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Tag Archives: horticulture

Watermelon, blueberry crop hurt by weather, disease

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Party planners may have a hard time finding Mississippi-grown watermelons and blueberries for July 4th celebrations this year. Unfavorable weather slowed maturity and increased disease pressure for both crops. Much of the state’s blueberry crop is grown in south Mississippi, and most of its watermelons are grown in the southeast quarter of the state. Acreage for both ...

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Specialty Crop Block Grants now available through MDAC

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce is now accepting proposals for Mississippi’s FY 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The purpose of the program is to enhance the competitiveness of Mississippi’s specialty crop industry. Projects funded through the program must address at least one of the following priority areas: research, education/training/technical assistance, promotion/marketing or food safety/product handling. ...

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Locally filmed 'Ask This Old House' to air this weekend

BILOXI — A segment of “Ask This Old House” that was filmed in Biloxi premiers this weekend. The show demonstrates how to install a high tunnel to extend the growing season of backyard gardens. Two Mississippi State University horticulture scientists served as consultants for the traveling home improvement show. They helped the crew with region-specific information and coordination of the ...

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Producers learn how to grow safe, healthy product

With increased scrutiny on food safety, a recent event looked to give local growers the latest and greatest in the safe handling of their product from planting to harvest. More than 20 fruit and vegetable growers gathered at Mississippi State University recently for an all-day workshop about food safety and best practices. Instructors from the MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural ...

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Recent cold snap good news and bad news for farmers

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Record low temperatures the first week of January plunged the state into a deep freeze, but the cold came too early to cause significant plant damage or have much effect on insect pests in 2014.   Horticulture… Lelia Kelly, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most plants were firmly in their dormant stage when ...

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Water Valley man breaks record for largest watermelon

It might be a little late in the year to be eating watermelon, but it obviously is a great time for growing them. According to a report from WCBI-TV, Jerry Vaughn of Water Valley now holds the state record for growing the largest watermelon. The monster melon weighed a record 239.5 pounds. It’s 38 inches long with a girth of ...

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Value of state's truck crops continues to rise, tops 6,700 acres

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Greater consumer demand for locally grown produce has made truck crops a bigger part of the state’s overall agricultural production and increased related research at Mississippi State University. Truck crops get their name from the fact that they are often sold from the back of pickup trucks. They are produce crops, including blueberries, strawberries, sweet corn, beans, ...

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State's blueberry farmers fighting weather, insects

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Late-spring cold snaps and untimely freezes have delayed harvests and reduced yields for Mississippi’s 2013 blueberry crop. George Traicoff of Hernando runs a family owned and operated you-pick operation in DeSoto County. He started Nesbit Blueberry Plantation with 6,000 plants in 1984, and today his family tends 16,000 plants. “We are running about a week later than ...

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Program rewards growers for safe food-handling practices

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce is currently offering a cost-share program to provide financial assistance to Mississippi fruit and vegetable farmers receiving Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) Certification. Eligible farmers will receive reimbursement for 75 percent of the certification costs up to a maximum of $500. GAP/GHP audits are voluntary independent ...

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State producers bullish on future of peanut crop

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi producers expect peanuts to remain a strong commodity in years to come with a steady global demand and new marketing opportunities. “The demand for peanuts will stay in place because of global economics and population,” said Mike Phillips, plant and soil sciences department head at Mississippi State University. “International markets rely on the United States for ...

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