(Distributed May 2006) Extremely dry weather in recent months across the southern Louisiana parishes has many farmers concerned about a repeat of the mega-drought conditions of 1998-2001. And their fears are not unfounded, according to LSU AgCenter weather specialist and extension climatologist Jay Grymes.
(Distributed May 2006) Residents and authorities have vowed to be more prepared for hurricanes this year following the disasters of Katrina and Rita last season. Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 21-27.
(Distributed May 2006) "Eating healthfully is one of the most important things women can do to achieve and maintain good health," says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames, in observance of National Women’s Health Week May14-20.
(Distributed May 2006) The best season for vegetable gardening is almost behind us in Louisiana. We can work toward the summer, hot-season plantings or still try to get some of a late spring crop in. North Louisiana still has a little more spring left than the southern parishes do.
(Distributed May 2006) Horticultural articles and booklets often use special terminology in discussing fertilization practices. Knowing exactly what they are saying is essential for success with your cultural program.
(Distributed May 2006) Louisiana officials soon will launch a quality rating system for child-care programs. Just as restaurants and hotels are rated, this system will grade child-care programs and help consumers choose programs based upon their quality.
(Distributed May 2006) Caring for children can be an exciting and rewarding field, but it’s also a huge responsibility, so an LSU AgCenter child-care associate says there are many factors to consider before starting a child-care business.
(Distributed May 2006) Service-learning is a teaching strategy sweeping the nation that links community service to formal and informal education.
(Distributed May 2006) "Play ball," the umpire calls out, and the game begins. The grade-schoolers are in their defensive positions on the field, the pitcher prepares to make the first pitch and the batter is ready. The young player dreads the possibility of getting out and letting his team down, but he dreads more the cutting remarks he may face, including those of his parents and coach
(Distributed May 2006) Increased emphasis on safer sports turf has evolved greatly over the past years. About 20 years ago, two-thirds of reported sports injuries occurred on practice fields. Those fields were less maintained than game fields.
(Distributed May 2006) Nearly all Americans consume much more salt than they need, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames. Increased salt (sodium chloride) intake is linked with higher blood pressure. Decreased salt consumption reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
(Distributed May 2006) May is a good time to enjoy mayhaw jelly, Louisiana’s state jelly. The mayhaw, Crataegus opaca, is a native fruit of Louisiana. It begins ripening in late April and finishes about the first week in June. Fruit color is usually bright red, although it can deviate toward pink or yellow.
(Distributed May 2006) "A patch of dead grass, even a small one, in an otherwise acceptable lawn can be an eyesore and a weed magnet," says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. Use turfgrass to patch the lawn. It’s easy, immediate and permanent and checks soil erosion.
(Distributed May 2006) A sticky dripping substance falling from pecan trees in spring and summer can be annoying. The dripping material is called honeydew.
(Distributed May 2006) May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Yet, about one quarter of American adults report doing no significant physical activity.
(Distributed May 2006) May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, to help educate people about the importance of preventing and treating high blood pressure.
(Distributed April 2006) Louisiana gets a lot of rain, but it isn’t spaced out uniformly. Sometimes there’s too much rain, and other times there are periods of drought. Plants do better, however, with a more uniform water supply.
(Distributed April 2006) If you have a small garden, or if you have a larger garden and are energetic, a powered rotary tiller is not always necessary, according to an engineer at the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station.
(Distributed April 2006) Youth across the nation will observe National & Global Youth Service Day April 21-23 with service and civic activities.
(Distributed April 2006) Front-wheel-assist (FWA) is a popular option on many compact utility tractors, and it’s standard equipment on several models. It’s also available on some lawn and garden tractors.
(Distributed April 2006) Focusing on health and on changing behavior, instead of on weight loss, is the apparent key to better health, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed April 2006) Spring has sprung, and the grass is now growing. But, says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske, there is usually no good reason to push early growth with lots of fertilizer.
(Distributed April 2006) Pecan trees are sometimes infested by dot-size insects called pecan phylloxera in April. The feeding of these minuscule insects can produce round galls ¼- to 1-inch in diameter on twigs and leaves in late April, May and early June.
(Distributed April 2006) Nearly a half million injuries occur each year from lawnmowers and garden equipment. Riding lawnmowers account for almost 6 percent of these injuries.
(Distributed April 2006) Starting a lawn from seed is a tough proposition even when all things are done right. Poor fertility, too much or too little moisture, rain washouts, ants, weeds and disease all can cause havoc during establishment.
(Distributed April 2006) A new online table from Agricultural Research Service nutritionists lets users check the amount of "added" sugars in foods. The table contains information on added sugars, total sugars and carbohydrates in 2,041 common foods.
(Distributed April 2006) National Volunteer Week, slated for April 23-29, is a perfect opportunity to recognize the contributions of volunteers, according to LSU AgCenter 4-H youth volunteer expert Dr. Janet Fox.
(Distributed April 2006) Eating only 100 more calories a day than you burn can lead to a weight gain of 10 pounds a year. With today’s larger portions, it’s easy to consume 100 extra calories, and more, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed April 2006) Knowing the variety of child-care options available to you can help you choose the one that’s best for you and your family, experts with the LSU AgCenter stress.
(Distributed April 2006) Programs exist to help families make better decisions about child care, according to LSU AgCenter child-care associate Cheri Gioe. Known as Child Care Resource and Referral Programs, these local agencies provide free assistance to families who are actively searching for care and need help with making informed decisions about the best care for their children, Gioe explains.
(Distributed April 2006) Although many people already have completed this year’s tax returns, it’s not too early to start considering items that may help you save on next year’s taxes. Child-care costs are one of those areas, according to LSU AgCenter child-care associate Cheri Gioe.
(Distributed April 2006) Now is the time to begin working on a new lawn, and LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske has advice for those undertaking such a project.
(Distributed April 2006) Dyeing and decorating eggs is a popular Easter tradition for many families. Because eggs are perishable, though, it is necessary to follow food safety precautions, advises LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed April 2006) With strawberry season in full swing, LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames says to choose Louisiana strawberries for a nutritious, healthy treat.
(Distributed April 2006) One of the newest groups of zinnias catching on the last five years have been the Profusion series. These zinnias are rapidly gaining popularity among home gardeners and landscape professionals.
(Distributed April 2006) A relatively new category has been added to All-America Selections, home of the popular All-America Rose Selections, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings. That group is daylilies.