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News From 2009

November 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The best way to battle a pathogen affecting the state’s catfish industry is to know as much about it as possible, and Mississippi State University researchers took a major step in that direction this summer.

Researchers at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine released the genome sequence of Edwardsiella ictaluri 93-146, the most important pathogen affecting the state’s channel catfish aquaculture industry. Dr. Mark Lawrence, a CVM professor of basic sciences, was the lead investigator of the project, which was completed this summer.

When Ole Miss alumnus Tommy Walker brought Tayson for a reunion with the critical care staff at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, the two left with a memento of the Bulldog welcome they received.
November 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- “Don’t tell them you’re a Rebel,” Tommy Walker whispered to his son’s badly injured dog, Tayson, as they approached the entrance to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Trees at the Swedenburg Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus appear to be in good shape for the 2009 holiday season. Many Mississippi growers expect sales to increase because of travel cutbacks and plans to stay home. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Christmas tree growers will probably see their sales increase again this year as more people stay home to celebrate the holidays.

Current economic problems have forced many people to tighten their budgets, resulting in less travel. Families who stay home still want a festive celebration, and natural Christmas trees offer a traditional touch.

Steve Martin
November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Steve Martin has been named head of Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Martin assumed his duties as head of the regional facility Nov. 1. He was named interim head of the center in July 2008, following the appointment of then DREC head Joe Street as associate director of the MSU Extension Service.

Illusion Emerald Lace is a lime green to chartreuse, lacy ornamental sweet potato that is deeply toothed and compact, but very vigorous. Here it is partnered in a container with Cathedral Lavender salvia and Stampede Cherry salvia, with a pink petunia peeking out the bottom. (Photo by Norman Winter)
November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Ornamental sweet potatoes rule! I just returned from speaking to a group, called Pascagoula Pride, that takes city beautification seriously. As I drove through town, I could not help but admire their effective use of the lime green ornamental sweet potatoes.

Jim DelPrince fills stacked glass comports with fruit, nuts and cut plant materials to create a stunning but inexpensive holiday centerpiece. (Photo by Scott Corey)
November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Flower Gardens

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Decorating for the holidays can be a struggle, but experts at The University Florist tell customers that preparing for winter festivities can be as easy as remembering holidays past and looking in their own backyards.

Lynette McDougald is the business manager at The University Florist, located on Mississippi State University's campus, and a plant and soil sciences instructor. She said holiday decorating starts with inspiration.

Create unique decorations and gifts for less using resources from gardens, fields and woods. Lelia Kelly puts the finishing touches on a door swag she made using crape myrtle seed pods, nandina foliage and berries, English ivy and bare branches, highlighted with silk sunflowers and other silk materials. (Photo by Vickie McGee)
November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Herb Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians may find themselves with many people on their gift lists and a small budget this year, but a few ideas and some creativity can help them give good gifts.

Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said people can create unique and memorable decorations and gifts at little cost using plentiful resources from gardens, fields and woods.

November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Flu concerns during the winter holidays are not new this year, but the highly contagious novel H1N1 flu strain increases the importance of healthy practices to avoid the spread of germs.

Jane Clary, health specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said visits to and from loved ones from other regions can hasten influenza’s progress across the country and the globe. Mass transit, shopping malls and other places with large numbers of people also can increase the rate of infections in a community.

November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People use many strategies to prevent weight gain, but starting the day with a good breakfast is an important part of keeping off the holiday pounds.

Carol Ball, a Family Nutrition Program registered dietitian with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said breakfast is one of the most important parts of the day.

November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Family

By Amelia Killcreas
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Celebrating holidays can be expensive, but two Mississippi State University experts said there are ways to create meaningful family traditions without spending excessively.

Joe Wilmoth, MSU assistant professor of human sciences, said traditions are important to family well-being.

November 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Pets

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University veterinary experts, who agree that pets generally do not make good gifts, suggest people can capture the holiday spirit by donating to an animal health-care group in someone’s name.

