceremonies.

Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a simple rule of thumb is to bring children to weddings if they are invited and are 5 years or older.

January 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With almost half of all marriages today being remarriages, a bride and a groom often go home to a newly created family rather than set out to start their own.

Joe Wilmoth, assistant professor of human development and family studies in Mississippi State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said stepfamilies face incredibly diverse challenges.

Maci and Graham Flautt, who now reside in Sumner, Miss., chose a beach location for their Sept. 5, 2004, wedding in Gulf Shores, Ala. This wedding destination offered the couple all the special details of a traditional wedding, but in an untraditional setting. (Photo used with permission)
January 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When couples cannot decide between traditional wedding locations, the South offers some ideal spots away -- but not far -- from home.

Mississippi couples do not have to travel to Hawaii or the Bahamas to find romantic settings. Beaches, resorts and antebellum homes are a few of the sites gaining popularity in what is known as destination weddings.

These two ornamental sweet potatoes are perfect companions in the home landscape. The heart-shaped, lime-green leaves of Sweet Caroline Sweetheart shine brightly beside the purplish-black, almost maple-leaf shapes of this year's new selection called Bewitched.
January 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Sweet Caroline series of ornamental sweet potatoes have become the variety of choice for landscape color.

Producers and professionallandscapers alike call them “behaved” sweet potatoes because they are a little less kudzu-like than other sweet potatoes. The series was bred to produce short internodes, which results in a more compact plant with shorter leaves and less aggressive growth.

Bravado purple coneflowers like this one hit their stride each summer in time for June weddings.
January 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Imagine this: It's late winter, you love growing flowers, your child is getting married this summer and the costs from required deposits are already mounting. As financial worry awakens you during the night, those 2 a.m. feedings of long ago seem like a pleasant dream.

January 23, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An upcoming interactive video short course will provide rose enthusiasts with tips for growing and enjoying healthy plants.

The five-week course will meet from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from March 20 until April 17. The American Rose Society Gulf District and Mississippi State University’s Extension Service in cooperation with the Mississippi Master Gardener Association are sponsoring the course.

January 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Several veterinary students at Mississippi State University have taken advantage of opportunities to learn about foreign animal diseases that could threaten the nation's domestic animals.

January 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's mostly mild climate can show an ugly side unexpectedly, and ice storms are an occasional nasty part of life in the state.

The accumulation of ice knocks down power lines and trees, cutting off the electricity to many homes and communities and making driving dangerous. For others, the intense cold can be deadly, especially when electricity is needed to keep a house warm.

Profusion Deep Apricot zinnias shine brightly under the tall purple flowers of the All Around Gomphrena.
January 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Profusion zinnias will continue to be hot in 2007. I had the oddest feeling when I visited Sakata Seed in California last April. We were in the middle of our 2006 Mississippi Medallion program promoting the truly outstanding Profusion Fire and Profusion Apricot zinnias.

January 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A 20-county effort to improve the health of Mississippians is spreading across the state with all programs set to be under way by the end of February.

Organizers for the 12-week Mississippi in Motion project cite the state’s poor health report card as the motivation for this potentially life-changing program.

The Wave petunias will be popular again in 2007, including this Easy Wave Coral Reef. The color coral on this petunia is rich and saturated.
January 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Something magical happens after Jan. 1. There is a spirit of optimism among gardeners. We know winter is still here, but spring is coming. As weather permits, it is time to get the garden ready and make plans for this year's plantings.

There are many new plants to try in 2007. Many of them have names we have never heard and which cannot be found in any reference book.

January 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s oldest regional farm show will salute the state’s $6 billion agricultural industry during the Jan. 16-17 event in Cleveland.

Farmers and agricultural consultants across the region will converge on the Bolivar County Exposition Center, located on Highway 61 North, for the 34th annual Delta Ag Expo.

January 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Teachers, 4-H agents, volunteers and other group leaders are among those who are invited to take part in a two-day facilitator training for people interested in conservation activities.

Mississippi State University’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is sponsoring the Leopold Education Project training Feb. 8-9 at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.

January 11, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An army of volunteers is largely responsible for the success of 4-H, and once a year, this group has the chance to meet to renew their enthusiasm and better equip themselves for the task of working with youth.

4-H volunteer adult leaders from across the state are gathering March 2-4 at the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University for the state’s annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders’ Conference. This year’s theme is “4-H Volunteers Gearing Up for the Race.” The deadline for registration is Feb. 1.