What is Your Marketing Plan?

You might be surprised to find out that this is usually my first question when someone says they wish to put in a planting of fruiting crops.  Not soil types, not cultivars, not cultural management, and not diseases.  All of those things are critically important, and believe me, I would I could stick only to those things (because that is my knowledge arena).  However, the world of growing and selling fruit is not an easy one to navigate. Overproduction and excess supply of some fruit make selling it difficult.  Sure, you can be a great grower, but if you are not a good marketer then you might as well forget it.

I don’t know how many times I have talked about marketing to the many, many growers I have dealt with. It is so crucial to understand that growing the fruit is not enough. The thought is, “If you build it, they will come.”

Wrong.

It should be, “If you build it, you better hustle and work to make sure they can find you.” Upfront education and the willingness to develop a marketing plan that is adaptive to change is key, because doing the same thing year after year (also called stagnation) is also a losing proposition.

I’m not a marketer. It is not my area of expertise. But, if you are planning to get into fruit production you need to become an expert or have the help of one in order to survive.

Blackberry Flowers in January

Up until very recently, we have not had much cold weather in south Mississippi. In fact, as of last week we had accumulated fewer than 200 chill hours (that will be much higher this week after the recent cold snap).  A couple of days before the cold came sweeping through, I wandered among the ‘Chickasaw’ and ‘Kiowa’ blackberries here on the station in Poplarville.  At first I thought what I saw was an anomaly — a single instance; however, as I walked the field I saw several buds popping open like those in the photos below.

Fully open flower on 'Chickasaw' blackberry in early January 2016 in south Mississippi

Fully open flower on ‘Chickasaw’ blackberry in early January 2016 in south Mississippi

More buds just starting to pop open. They will wish they hadn't when the cold weather sets in.

More buds just starting to pop open. They will wish they hadn’t when the cold weather sets in.

So what is the overall outlook here? The exposed flowers will certainly be damaged in the cold.  We reached about 25 degrees here in Poplarville on Monday morning. That should be cold enough to damage open flowers. What else? Any tissue that was actively growing will get zapped.  Is it enough to worry about in terms of crop reduction? I would say no. Even though there were numerous plants exhibiting these symptoms of budbreak, there were still plenty of dormant buds to pick up the slack later on.

Since this study is used for disease expression, we won’t spray anything to control any fungi that may come about on dying tissue. However, it would be a good idea to keep a close eye on plants and see if evidence of botrytis comes it. Anthracnose, another problem disease, is something else to consider controlling when the bushes are dormant.

Winter is a Great Time for Education

Most of us are quite content to ignore our fruit plantings during the winter. At least I know I am guilty of that. Winter brings about other challenges for me — end of year reporting, conferences to attend, data to analyze, papers to write, etc. I know that everyone has their own stuff to deal with too making it difficult to keep your mind on something that isn’t growing (or at least appears that way). Of course there are a myriad of things that could be done to improve the planting, of which pruning and sanitation are some of the most important. However, I believe the most important thing to do during the time when it is too cold to get outside and you would rather bundle up in a blanket next to a warm fire is to learn. Education is a never-ending process. New things are discovered every year about fruiting crops. New pests, new varieties, new methods of management, etc. The great thing is that you no longer need to drive somewhere during sleet, snow, or icy drizzle to get to a meeting. Extension is starting to embrace online education techniques like webinars and blogs to keep clientele apprised of new discoveries. I would also encourage social media interaction. There are lots of Extension specialists and agents on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.  These are all platforms to interact with us. If you don’t know how, just ask and any of us would be happy to help you learn these new things.  The world is digital and not going back. If we can find common ground with our learning environments we can all be so much better informed. So, what to do during this winter? Try something new and learn, learn, learn.

