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News From 2011

July 22, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi could join Texas, Oklahoma and other southeastern states in widespread shortages of hay and forages if dry conditions continue.

Rocky Lemus, forage and grazing systems specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said Mississippi cattle producers are seeing about 50 percent losses of pasture and hay production.

“The southwestern part of the state is very dry. Spotty showers have provided some relief, but much more rain is needed statewide,” Lemus said.

July 21, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Although 99 percent of all Mississippi public schools have access to a high-speed Internet connection, when the school bell rings in the afternoon, nearly half of all Mississippi students go home to a household with no Internet connectivity.

Types of Internet access include dial-up, DSL (through the telephone company), satellite, or mobile hotspots available from cell phone carriers. Unfortunately, Mississippi ranks last in the nation in access to high-speed or broadband Internet access, and that can hurt a student’s ability to research and download schoolwork online.

July 21, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many adults know from experience about the scars school bullies can leave and should remember that the evidence is not always obvious.

Karen Benson has witnessed behavior by bullies and their victims in the course of teaching relationship classes to teens. She is a child and family development area agent based in Neshoba County with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.

Brian Templeton, Extension associate with MSU's Department of Landscape Architecture (left), and landscape architecture student Taylor Pounds plant a tree in front of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. They are part of a team that is providing a new landscape design to manage storm water and also demonstrate to the community the importance of sustainable landscapes.
July 21, 2011 - Filed Under: Community

Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum in Starkville reminds visitors of what a small Southern community once was, but also what it could be.

Pine bark beetles have attacked this stressed pine tree, burrowing under the bark and killing the tree. (file photo)
July 21, 2011 - Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With most of the state needing rain and south Mississippi under exceptional drought, landowners are watching as their trees deal with stress.

Glenn Hughes, forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said dead or dying trees, both pine and hardwood, are becoming a common sight in south Mississippi. This concerns both homeowners and forest landowners.

Agastache Color Spires Pink is a dramatic thriller plant in combination plantings in the landscape or containers. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
July 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

If I told you about a flowering plant that likes full sun, needs little water and thrives on neglect, wouldn’t you want to go out and buy one? Or several?

A plant with these requirements sounds perfect for our hot Mississippi gardens. Agastache (pronounced ag-ah-STAK-ee) may just be that plant. More commonly known as licorice mint, Mexican hyssop or hummingbird mint, this member of the mint family has -- as you may have already guessed -- a pleasing licorice aroma.

July 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi farmers planted another large corn crop, but this year’s corn is suffering from lack of rain.

This season’s plantings are spread over a wide time window because of frequent rainfall north Mississippi. The majority of the crop in the Delta and south Mississippi was planted during late March, but plantings in northern counties were delayed well into May.

July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An Aug. 13 tour of Mississippi State University’s South Farm will teach participants about the university’s warm-season forage research and demonstrations.

The Warm-Season Forage Tour will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Henry H. Leveck Animal Research Farm at MSU. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. The tour is hosted by the MSU Extension Service forage program and the Oktibbeha County Extension Office.

July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – For those interested in what varieties of muscadines are good for juice or best eaten fresh, Mississippi State University is offering a field day Aug. 13 in Pearl River County to teach about this fruiting vine.

The 2011 Muscadine Field Day will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at MSU’s McNeill Unit, a branch station of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. The event is free and open to the public, and sampling is encouraged.

July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An upcoming conference in Louisiana will provide a chance for participants from rural Mississippi and Louisiana to learn about unique tourism options.

The Miss-Lou Regional Tourism Summit will be Aug. 9-11 in Oak Grove, La., which is located in the northeast corner of the state, near the Mississippi River.

July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – This spring’s rash of deadly tornadoes bears a striking resemblance to the Super Outbreak of 1974, but the summer weather that followed both of these La Nina springs is very different.

Grady Dixon, an associate professor of geosciences at Mississippi State University, said this spring’s tornadoes were caused by a predictable weather pattern.

