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News Filed Under Sweet Potatoes

August 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Sweet potato producers, crop consultants, agricultural industry representatives and the general public will learn about ongoing Mississippi State University sweet potato research and outreach efforts at a field day Aug. 31.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Highway 15 South in Pontotoc.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes

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."

This tractor creeps across a Vardaman, Mississippi, field Sept. 20, 2016, digging sweet potatoes while workers sort them based on size and quality. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- After two challenging years in Mississippi sweet potato fields, farmers are hoping for a problem-free harvest over the next few weeks.

Stephen Meyers, Extension sweet potato specialist based at the Mississippi State University Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, said growers are cautiously optimistic as harvest begins.

August 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Mississippi State University faculty and specialists will update producers at a field day in Pontotoc Aug. 24 on recent sweet potato research.

Sweet potato producers, researchers, agriculture industry representatives and crop consultants can view research plots and variety trials at the MSU-Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station during the program.

Personnel with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will present information on weed management, crop fertility and sweet potato varieties.

Storage facilities, such as this grain elevator in Sunflower County seen on Dec. 15, 2015, are busy as Mississippi’s 2015 harvest is complete. Agriculture brought an estimated value of $7.4 billion to the state. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
December 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry, Catfish, Sweet Potatoes, Cotton, Corn, Peanuts, Soybeans, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Neither crop yields nor prices were particularly bad in 2015, but Mississippi’s estimated state agricultural production value still dropped to $7.2 billion, a 4.9 percent decrease from the previous year.

Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the decline in agricultural value has two causes.

More than 100 sweet potato growers in Mississippi planted 23,200 acres of the crop this year. That is second only to North Carolina in the U.S. by acreage. (Photo by MSU Extension, Kevin Hudson)
October 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

VARDAMAN, Miss. -- Untimely dry conditions will likely hurt this year’s sweet potato crop in Mississippi, but increasing demand is keeping prices high enough for growers to remain optimistic.

Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a wet spring delayed planting for one to two weeks. Dry fall conditions limited growing progress and will keep yields from reaching full potential.

October 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Sweet Potatoes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi sweet potato growers will benefit from Mississippi State University’s work in a U.S.

August 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Sweet potato producers, researchers, industry representatives and crop consultants are invited to attend a field day on Aug. 27.

The event will be at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Highway 15 South. Specialists and researchers with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will present the field day.

Mississippi 2014 Estimated Value of Ag Production
December 19, 2014 - Filed Under: Catfish, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Agricultural Economics, Forages, Beef, Poultry, Swine, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite low prices for many commodities, the overall projected totals for Mississippi’s crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year and essentially match the record set in 2013.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014’s agricultural production values, excluding government payments, is over $7.7 billion.

With sweet potato harvest halfway done in Mississippi, growers are finding a beautiful but small crop. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/ Kevin Hudson)
October 3, 2014 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

VARDAMAN -- A dry September put a damper on Mississippi sweet potato production, but the rain in early October may help the crop remaining in the field.

Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said sweet potato fields received about an inch of rain Oct. 3.

“We’re optimistic that this rain will help size up the storage roots, but because of muddy conditions, producers will probably be out of the field for two days, and then resume harvest,” Meyers said.

Sweet potato growers, crop consultants and other agricultural professionals can learn about current research and issues at a field day Aug. 20.
July 21, 2014 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC -- Sweet potato growers, crop consultants and other agricultural professionals can learn about current research and issues at a field day Aug. 20.

Researchers and specialists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Highway 15 South.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and fiber, which make them a healthy addition to soups, stews, main dishes and desserts. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/File Photo)
April 1, 2014 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

By Brittnie Burton
MSU Ag Communications

The Mississippi State University Extension Service works in a variety of ways to support Mississippi's sweet potato industry, which ranks third in the U.S. in production. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
January 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PITTSBORO – What will be the next innovative sweet potato product found on grocery shelves across the county? Perhaps something invented by students at Mississippi State University.

Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service, launched the Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge at the Sweet Potato Council’s annual meeting Jan. 10 in Calhoun County.

Mississippi State University students in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion (from left) Morgan Von Staden, Hanna Olstad and Andrew Moorhead observe the washing process on a sweet potato packing line Sept. 5, 2014, in Vardaman, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
January 8, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Challenged to develop alternative uses for culled sweet potatoes, Mississippi State University students really thought outside the box.

Cosmetics, feminine hygiene products and deer attractants were among the student proposals in the first Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge at MSU. Phase one of the challenge took place during the fall semester, and student presentations in December included requests for research and development grants.

November 13, 2013 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A sweet potato production conference organized by Mississippi State University faculty and collaborators in other states won a national award on Nov. 10 for excellence in promoting multistate research.

MSU faculty Ramon Arancibia, Raja Reddy, Steve Meyers, Mark Shankle, Juan Silva, Jason Ward and Filip To are members of the National Sweetpotato Collaborators working group that planned the annual conference of sweet potato researchers.

Benny Graves, executive director of the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council and Matthew Knight, a grower in Webster County, inspect harvested sweet potatoes on Sept. 4, 2013. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
September 27, 2013 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In spite of recent rains, the state’s sweet potato growers have a lot to be excited about this harvest season.

“Growers set the majority of the crop back in late May and June under ideal conditions,” said Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We had good root set, which means the number of roots per plant has been good.”

Wes Lowe, Mississippi State University research team member, demonstrated the undercutter prototype during the Aug. 22 sweet potato field day at MSU's Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station. The undercutter is built from off-the-shelf components and is the focus of research aimed at reducing skinning injury to sweet potatoes and speeding up harvest. (Photo courtesy of MSU Ag and Bio Engineering/Jason Ward)
September 20, 2013 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – 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. Problems stemming from skin abrasions that happen during digging and handling account for 20 to 25 percent of storage losses, he said.

August 8, 2013 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC – Sweet potato growers, crop consultants and other agricultural professionals can learn about recent weed, insect and disease control research during an upcoming field day.

Researchers and specialists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment station will host the event Aug. 22 at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station located at 8320 Highway 15 South.

Stephen Meyers
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC – A new sweet potato specialist has joined forces with Mississippi growers as they produce and promote one of the state’s favorite vegetable crops.

Stephen Meyers, a native of northern Indiana, is working with growers whose fields are largely centered in or around Calhoun and Chickasaw counties. He earned his bachelor’s degree in horticultural production and marketing, with a minor in weed science, from Purdue University. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in weed management from North Carolina State University.

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