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News From 2009

October 1, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Live snakes, alligators and turtles are just a few of the Mississippi wildlife that will be on display at the Oct. 17 wildlife festival at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Newton.

The 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. event will include bird dog and falconry demonstrations, and tours of wildlife management areas at the experiment station.

Wildlife experts will be on-hand to provide advice on managing white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, bobwhite quail and mourning doves. Other topics include preserving hunting trophies and historical weapons.

October 1, 2009 - Filed Under: Forages, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi beef producers who want to keep current on innovative herd health and profitability research can attend the Beef and Forage Field Day on Oct. 24 in Prairie.

The field day will be at the Prairie Research Unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the main facility at 10223 Highway 382. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. Field day sponsors are MAFES, Mississippi State University and the MSU Extension Service.

Belgian mums come in early-, mid- and late-season varieties, so with planning, you can have mums blooming all fall. These Pobo Red mums are beautiful in the fall and will return faithfully in the spring. (Photos by Norman Winter)
October 1, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The audience gasped as I gave the pot of mums a big bear hug, thinking I was going to squeeze the life out of it. That was the scene last week when I spoke at a Spirit of Women Conference.

Gardeners know that squeezing mums is normally a recipe for disaster as branches break like crumbling pretzels. But these were Belgian mums, so the hug didn’t hurt them.

Mississippi State University health promotion graduate student Katie Shumpert and nutrition undergraduate student Latossia Clark show preschoolers examples of nutritious fruits and vegetables. (Photo by Chiquita Briley/MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion)
October 1, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Food

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University program is doing its part to address rising childhood obesity rates by educating young children about healthy living, aiming to stop obesity before it starts.

Mississippi State University researchers are exploring factors that help explain the difference in peak gobbling activity between the northern and southern portions of Mississippi. (Photo by Steve Gulledge)
October 1, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Turkey hunting is a popular sport throughout Mississippi, and the sound of a gobbler responding to a call is unrivaled for the more than 30,000 hunters who spend mid-March to May in search of the elusive bird.

While the season is set in spring for the entire state, many hunters have expressed concerns over the time frame as it relates to peak gobbling activity.

September 25, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Nearly 80 percent of the state’s corn crop is safely in storage, and the remaining acres are ready for harvest but stuck in wet fields getting rain-drenched for days.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the corn harvest is largely complete in the southern part of the state, including the south Delta. However, the corn in the northern areas of the state was planted later and most remains in the fields.

September 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Thousands of garden and horticulture enthusiasts will converge on Crystal Springs in October for the 31st annual Fall Flower and Garden Fest.

The Oct. 16 and 17 event at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Experiment Station celebrates “Living Well – Greener and Healthier” with 3 acres of vegetables, flowers and herbs.

September 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Community, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 4,000 fourth-graders and their teachers from across the state will be at Mississippi State University in late October for the annual Wood Magic Science Fair.

The goal of the Oct. 19-23 fair is to introduce students to the benefits of forestry, forest products and wildlife to the state. The Wood Magic Science Fair is sponsored by MSU’s College of Forest Resources and the Department of Forest Products. It is held at MSU’s forest products complex.

Sweet Pickle pepper has 2-inch-long fruit that resembles the big and bold old-fashioned Christmas tree lights. Its fruit is sweet rather than hot, and the plant loads up with a bounty of red, orange, yellow and purple fruit all at one time.
September 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you would like to give your garden a festive fall atmosphere, then find a prominent place to put in ornamental peppers. Their blooms are not noteworthy, but varieties like Sweet Pickle and Garda Tricolore have fruit that will show off like Christmas lights.

Ornamental peppers are one of the plants that leap off the garden center shelves this time of the year. If you love them in the fall, try growing them all season.

September 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Swine, Family, Health

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Thousands of people will attend the State Fair in Jackson Oct. 7-18, and the novel H1N1 flu virus, commonly called “swine flu,” may have some attendees unnecessarily on edge.