“A strong low-pressure system moving across the Midwest, coupled with warm, humid conditions over the East and Southeast and a strong jet stream, caused the early spring tornado events we had,” Dixon said.

Gary Lawrence and undergraduate students Ben Berch and Patrick Garrard (from left) collect hyperspectral reflectance data from cotton plants infected with reniform nematodes for a grant-funded project at Mississippi State University.
July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests, Remote Sensing Technology, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Researchers at Mississippi State University have developed technology that uses reflected light to analyze the presence of certain nematodes in cotton fields so producers can increase profits.

July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Maintaining the health of a computer keeps the computer running smoothly and the user’s sanity intact. Many computer issues can be avoided by taking preventative measures.

First, every computer should have a current anti-virus program. Many companies sell the computer with a 30-day, trial version of the anti-virus program, which then expires unless a full version of the anti-virus program is purchased.

Students go in the mouth of a model of the human body and explore for 30 minutes as volunteers teach them fun, healthy lessons about their bodies. The Body Walk exhibit, sponsored by MSU's Extension Service and Family Nutrition Program, will be returning to elementary campuses across the state from the last week of August until May. (MSU Ag Communications File Photo)
July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Starting in August, students will again go in the mouth of a model of the human body and explore for 30 minutes as volunteers teach them fun, healthy lessons about their bodies.

The landscape performance of Coreopsis verticillata, such as this Route 66 selection, makes these plants outstanding choices for season-long color. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
July 12, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

When the heat makes gardeners want to stay indoors, it’s nice to have reliable, flowering plants that keep on looking good even when they don’t get a lot of attention.

The landscape performance of thread-leaf coreopsis, or Coreopsis verticillata, has made these plants outstanding choices for season-long color. And since it is an easy-to-grow, flowering perennial, beginner gardeners can have success almost immediately.

Agricultural administrators from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and the University of Arkansas met in Vicksburg to plan cooperative programs in support of agricultural enterprises. In attendance were, front row (left to right) Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter, Cooperative Extension Service; Wes Burger, MSU Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station; Nathan McKinney, University of Arkansas; Dwight Landreneau, LSU AgCenter, Cooperative Extension Service; John Russin; LSU AgCenter, Louisia
July 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, About Extension

VICKSBURG – Three mid-south universities met recently to develop a plan to combine resources to strengthen support for agricultural enterprises.

Experiment station and Extension Service directors from the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and Mississippi State University met June 11-13 in Vicksburg to discuss cooperating on research and educational programs to benefit agriculture.

Many east Mississippi soybeans, such as these growing on Mississippi State University's North Farm, have received timely rains and have the potential to make a good crop. (Photo by Scott Corey)
July 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The status of the state’s soybean crop depends almost entirely on location, with many east Mississippi fields in good shape while half of Delta fields struggle.

Tom Eubank, a soybean weed scientist and agronomist at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said some Delta fields have soybeans setting pods, and others are just being planted.

“In the northern Delta, we have a late crop. In the southern Delta, we have an extremely late crop,” Eubank said. “The more central Delta acres were planted on time.”

July 7, 2011 - Filed Under: City and County Government

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Elected and appointed municipal government officials in Mississippi have another resource to turn to for leadership and problem-solving in the daily operation of local government.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Center for Governmental Training and Technology recently published its Third Edition of Municipal Government in Mississippi. The center distributed more than 1,200 copies of the book at the recent Mississippi Municipal League Annual Conference in Biloxi.

Pat Drackett
July 7, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, About Extension

PICAYUNE – Pat Drackett is the new director of Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.

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

July 7, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Many students are buying more than just pencils, scissors and glue as they prepare for the school year ahead. Families are finding that a computer is a necessary item that often does not make it on the traditional back-to-school supply list. More and more, students need computers to research school projects, participate in online learning modules, dissect frogs in virtual reality labs, and practice Spanish with language pals halfway around the world.