The major fruit crop in Mississippi is blueberries, with more than 2,000 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 they also strive for 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.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi blueberry producers expect to see substantial yield losses in the state’s largest commercial fruit crop after the hard freeze that hit the state on the weekend of March 18. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said growers will see significant losses. The condition of the crop is poor based on what commercial growers are reporting to him and his observation of damage to blueberry plants at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, where he is based.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host two free educational workshops for blueberry growers in January -- one in person and another online.
The in-person workshop will be held Jan. 24 at the MSU Extension Forrest County office at 952 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg from 1-4 p.m. The virtual workshop will be Jan. 26 from 2-4 p.m.
With figs in season, they’re on my mind a lot these days. The sweet, Southern decadence is quite the treat! I associate figs with my grandparents since they had a tree in their backyard. I remember helping them pick buckets full of figs when I was younger and eating them soon after they were picked.
Canning is a precise process that must be done correctly to have a safe, edible product. Proper preparation ahead of time will make the entire process much easier. These steps will help you get started.
The U.S. passion fruit industry is small, but a team of researchers want to help it grow through a grant awarded to Mississippi State University. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is leading a research project aimed at gathering input from growers, marketers, consumers and buyers. The research team wants to better understand the current industry and its future direction.
The Vineyard Pruning Workshop, funded by the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium, taught the basics of vine anatomy and pruning techniques for muscadines and bunch grapes. In-field demonstrations showed participants correct pruning techniques in the vineyard.