Ratios of Reproductive to Vegetative Growth in Six Blackberry Cultivars

Abstract

Blackberry fruit is gaining popularity in the U.S. and overseas.  New cultivars have been developed in recent years that provide more options for growers and homeowners alike.  Although proven in major blackberry growing regions around the world, these cultivars have not been tested extensively in potential emerging areas.  In Oklahoma, some growers noticed that canes were dying with ripening fruit still attached.  The fruit would not reach maturity and thus be unharvestable.  One potential cause is an unbalanced leaf-to-fruit ratio.  In this study, six blackberry cultivars were used to assess the reproductive and vegetative growth ratios.  Three plots with three canes per plot were individually harvested, had leaf counts, and leaf area measurements.  Leaves were counted on canes in mid-June, during harvest, and mid-July, immediately after the final harvest.  ‘Apache’ had the greatest number of leaves per berry in June (2.6) and July (2.0).  In June, all other cultivars (Chickasaw, Natchez, Ouachita, Triple Crown, and Tupi) were not significantly different from each other, but ranged from 1.4 to 1.1 leaves per berry.  In July, ‘Chickasaw’ was significantly different, having only 0.6 leaves per berry. ‘Natchez’ produced the most berries and the most leaves.  These data may help give insight into the phenomenon of premature cane death.

Introduction

Blackberries are gaining popularity in the U.S. and around the world as a healthy fruit crop. New cultivars provide more growing options for commercial growers and homeowners alike.  These new cultivars have been proven in major blackberry growing regions around the world, but in emerging blackberry growing areas they may not have been extensively tested.

In Oklahoma and Mississippi, both states where blackberry production is small, some growers noticed ripening fruit that shriveled while still attached to the cane.  This has occurred in other states as well. There was no evidence of usual pests that could cause that condition such as raspberry crown borer, red-necked cane borer, wind damage, etc.  One potential theory is that an unbalanced leaf-to-fruit ratio could be to blame.

Fernandez (2012) reported that ‘Natchez’ had lots of red fruit, but few leaves on floricanes, and few primocanes during the 2012 growing season in North Carolina; whereas ‘Ouachita’ had abundant fruit, leaves, and primocanes.  Borda (2012) in California also noticed this issue.

Materials and Methods

Six blackberry cultivars were used to assess the reproductive and vegetative growth ratios: ‘Apache’, ‘Chickasaw’, ‘Natchez’, ‘Ouachita’, ‘Triple Crown’, and ‘Tupi’.  These were planted in 2009 at the Oklahoma State University Perkins Experiment Station in Perkins, Oklahoma. They were not pruned in the first growing season and the first harvest of any fruit took place in 2010.  During the first harvest, noticeable premature fruit shrivel was apparent and it was not attributable to insect, disease, or abiotic causes.

Primocanes were pruned to 42 inches (107 cm) tall in June 2010.  Spent floricanes were removed in fall and winter 2010-2011.  The laterals on the remaining floricanes were pruned to 15 inches (38 cm).  The plants were trellised with floricanes tied up to wires.

Data was taken during the 2011 season.  Three plots of each cultivar were sampled, with three canes per plot used for yield, brix, leaf counts, and leaf area.  Harvest periods were June 1 to July 15 for ‘Natchez’ and ‘Tupi’, June 8 to July 22 for ‘Chickasaw’, June 13 to July 28 for ‘Ouachita’, and June 20 to July 28 for ‘Apache’ and ‘Triple Crown’.  Leaves were counted on canes in mid-June and mid-July. Means were separated by t-test (P<0.05).

Results

‘Natchez’ had the most average leaves per floricane in both June (323) and July (416). ‘Tupi’ had the fewest in June and was equal to ‘Apache’, ‘Chickasaw’, and ‘Triple Crown’ in July (Table 1 and 2).

Table 1. Mid-June leaf number per floricane on 6 different blackberry cultivars.

Cultivar Mean # Leaves/Floricane Mean Separation
Natchez 323 A
Ouachita 239 B
Apache 230 B
Triple Crown 198 BC
Chickasaw 198 BC
Tupi 163 C

Table 2. Mid-July leaf number per floricane for six blackberry cultivars.

Cultivar Mean # Leaves/Floricane Mean Separation
Natchez 416 A
Ouachita 265 B
Triple Crown 240 BC
Apache 183 BCD
Tupi 171 CD
Chickasaw 111 D

‘Natchez’ produced the most berries and ‘Apache’ the fewest (Table 3).

Table 3. Total number of berries produced per floricane on six blackberry cultivars.

Cultivar # of berries/floricane Mean separation
Natchez 279 A
Triple Crown 210 AB
Ouachita 190 B
Chickasaw 186 B
Tupi 148 BC
Apache 98 C

‘Chickasaw’ had the fewest leaves per berry (0.6) with all others similar (Table 4).