Pets are not toys or objects. They are living, breathing organisms that depend on humans for food, shelter and comfort when placed in a home. When pets are neglected, ignored or unwanted, they suffer.

Many pecan producers, such as Peeples Pecan Orchard in Starkville, are waiting for rains to let up enough for them to harvest in earnest. Mississippi pecan growers are anticipating a better than average crop of more than 2 million pounds. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pecans are one Mississippi crop not taking a beating from excessive fall rains, but until the pecans are out of the orchard, the crop is not out of the woods.

Pecan growers are trying to harvest a better-than-average crop and take advantage of good early-season prices. Experts anticipate a more than 2-million-pound pecan harvest in the state. The national crop is expected to be about 300 million pounds, up 100 million pounds from last year.

October 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A three-day short course in December will provide information to Mississippi cotton, soybean and corn producers working to be successful in challenging years.

Registration for the Dec. 7-9 Row Crop Short Course is free until Nov. 20, and $40 a person after that. The event is hosted by Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and will be held on campus in the Bost Extension Center.

October 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Livestock, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Quality horses and beef cattle will move through the auction ring in two separate November sales as Mississippi State University plans to market 92 lots of cattle and about 40 horses from research herds.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and MSU’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will host the 27th annual Livestock Production Sale of bulls, bred heifers and cows on Nov. 19. The university’s horse sale will follow on Nov. 21.

Rebelina blue and yellow viola partners with Floral Showers yellow snapdragon for a cool-season mixed container that is sure to please.
October 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Most local garden centers are loaded with fresh bedding plants to give you months of cool-season color and splendor. Pansies, violas, snapdragons, dianthus, flowering kale, cabbage and a host of others are waiting for you to give them a home in your gardens.

Pansies, of course, are the favorites, and rightfully so. You’ll likely be buying 4- to 6-inch transplants that will offer bloom and performance until the high heat of late spring or early summer takes them out.

Jim Ed Owen, left, and Terry Owen, far right, of Wiggins, learned the craft of logging and the importance of stewardship from their father, Walt. The brothers have operated their own business for more than 11 years. (Photo bb Leighton Spann)
October 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Harvest

WIGGINS – Two brothers in the logging business for more than 11 years have proven that high production and multiple crews in the woods are not a prerequisite for standing out among one’s peers.

The Mississippi Forestry Association recently named Terry and Jim Ed Owen of Wiggins as the group’s “Outstanding Logger of the Year” for 2009. The brothers grew up learning the logging business from their father, who ran a successful operation. They decided to branch out on their own in 1998.

October 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Catfish

By Rebekah Ray
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE – A serious disease is threatening some species of freshwater fish, and although it has not been found in Mississippi, it is a concern for catfish producers when they want to move live catfish across state lines.

Non-stop rains since harvest began have cost Mississippi producers an estimated $371 million. These cotton plants stand wasting in a rain-saturated field on Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (Photo by Scott Corey)
October 23, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Near-constant rains during harvest-time cost Mississippi farmers an estimated $371 million in losses, and producers with crop insurance may be the only ones able to salvage much more from the fields this year.

October 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Remodelers should follow lead-safe practices that will be taught at sessions around the state in November and December.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service will offer several Renovation, Repair and Painting Certification Training sessions in full-day courses and half-day refresher courses. The full-day courses are $150, and half-day courses are $85. The sessions are being presented by the Alliance for Healthy Homes and funded in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

October 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISIPPI STATE – People wanting to learn how to develop forest habitats, wildlife areas, streams, lakes and other natural settings into income generators can attend an outdoor recreational business workshop Nov. 10 at Legion State Park in Louisville.

The one-day workshop will give attendees information to start and manage a natural resource enterprise. The morning session will begin at 8:30 with topics on revenue potential from different types of enterprises, landowner cost-share programs, liability and legal considerations.