The major fruit crop in Mississippi is blueberries with more than 2000 acres in production. Since blueberries are native to the Southeast and grow well in the pine belt of south Mississippi, commercial production of blueberries has been important to the horticultural economy of Mississippi since the 1970s. Mississippi State University Extension personnel work with blueberry growers to achieve maximum production, but also strive for best management practices that are sustainable. Although blueberries are the dominant crop, other fruit crops are important on a smaller scale, such as bunch grapes and muscadines, tree fruits (apples, peaches, pears, plums, and nectarines), citrus (kumquat, satsuma, Meyer lemon), blackberries, strawberries, and various other alternative fruit crops like figs, mayhaws, and persimmons.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi fruit growers need look no further than their smartphones or laptops when searching for a second opinion on chill hour accumulation.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched Chill Hours, an app that helps growers assess growing conditions that affect plant physiology and prepare for the upcoming growing season.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host a winemaking tutorial next month.
The Growing, Making and Improving Wines Workshop will be held Oct. 21 at the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Laboratory in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park across from the MSU campus in Starkville.
CARRIERE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University will host the annual Muscadine Field Day Aug. 27 at the McNeill Research Unit.
Speakers from the MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service will discuss muscadine cultivars, best production practices, and insects and diseases.
The field day is from 9-11 a.m. Preregistration is not required for the free event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- The first half of June is usually a busy time for blueberry growers in Mississippi, and this year is no different, as recent dry conditions have expedited the crop’s harvest.
A few scattered small-market “U-Picks” can be found in north and central portions of the state, but most of the commercial activity is happening south of Interstate 20, where rain has been in short supply lately. Wayne County boasts the highest blueberry production in the state.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Record-breaking rain and cloudy skies this spring increased disease problems in most of Mississippi’s strawberry crop and decreased the sweetness of the popular berries.
“It’s been one of the wettest Marches in years statewide, and the wettest March in history for Jackson,” said Bill Evans, a horticulture researcher with Mississippi State University. “When strawberry plants get wet and stay wet, they get diseased.”