“Swine are not responsible for spreading this virus,” said Mark Crenshaw, swine specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “It is very unfortunate that it was ever given that name. The virus actually has many other components to it and it is being spread by people, not by pigs.”

Chickasaw County Extension agent Scott Cagle, left, discusses improvements for Houston Garden Park in the town square with local Master Gardener president John Walden, center, and city mayor Stacey Parker. (Photo by Artis Ford)
September 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Community, Lawn and Garden

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

HOUSTON -- Small communities that are courting industry often turn to the county Extension office for help, and for Houston, that help has led to a beautiful new park.

Across the street from the historic Chickasaw County Courthouse stood a vacant, grassy lot. The Chickasaw Development Foundation owned the property but had been turned down on attempts to obtain grant money for refurbishing.

September 18, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Heavy rains, limited sunshine and high humidity in mid-September are threatening to damage the state’s major row crops unless dry weather returns soon to allow harvest to finish.

Soybeans are most at risk now because the bulk of the state’s crop was ready or almost ready for harvest when wet weather rolled into the state mid month.

Trey Koger, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the crop is only about 25 percent harvested.

September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Timber Harvest

HATTIESBURG – Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $888 million in timber damage to Mississippi’s forests in 2005, and an upcoming Mississippi State University panel discussion should help landowners cope with the next big hurricane.

Glenn Hughes, forestry professor with the MSU Extension Service, said about 80 percent of the timber loss occurred in a 10-county area from Hattiesburg to the Gulf Coast. The panel discussion, “Hurricane Katrina: Impacts on Forests and Lessons Learned,” will address some of the hurricane-related issues facing forest owners.

September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People who want to learn more about unifying design concepts of homes and gardens should attend Mississippi State University’s 54th annual Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Design Symposium on Oct. 21.

The MSU Department of Landscape Architecture and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi Inc. sponsor the event each fall to introduce the public to new concepts in green design and the influence they have on daily life. This year’s theme is “Inside/Out,” which highlights how inside and outside environments can work together.

September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Biodiesel production has created a new market for soybean oil, and although the demands for this alternative fuel fluctuate, the industry remains strong.

Bonnie Tartt, 18, daughter of beef producers Beth and Steve Tartt of Meridian, treats Malley to hay after competing at the 4-H Heifer Improvement Contest in Raymond. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Patti Drapala)
September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Agriculture

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many 4-H and FFA members are thrilled when they begin their first livestock projects, and youth development specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service hope a new competition will channel their enthusiasm into a lifelong passion.

The maroon leaves of the Delta Jazz crape myrtle do not scorch in the heat of Mississippi summers, and the foliage is accented by medium pink flowers. (Photo by MSU/Wayne J. McLaurin)
September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Lawn and Garden, Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sales will begin next year for Delta Jazz, a new crape myrtle developed by Mississippi State University that has maroon foliage and handles the heat of Southern summers.

MSU researchers developed and licensed this variety to Plant Development Service Inc. of Loxley, Ala., for commercial sale through the Southern Living Plant Collection. PDSI has established itself as a global leader in new plant introductions. Delta Jazz will be available for purchase in garden centers across the Southeast in the spring of 2010.

"Trumpets and Daggers" is one of the more unusual plant combinations at MSU's Truck Crops Experiment Station. (Photo by Norman Winter)
September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

'Trumpets and Daggers' is what I call one of the more unusual plant combinations we’ve created at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Experiment Station. It is always on striking display this time of year.

September 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Noxubee County soybean field severely infected with soybean rust will represent the state's first yield losses to the disease that has been present in the state since November 2004.

Rust was evaluated in the field Sept. 4, and it is the most severe case of soybean rust found in Mississippi to date. The 100-acre field near Brooksville was not treated with a fungicide.

September 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Architects, managers, landowners and others with an interest wood and wood products can learn about the many facets of wood in a Nov. 4 workshop in Starkville.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is offering the workshop from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Franklin Center, located off of Blackjack Road.

Through hands-on exercises, attendees will learn how to distinguish between various hardwood and softwood species. Participants will become familiar with defects that occur in standing trees and in wood products.