News Filed Under Commercial Fruit and Nuts
WAYNESBORO, Miss. -- The demand for fresh Mississippi blueberries may grow this year after a mid-March freeze hampered production in neighboring states.
Freezing temperatures during the crop's early growth stage on farms east of the state, especially in Georgia and North Carolina, caused production losses of up to 50 percent.
Meanwhile, 85 percent of Mississippi's blueberry crop was either in good or excellent condition as of May 15, according to a weekly crop progress and condition report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- This year's early spring temperatures allowed some fruit and vegetable growers to plant their crops a little earlier than usual.
Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Smith County, said growers in his county have not experienced any problems so far despite a late freeze.
"Everything is going well," he said. "Tomatoes grown in greenhouses or high tunnels are ready now. We project watermelons will be ready around mid- to late June, and field tomatoes should be ready to start coming off the vine around the first week of June."
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Growers interested in commercial pecan production are invited to a spring field day May 11 in Raymond.
The event will begin at the Mississippi State University Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center at 1320 Seven Springs Road in Raymond. It is hosted by the Mississippi Pecan Growers Association, MSU Extension Service, and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growing conditions first helped but then hurt Mississippi strawberries this year as the 2017 harvest season comes to an early conclusion.
Eric Stafne, fruit crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a mild fall and winter helped the crop mature a little earlier than normal.
WOODVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers market and cottage industry sales are a significant part of the Mississippi food scene, and Mississippi State University Extension Service training is helping entrepreneurs take advantage of these business opportunities.
The MSU Extension Service and Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion offers training on acidified canned foods and general food safety at locations across the state. An upcoming workshop will be held April 25 in Woodville, Mississippi, at the J.R. Hamilton Extension Building.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Producers interested in season extension for specialty crops and commercial strawberry production can learn about these topics during an upcoming field day.
The Season Extension and Commercial Strawberry Production Field Day will be April 4 at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station, located at 2024 Experiment Station Road in Crystal Springs. It begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers and Extension Service agents heard suggestions from Coastal area agricultural producers and industry leaders about the research and education they need from the university in 2017.
The MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center Producer Advisory Council meeting was held on Feb. 28 in Biloxi. The annual meeting helps the university allocate time and resources to the most important issues facing Mississippi's agricultural producers and related industries.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Agricultural producers and industry professionals in central Mississippi met with agents and research scientists of the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Feb. 22 to share input and give feedback.
The Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting was held in conjunction with Hinds Community College and the Alcorn State University Extension.
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. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.
Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.
"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."
TUPELO, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about growing and selling produce directly to the consumer during an on-farm field day organized by the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.
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.
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.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University is offering a blueberry education workshop in Hattiesburg Jan. 14 to raise interest in growing this profitable and delicious fruit crop in the state.
"Much of Mississippi's climate is ideally suited to blueberry production, and those involved in the industry would like to see more people become growers," said Eric Stafne, event organizer and MSU Extension Service fruit crop specialist. "We designed this workshop to be useful to industry professionals and those who are just considering getting involved."
Last year, I wrote about the wonderful citrus we can grow in Mississippi and how I was inspired by my friend Terry, who actually picked 1,800 Satsuma oranges from his two trees. You have to realize his trees are huge, and since they haven’t been pruned at all, he has to prop up the heavily laden branches with boards to keep them from snapping off.
What you are about to read is my experience as a first-time citrus grower.
HATTIESBURG – Blueberry producers and backyard fruit growers can learn about the newest threats to their crops at a workshop Jan. 17.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the Emerging Insect and Disease Workshop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Forrest County Extension office in Hattiesburg.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
STARKVILLE – A growing number of Mississippians are interested in how their food gets from the farm to the table and are looking for local fruits, vegetables and meat.
Ali Fratesi, a graduate student in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said more people are choosing locally grown food. When they do, they can ask farmers how it was grown or raised.
POPLARVILLE – Mississippi fruit producers have a new specialist to consult about crop problems and advise them on best practices.
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service has hired Eric Stafne as the assistant Extension professor of fruit crops. He is located at MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center in Poplarville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- To the untrained eye, Mississippi simply experienced a colorful spring. To fruit and pecan growers, it was like a breath of fresh air.
A March freeze in 1996 wiped out the state's peach and blueberry crops. Pecan trees still are not 100 percent recovered from the 1994 ice storm. But this year, the forecast is much improved.
Dr. Freddie Raspberry, extension horticulture specialist at Mississippi State University, said the undependable nature of Mississippi's fruit crops has driven many growers away from the business.