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News From 2009

May 21, 2009 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

HATTIESBURG – All children, families and educators are provided an opportunity for education and access to learning materials at the Mississippi State University’s Resource and Referral Agency in Petal.

The referral agency is part of the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network, offered by MSU’s Extension Service. There are 12 referral agency sites, including the one in Petal, which serves Lamar, Jones, Wayne, Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Stone, Pearl River and Perry counties.

Chelsi Smith, 18, of Guntown, and Ashley Gray, 16, of Tupelo, complete a presentation for the upcoming state 4-H Club Congress at Mississippi State University May 27-29. Smith, a Saltillo High School graduating senior, will complete her year as president of the state 4-H Council during the event. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
May 21, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

TUPELO -- Mississippi 4-H Council President Chelsi Smith is a modern young woman who uses computers, PDAs and texting to reach members, yet relies on traditional 4-H values to make these tools effective.

A Crimson Queen Japanese maple forms a brilliant backdrop for this yellow flag iris bed, which is set off by the white lamp. (Photo by Norman Winter)
May 21, 2009 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Spring landscapes with azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwoods and redbuds look simply incredible. But as magnificent as these landscapes are, they are not complete without the addition of a Japanese maple with its lacy, fern-like foliage.

May 21, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 4-H’ers have always worn green to State Club Congress, but this year they will be “going green” at the annual event May 27-29 at Mississippi State University.

This year’s theme is “100 percent green…for our club, community, country and world.” Organizers chose this message to reflect the 4-H ethic of putting ideas into action.

May 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Heavy rains across the state brought planting and field work to a grinding halt since the first of May, causing some crops to grow rapidly and compete with weeds for needed nutrients.

The state had fairly uniform accumulations and an average of just over 7 inches of rain for the week ending May 10. The Gulf Coast had the least rain, with Biloxi getting less than 1 inch, while Belzoni in the lower Delta recorded the week’s high at 13.56 inches.

Lamar Adams
May 14, 2009 - Filed Under: Dairy, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University Extension Service employee with 22 years of experience in county-level programming for agricultural and natural resources, 4-H, consumer education and community development is the new statewide dairy specialist.

Lamar Adams, who was Extension director in Walthall County, began his new job May 1. Adams will develop educational programs for dairy producers throughout the state as a faculty member in MSU’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences.

Canadian wildlife biologist Jayme Sones reaches for a specimen in the insect collection at Mississippi State University's entomological museum. Sones is part of a worldwide research effort to catalog DNA of all living species for easier identification. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
May 14, 2009 - Filed Under: Insects

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A team of Canadian researchers cataloging the genetic makeup of all living species into an easily accessible system have identified the Mississippi Entomological Museum as a treasure trove after setting up camp at Mississippi State University for a week.

This clematis in Madison drapes a grapevine tower in spectacular fashion with dozens of its richly colored flowers. (Photo by Norman Winter)
May 14, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The clematis looks like it was created for royalty, but in my area it’s the preferred mailbox bloomer. We have plenty of mandevillas and confederate jasmine, but in the end, the real winner in the popularity game is the clematis.

May 8, 2009 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE – It took only about 10 days to plant 40 percent of the state’s cotton crop this year, but farmers are only planting about a fourth of what they planted just three years ago.

“Forty percent of a 300,000-acre crop is quicker to plant than 40 percent of a 1.2 million-acre crop,” said Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.

Soil conditions were ideal, and producers worked quickly before rains rolled across the state the first weekend of May.

MSU doctoral student Erica Schlickeisen, left, and her major professor, aquatic ecologist Eric Dibble, prepare to sample plants in one of the tanks at the mesocosm on MSU's South Farm. (Photo by MSU Department of Wildlife and Fisheries/Sandor Dibble)
May 7, 2009 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Aquatic researchers at Mississippi State University study the natural mechanisms at work in lake ecosystems so they can find better ways to manage habitats, but large bodies of water do not always make good laboratories.

