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News From 2011

February 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Five new facilities that can transform wood into fuel will soon be built in Mississippi.

The facilities will further increase timber’s already-important role in the state’s economy. Mississippi’s forests cover nearly 20 million acres and generate more than $1 billion worth of timber each year. The forestry and forest products sectors, which include logging, furniture construction, solid wood products, and pulp and paper, contribute more than $19 billion to the state’s economy annually.

February 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Invasive Plants

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi farmers are a few years into the fight against glyphosate-resistant weeds, a problem that is the focus of a March 10 field day in Stoneville.

Producers will take a close look at ways to manage herbicide resistance in the Glyphosate-Resistant Ryegrass Field Day at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Capps Center, and the field day concludes with lunch. The program will move indoors if there is bad weather.

The unique growth habit of Plentifall pansies makes them outstanding landscape plants. This Plentifall Purple Wing has bright white lower petals with purple splotches and cheery purple-violet upper petals.
February 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

I have been really impressed so far this winter with the performance of a new pansy called Plentifall.

The unique spreading and trailing growth habit of Plentifall pansies make them outstanding landscape plants. They are well-branched and vigorous growers. They can fill a landscape bed and provide pockets of color from fall all the way to late spring.

February 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Green Industry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Operators of small- to medium-sized farms wanting to learn more about a technique to extend the growing season are invited to attend the High Tunnel Field Day offered by Mississippi State University.

The field day begins at 9 a.m. March 10 and concludes at 4:30 p.m. at MSU’s Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. Registration for the trade show and field day is $15 before March 1 and $25 after that date. Lunch will be provided.

February 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Green Industry, Greenhouse Tomatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Greenhouse tomato growers and those interested in learning how to grow this crop are invited to the 21st annual 2011 Greenhouse Tomato Short Course offered March 8-9 in Raymond.

Speakers at the two-day event will present seminars on a variety of topics relevant to the production of greenhouse tomatoes. The event will be held at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond.

K. Raja Reddy
February 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University plant physiologist was honored for significantly contributing to the understanding of cotton physiology, growth and development.

K. Raja Reddy, professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, received the 2010 Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology at the 2011 Beltwide Cotton Physiology Conference in Atlanta in January. The award is sponsored by the Arysta Life Science Corporation.

Large crowds took part in the 2010 Everything Garden Expo. Many participants stopped by the information booth staffed by Mississippi State University's Extension Service. (Photo by Scott Corey)
February 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Winter may still be here, but spring will be ushered in early this year at a garden event at Mississippi State University.

The Starkville Area Arts Council will team up with MSU to present the third annual “Everything Garden Expo” March 5-6 at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.

The Federal Aviation Administration reports that more than 108,000 wildlife strikes to airplanes occurred in the last 19 years, with an average of 20 wildlife strikes reported daily from 2004-2008. (Photo by Caters News Agency)
February 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

It has been two years since U.S. Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing in the Hudson River when a flock of Canada geese struck the engines just minutes after the plane took off.

Bird and airplane collisions cannot be completely avoided because the two share the same flying space. But scientists at Mississippi State University are looking to the ground, specifically to the mowed landscape surrounding runways and terminals, for ways to reduce wildlife hazards and possibly provide biofuel sources.

February 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Nutrition

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Every January, gyms across America are filled with ambitious people striving to keep New Year’s resolutions, but far too often, the resolutions are set aside and forgotten within a couple of months or even weeks.

Brent Fountain, nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the key to sticking with New Year’s resolutions is to set realistic goals.

Nandina is a great shrub for providing fall color and berries. The cooler the temperature, the more colorful the plant becomes. Leaves change from bright, glossy green in the summer to a fiery array of reds and burgundies in winter.
February 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

A lot of great foliage color develops in the cool temperatures of winter months. Japanese cleyera foliage develops a rich burgundy patina that complements its red petioles, and boxwood foliage becomes an orangey bronze. But my favorite colorful, red-tinged winter foliage has to be nandina.

