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.
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.
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.
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.