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MSU scientists evaluating soil-testing recommendations

STONEVILLE — The thousands of dollars farmers invest in equipment, seed and labor to produce row crops, such as soybeans, cotton and corn, is wasted if they do not have quality soil. “Everything ties back to how well the soil is maintained,” said Bobby Golden, an agronomist and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at Stoneville. “If ...

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Waterfowl population expected to rise to nearly 50 million birds

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Every July, waterfowl biologists from the Mississippi Flyway Council, comprised of 14 states and three Canadian provinces, look at many factors to predict the total number of ducks available for harvest in the fall flight forecast. Then they use this number to determine the framework of seasons, dates and bag limits for the fall hunting season. This ...

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Scientists: Tick bite can cause red meat allergy

STARKVILLE — Steak lovers beware: Scientists have discovered certain tick bites can cause an allergy to red meat. Jerome Goddard, medical entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the lone star tick species carries a sugar that can be transmitted through its bite. The transmission of the sugar may cause people to become allergic to red meat. Goddard ...

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NOAA scientists plan to fly drones into hurricanes

GULF OF MEXICO — The point where the roiling ocean meets the fury of a hurricane’s winds may hold the key to improving storm intensity forecasts — but it’s nearly impossible for scientists to see. That may change this summer, thanks to post-Hurricane Sandy federal funding and a handful of winged drones that can spend hours spiraling in a hurricane’s ...

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Scientists looking for new weapons to fight cotton-damaging insect

Cotton has made a rebound over the last few years, but growers still face challenges. One of those is damage from insects. However, new research shows potential for offering new strategies to limit tarnished plant bug damage in cotton, though sure options already exist. Mississippi State University scientists and Extension specialists have compiled decades of research to create a comprehensive ...

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Scientists looking to whack herbicide-resistant weeds

Mississippi is under siege, and a thin line of Mississippians is all that stands in the way of the invaders. The Magnolia State sits atop yet another undesirable national ranking — the species of weeds that are resistant to glyphosate, a common herbicide once known as Round-up. The number of glyphosate-resistent weeds has been growing at least since the late ...

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MSU scientists develop new undercutter for sweet potatoes

STARKVILLE — A machine designed by a group of Mississippi State University researchers could help sweet potato farmers reduce skinning injury to potatoes and speed up harvest. The undercutter prototype, made from off-the-shelf components, shows early potential to help lower harvest and post-harvest losses caused by skinning, said Jason Ward, assistant Extension professor in MSU’s Agriculture and Biological Engineering Department. ...

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Former military drones converted to storm research tool

GULF OF MEXICO — NASA scientists are using former military surveillance drones to help them understand more about how tropical storms intensify, which they say could ultimately save lives by improving forecast models that predict a hurricane’s strength. The unmanned Global Hawk aircraft were designed to perform high-altitude, long-endurance reconnaissance and intelligence missions for the Air Force. Two of the ...

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Stoneville scientist's work gets worldwide attention

STONEVILLE — A Stoneville researcher’s work to eliminate a particularly pernicious corn pest has attracted international collaboration. Hamed Abbas, a plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, and Cesare Accinelli, a microbiologist with the University of Bologna in Italy, are researching chemical-free methods — employing bioplastics — to prevent aflatoxin contamination of corn crops. “The concept ...

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Researchers find link between habitat and deer antler size

STARKVILLE — Research conducted by Mississippi State University Deer Lab scientists has determined northern deer may have bigger bodies but they don’t necessarily have bigger antlers. The discovery, made by scientists in the university’s Deer Lab, a unit of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, shows that antler size depends more on diet than latitude. “In white-tailed deer, large antlers ...

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