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News Filed Under Fruit

Muscadines of various shades are bunched on the vine.
August 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

Producers can learn about issues related to muscadine production and other fruit-related topics at an upcoming field day in Pearl River County, south of McNeill.

These early stage blueberries are green with a pink center.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Fruit, Local Flavor, Specialty Crop Production, Farmers Markets

 Blueberry growers in Mississippi are having a successful season thanks to good harvesting conditions, crop quality and market prices.

Strawberries in various stages of ripening sit on top of black weed barrier matting.
April 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Fruit, Specialty Crop Production, Farmers Markets

MACON, Miss. -- Myron Unruh has no complaints about the quality of his farm’s strawberries. He just wishes more of them would grow.

“We picked some strawberries earlier this week, and they were gorgeous, but we’re getting less than half of what we should be getting,” said Unruh, who owns Lazy U Farms in Macon. “It’s pretty tough right now.”

March 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Fruit, Technology

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Designing an app that helps fruit growers know how many chill hours their crops have accumulated earned one Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist a regional award.

A brown marmorated stink bug with numerous small spots on its body and two white lines on its dark, brown antennae sits on top of a red and yellow apple.
October 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Fruit, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

Brown marmorated stink bugs took up residence in the Northeast nearly 20 years ago, but established populations of the destructive pest are now confirmed in the Southeast, including two reports in Mississippi.

Blake Layton, an entomology specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is asking homeowners and producers to report any sightings of the insect. These insects are on a different level than other stink bugs in the South because of the damage they cause in fruit and the issues they cause when they invade buildings, he said.

August 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A group interested in learning more about the ancient and popular art of winemaking will attend an upcoming workshop on the topic Sept. 15 at Mississippi State University.

The Growing, Making and Improving Wines Workshop will be at the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Laboratory on the MSU campus. The MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are offering the daylong workshop.

August 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

MCNEILL, Miss. -- Mississippi State University invites muscadine grape growers and those interested in growing these vines to an Aug. 26 field day in Pearl River County.

Topics for the annual Muscadine Field Day include pests, new varieties and vine management. MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service personnel will speak.

These blueberries at the Blueberry Patch in Starkville, Mississippi, are shown in a fruit coloring stage on May 17, 2017. Mostly warm winter conditions caused this year’s harvest to be unusually early in most parts of the state. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

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.

March 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Nuts

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.

February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Fruit

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.

September 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

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.

July 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

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.

Rabbiteye blueberries make up 80 to 90 percent of the Mississippi’s blueberry crop. Recent dry weather has made harvesting easier than normal. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/File)
June 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit

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.

These Merced variety strawberries growing at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs looked good on April 21, 2016, despite rainy spring weather that has increased disease pressure on most of Mississippi’s crop. Researchers at the station are conducting a strawberry variety trial to help Mississippi producers choose the best performing varieties for the state. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

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.”

January 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Fruit

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites grape growers in the state to a pruning workshop to be held Feb. 3 in Beaumont.

The event will cover the basics of vine anatomy and pruning techniques for bunch grapes and muscadines. After the presentations, in-field demonstrations will show participants correct pruning techniques. Novice and seasoned growers are invited to attend.

Libby Beard, co-owner of The Flower Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, left, and Anna McCain, Warren County Extension agent, look over some of the fall bedding flowers available on Oct. 7, 2015. (Submitted photo)
October 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit, Commercial Horticulture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- If inquiries about new or expanded businesses are the heartbeat of Mississippi horticulture, then agricultural economist Alba Collart knows 2015 is a healthy year for the industry.

Collart, assistant professor of agricultural economics with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said horticultural crops are important to Mississippi’s agricultural economy. These specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and products grown for environmental horticulture, also known as the green industry.

August 3, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit

CARRIERE, Miss. -- Muscadine growers are invited to the Mississippi State University McNeill Research Unit in Pearl River County Aug. 29 to learn more about their crop.

The 2015 Muscadine Field Day at the MSU research unit will allow visitors to see fruit on the vine at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service cultivar trial vineyard. Speakers will address timely topics related to muscadine vines. Each year, more than 100 growers from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida attend this educational event.

July 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit

VERONA, Miss. -- The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona will hold a summer field day for fruit and vegetable producers on Aug. 26 at 7 a.m.

Registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. The event will begin with a covered wagon tour of the horticultural research projects in the field. Three short educational updates will follow in the auditorium. Growers will have the opportunity to network with colleagues and ask questions of Mississippi State University experts.

Blueberries are ripe for the picking across much of the state if rains will allow opportunities for harvest. Bushes are loaded with berries, such as these photographed on June 2, 2015, in Poplarville, Mississippi. (Photo by Eric Stafne)
June 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Frequent rains have complicated harvests and triggered some disease issues, but Mississippians’ love for blueberries will not be dampened.

Luis Monterde, a blueberry grower near Purvis, said it takes a lot of patience to grow blueberries.

Strawberries at Lazy U Farm in Macon, Mississippi, are doing well on May 21, 2015, compared to most crops in the state. Frequent spring rains combined with poor plant growth, flowering and fruit set have decreased many growers' harvests. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 22, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit

RAYMOND, Miss. – Seemingly endless rains this spring are challenging Mississippi’s strawberry crop.

“The frequent rains we had in the last few months put pressure on the bloom and fruit quality,” said Bill Evans, a horticultural researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “In April alone, we got more than 7 inches of rain.”

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