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News From 2011

Michael May of Lazy Acres Plantation in Chunky uses social media to connect with visitors to his agritourism business which includes a pumpkin patch, corn maze, petting zoo and Christmas tree farm. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Farmers and Facebook may not seem like natural allies, but savvy agribusiness owners are using social networks to generate business and educate consumers.

Amanda Clay Powers, Extension reference librarian and assistant professor at Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library, is a nationally recognized expert in social media. Her Twitter guide for the MSU library’s collection, located at, helps people get started in social media.

October 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Hunters in the Lowndes County area may find deer with colored ear tags wandering in the woods this fall.

The tagged deer are part of a Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center study to determine antler size and growth rates for wild, male, white-tailed deer.

The study objective is to determine if antler size in young bucks is an indication of their future size as mature deer.

Red Star cordyline is the thriller plant in this bright, fall combination container, which also features lantana and summer coleus.
October 4, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The gorgeous colors we are seeing in nature this fall can be repeated in our landscapes with fall combination containers. The warm colors of red, orange, and yellow all add excitement to the cool temperatures.

Creating your own fall combination containers is easy if you follow the thriller, filler and spiller formula. Don’t limit yourself on plant selection -- use annuals, perennials and even tropical houseplants. When cold temperatures are forecast, these combination containers will also look good inside.

October 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, Technology

PICAYUNE – Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum has partnered with GPTrex, a company founded by parents and educators, to produce an interactive, family-friendly application for visitors with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

Using the devices’ built-in technology and intuitive touch screen, the mobile application offers families a whole new experience when visiting the arboretum. The free application provides visitors with high-resolution images of plants and animals, streaming video, GPS mapping and challenge questions.

Brad Spencer, of Spencer and Sons Farms in Calhoun County, tests a bed of sweet potatoes near Vardaman Sept. 28 to see if they are ready to harvest. (Photo by Scott Corey)
September 30, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The state’s sweet potato crop appeared to be doomed before it started, but a late soaking allowed this hardy crop to yield average harvests after a tough year.

Bill Burdine, area agronomic specialist in Chickasaw County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said quality may be slightly above average for this crop, which started a little behind schedule.

September 29, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H

JACKSON – An all-day event at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum on Lakeland Drive on Oct. 29 will celebrate more than 100 years of youth development programming for the state’s 4-H members.

September 29, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

One of my father’s favorite sayings has always been, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Unfortunately, criminally minded Internet users send hoaxes, scams, lotteries and giveaways bent on separating the rest of us from our money.

Phyllis Miller shows how to combine clothing from past seasons and travels to create a unique personal style by pairing her award-winning Kente wrap design over a black sweater dress with accessories from around the world. Charles Freeman models a layered look with a custom-made wool jacket paired with jeans bought on clearance at Target.
September 29, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Creativity and self-awareness are the foundation for personal style, and fashion experts at Mississippi State University say fall clothing trends can be incorporated into anyone’s wardrobe with minimal expense.

Capt. SaraRose Knox, a 2010 graduate of MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, teaches military handlers basic first aid for their dogs, such as bandaging, stabilizing fractures and trimming nails. (Submitted photo)
September 29, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dr. SaraRose Knox is a 2010 graduate of Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and an Army captain deployed in Afghanistan who keeps working dogs healthy and ensures safe food for troops.

Knox, from Brookfield, Mass., has worked with animals since she was 15.

Chip Templeton, Mississippi State University Extension broadband coordinator for the Northeast region of the state, delivers a video-teleconference presentation about the broadband initiative. The Extension Service and the Southern Rural Development Center have partnered with the Office of the Governor to help communities improve their access to and use of broadband services. (Photo by Scott Corey)
September 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A new broadband initiative seeks to help Mississippians connect to new technology, increasing access to a wide range of community and economic development opportunities.

September 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The 38th Annual Ornamental Horticulture Field Day on Oct. 6 will give updates on current research findings and experiments relevant to this industry.

The half-day event will be held at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville. There will be tours of the trial gardens and research updates from scientists at Mississippi State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Southern Horticultural Laboratory.

Adding fall mums is a stress-free way to provide color to the fall landscape, and the selection of colors can seem limitless.
September 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Just as the changing colors in nature signal the arrival of autumn, so do the appearance of beautiful, flowering mums at our local garden centers.

Adding fall mums, which is the short name for Chrysanthemums, is a stress-free way to provide color to the fall landscape. It’s easy to see why, as these plants will produce more flowers than you could possibly count. The selection of colors seems limitless, from rustic earth tones to bright and cheery pastels.

Available sizes range from 4-inch pots all the way up to 5-gallon containers and bigger.

Tropical Storm Lee's rains saved much of this year's pecan crop and growers are expecting good yields. (file photo)
September 23, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Nuts

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The summer drought could have severely affected this year’s pecan yields, but thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, growers are optimistic about the crop.

The entire Southeast experienced a dry growing season until Tropical Storm Lee hit in early September.

“The rains were very timely and needed,” said David Ingram, plant pathologist with the Mississippi State University Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

Mississippi State University researchers recently discovered several species of microbes in panda excrement that could be replicated and used to process biofuels. (MSU's Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology/Ashli Brown)
September 22, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

By Laci Kyles
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University assistant professor is looking to “panda poop,” or microbes in panda excrement that breakdown woody materials, as a possible means to biofuel production.

September 22, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

E-mail phishing attacks net more than just dollars and cents; they can also capture account usernames and passwords.

The term phishing is a combination of the words “fishing” and “phreaks.” Phreaks were early computer users who also dabbled in hacking. Later, malicious computer hackers began using their skills to hook unsuspecting e-mail users with phishing e-mails.

Phishers create e-mails that mimic those from well-known companies. More than half of all phishing e-mails impersonate a financial institution, such as a bank or credit-card company.

September 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University poultry sciences associate professor was recognized by the National Chicken Council for his research contributions.

Alex Corzo received the council’s Broiler Research Award for research work that has positively impacted the broiler industry. An eight-year veteran of the university, Corzo is a scientist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His research is focused on how poultry absorb nutrients and use dietary ingredients.

Fall weather brings an abundance of color to Mississippi landscapes. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
September 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Fall has always been one of my favorite times of the year, something that probably has a lot to do with my growing up in Michigan, where I enjoyed cooler temperatures and trees changing colors.

Here in Mississippi, I enjoy waking up in the morning and feeling that chill in the air. I guess I am finally becoming acclimated because even 70 degrees feels chilly after a hot and humid Mississippi summer.

A spread-out planting season means the state's soybean crop will be harvested from early September until the end of October. (file photo)
September 16, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tropical Storm Lee brought rain across the state Labor Day weekend with mixed results -- mostly good -- for the state’s soybean crop.

Rain that weekend ranged from a few hundredths of an inch in northwest Mississippi to as many as 10 inches in some soybean-growing areas. Whether it brought much-needed moisture to dry fields at an ideal time or halted harvest depended on when the crop was planted.

September 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

CRYSTAL SPRINGS -- The Southeast’s largest home gardening event is about to mark its 33rd anniversary as gardeners from across the region flock to Copiah County for the Oct. 21 and 22 Fall Flower & Garden Fest.

Mississippi State University, through the Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is sponsoring the annual event at the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and admission and parking are free.

September 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Many Internet sites require a username and password, and the stronger they are, the safer your personal information will be.