Freedom Giant Miscanthus was developed at Mississippi State University and is licensed exclusively to Repreve Renewables, a joint venture between sod entrepreneur Phillip Jennings (pictured) and publicly traded textile company UNIFI Manufacturing, Inc. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
February 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

By Cheree Franco
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- On a January morning in Soperton, Ga., southeastern farmers mingled with investors and biomass experts to discuss Freedom Giant Miscathus--a towering grass that may be America’s most promising clean energy solution.

Freedom was developed at Mississippi State University and is licensed exclusively to Repreve Renewables, a joint venture between sod entrepreneur Phillip Jennings and publicly traded textile company UNIFI Manufacturing, Inc.

Dr. Lora Petrie-Hanson, an associate professor of immunology in MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, examines a channel catfish raised for aquaculture disease research in the university's fish hatchery. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
January 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish research at Mississippi State University is no surprise given that Mississippi leads the nation in catfish production, but the potential applications of that research through the College of Veterinary Medicine’s fish hatchery are another story.

As the state’s land-grant university, MSU conducts research that benefits this valuable aquaculture industry and consumers. While some of that research can take place in farm ponds, other studies require fish with known health histories.

January 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Food assistance programs are designed to keep children fed who otherwise would be hungry, but a recent Southern Rural Development Center study found they often contribute to obesity in cities with a high cost of living.

The study was conducted by Elizabeth Rigby of The George Washington University and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro of Rice University. It was commissioned by the SRDC, housed at Mississippi State University, and it is part of the Food Assistance and Nutrition Information Series.

Disco Marietta is a single-flowered marigold that has yellow-orange petals featuring deep mahogany red splotches that look like paint brush strokes at the base of the flower.
January 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Many landscapes look drab and dreary in January, and extremely cold temperatures across the state have presented gardeners with an even bigger challenge than usual this winter.

But I had an uplifting experience last week when I attended the Gulf States Horticultural Expo in Mobile. I came away having seen the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and remembering that the warm days of spring will soon be upon us.

January 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Youth through age 15 have the opportunity to learn how to squirrel hunt during a special event Feb. 5 at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.

Extension Service personnel in Mississippi State University’s Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department are offering the hunting opportunity to a limited number of youth. To participate, the young person must be younger than 16 and come with a parent or guardian who will take part in the hunt.

January 25, 2011 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit

VERONA – Fruit and vegetable producers and people with an interest in this business should mark their calendars for a Feb. 11 Mississippi State University Extension Service conference and trade show.

The Northeast Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Producers Association Educational Conference and Trade Show will be held at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona. The conference will begin with an 8 a.m. registration and wrap up at 5 p.m. The registration fee is $10 and includes handouts and lunch.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi high school juniors considering medical careers in their home state have the opportunity to take part in an intense and revealing summer program at Mississippi State University.

The five-week Rural Medical Scholars summer program at MSU aims to identify the state’s future primary care doctors and help them prepare for medical school admission.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A popular statewide 4-H project has kicked off its new year with a capacity crowd at Mississippi State University.

Youth and volunteers involved in 4-H Robotics Clubs, located in more than a third of Mississippi’s counties, came to MSU on Jan. 15 to begin their projects. They will continue activities throughout January and monthly until the robotics contest at 4-H Club Congress and Project Achievement Days in June.

Rita W. Green
January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Family Financial Management, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Rita W. Green is participating in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture policymaking board.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Green, MSU family resource management area agent based in Grenada County, to the National Agricultural Research Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. This group is the only USDA advisory board that reports directly to Congress. Green will represent consumer interests as well as serve on the specialty crop and the relevancy and adequacy committees.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Stephen and Dava Imes will always remember their cat Mac as being one of a kind, and they are ensuring his legacy lives on through a Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine scholarship.

Mac was a Maine coon cat, a breed known for its large size, long coat and intelligence. Stephen Imes of Columbus first saw Mac nine years ago in South Carolina and knew right away that Mac was something special.