May 7, 2009 - Filed Under: Invasive Plants

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some scientists researching invasive water plants look at the direct effects of these plants and others assess different control methods.

Mississippi State University graduate student Erica Schlickeisen wanted to know about the indirect and sometimes unanticipated effects invasive plants have on water quality and microbial activity.

Crosby Arboretum's natural landscape not only provides visitors with beautiful views in its 104-acre native plant center, but it also protects rare and threatened plant and animal species, and disappearing habitats. (Photo by Edward Blake Jr./The Landscape Studio)
May 7, 2009 - Filed Under: Community

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – What was once a Depression-era strawberry farm now provides protection to some of the Southeast’s most diverse but disappearing habitats.

The Crosby Arboretum, located in Picayune, was established in 1980 as a living memorial to timber pioneer and philanthropist L.O. Crosby Jr. It is part of Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center and provides protection to the native plant species of the Pearl River Drainage Basin of south-central Mississippi and Louisiana.

The English dogwood's blooms are produced by the hundreds along arching stems, forming a beautiful, fountain-like appearance. (Photo by Norman Winter)
May 7, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The big, fragrant, long-lasting blooms of the English dogwood, or Mock Orange, make it one of the most beautiful plants of mid- to late spring.

May 7, 2009 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two days in June are dedicated to educating those in the dairy industry about key issues in a time when producers are struggling to maintain profitability.

May 1, 2009 - Filed Under: Swine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Health officials assure consumers that pork is safe to eat and no victims in the current flu outbreak had contact with hogs, but neither fact has protected market prices or import restrictions on Mexican and U.S. pork products.

Even if health organizations succeed in changing the name, much of the world always will consider the H1N1 virus to be “swine flu.”

Dr. Joy Mordecai, an equine reproduction resident at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, holds Freddie Mac, one of the twin foals from a champion cutting horse, while its surrogate mother keeps a close eye on her colt. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
April 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Equine veterinarians at Mississippi State University feel like celebrating when they hear news about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Instead of gloom-and-doom news from Wall Street, they think about the healthy twin products of a champion cutting horse named Cal Senorita.

Cal has been a broodmare with MSU since 2000 after being sidelined with a career-ending leg injury. This beautiful, 15-year-old, sorrel quarter horse mare proved to be a champion again this spring by producing twins just days apart with the help of two surrogate mothers.

April 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and WTVA-TV have joined together to educate the public about the much-anticipated digital television, or DTV, transfer.

MSU and WTVA-TV will present “Television Going Digital” through a free teleconference at 10 a.m. May 14 at all MSU Extension offices within the WTVA viewing area. WTVA’s director of engineering Wendell Robinson and evening news anchor Terry Smith will host the conference and provide attendees with information on how to prepare for the DTV transfer.

MAFES agronomist David Lang, left, talks with North American Coal environmental specialist Judd Sanborn about preparations for planting switchgrass on reclaimed mine land. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
April 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Forages, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE – It has been decades since surface coal mines left land scarred and bare, and expertise from Mississippi State University is helping the lignite mine in Choctaw County leave the land in even better shape than it was before.

April 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Wild hogs make pigs of themselves when rooting through crops and young forests, leaving behind a wide swath of damage and economic loss.

Producers and wildlife managers who deal with this problem can get help by attending a wild hog workshop sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service; the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; and the Mississippi USDA Wildlife Service.

The Limelight hydrangea has an extended season of incredible blooms from midsummer through fall. It has small leaves and an incredible quantity of flowers that start off almost white, then change to bright, light lime and finally turn pink as fall approaches. (Photo by Norman Winter)
April 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you love hydrangeas and lament when they quit blooming for the year, then you should buy the 2009 Mississippi Medallion Award-winning Limelight hydrangea. This hydrangea gives an extended season of incredible blooms from midsummer through fall.