Table 4. Number of leaves per berry for six blackberry cultivars.

Cultivar Leaves/berry Mean separation
Apache 2.0 A
Ouachita 1.7 A
Natchez 1.5 A
Triple Crown 1.5 A
Tupi 1.3 A
Chickasaw 0.6 B

The leaf area (cm2) to fruit (g) ration was highest for ‘Ouachita’ and lowest for ‘Chickasaw’, which was not statistically different from ‘Triple Crown’ and ‘Apache’ (Table 5).

Table 5. Leaf area to fruit ratio of six blackberry cultivars.

Cultivar cm2 of leaf area/g of fruit (July) Mean Separation
Ouachita 14.16 A
Tupi 9.07 B
Natchez 7.20 BC
Triple Crown 4.91 CD
Apache 4.64 CD
Chickasaw 1.44 D

Canes with more leaves also produced fruit with higher brix (R2=0.21) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Effect of leaf number on fruit sugar content (brix) of six blackberry cultivars.

Effect of leaf number on fruit sugar content (brix)

Effect of leaf number on fruit sugar content (brix)

The issues with the fruit were not seen as prominently in 2011 as compared to 2010.  Weather conditions were mild in 2010 when compared to 2011 when severe heat, drought, and cold were all experienced (Table 6).

Table 6. Extreme weather conditions in Oklahoma during 2011 compared to 2010.

2010
March April May June July August Sept. Oct.
Avg Hi 60 72 79 90 92 96 86 78
2011
Avg Hi 63 77 79 97 104 101 84 75
Winter 2011
Jan 28 Jan 29 Feb 3 Feb 10 Feb 16 Feb 17
76 77 -1 -13 77 81

‘Chickasaw’ had fewer overall leaves but this could have been caused by droughty conditions, suggesting that ‘Chickasaw’ may have a lower drought tolerance than the other cultivars. ‘Natchez’, the cultivar most prominently tied to the condition of on-cane shriveling fruit, did not display these characteristics during 2011.

Other crops have different leaf area to fruit ratios than what was found in this study.  Apples are around 3 cm2/g, cherries are 22, grapes 8 to 12, and strawberries 15.  From this one year of data, blackberries averaged around 7 cm2/g.

The results from this study lead to other questions that may be asked to fully reach the answer.

  • Were the younger root systems not able to support fruit production in 2010?
  • Did the fall and winter pruning help to balance the crop load for 2011?
  • Did the heavy first year crop seen in 2010 reduce return bloom in 2011?
  • Did the extreme weather in early 2011 play a role in reducing the overall crop later in 2011?

References

Bolda, M. 2012. Pruning of ‘Natchez’ blackberry. Strawberries and Caneberries. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources blog http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=7642

Fernandez, G. 2012. Natchez overcropping? Team Rubus blog. North Carolina State University Extension. http://teamrubus.blogspot.com/2012/06/natchez-overcropping.html

The original abstract for this study was published as noted below:

Stafne, E.T and B. Carroll. 2012. Ratios of Reproductive to Vegetative Growth in Six Blackberry Cultivars. HortScience 47(9):S105 (abstr.).

Follow-up on White Drupelets in Blackberries

Yesterday I posted on why white drupelets occur in blackberries.  Well, the “why” that we know or think we know.  I also looked at the genetic make-up of certain cultivars.  Today, I went into the blackberry plantings here in Poplarville looking for white drupelets.  Since the season is almost over on some cultivars it wasn’t easy — there just weren’t enough berries, but I did find a few.  I was able to find them on ‘Ouachita’, ‘Kiowa’, ‘Chickasaw’, and ‘Sweetie Pie’.  I took some data on it too.  I harvested all the berries I could find that had white drupelets.  I counted the number of berries for each cultivar and from each berry counted the number of white drupelets.  I got an average and a range.  Plus, I took Brix measurement of the sugar content in the white drupelets compared to normal drupelets (I only did this for ‘Sweetie Pie’ because it was the only one that had a large enough sample).  Below is what I found:

Cultivar     # of berries    Avg. # white drup.    Range    Brix (white) Brix (normal)

‘Ouachita’       2                          2                   1-3

‘Kiowa’            5                          4.4                1-13

‘Chickasaw’    6                           2.7                1-9

‘Sweetie Pie’   45                         2.9                1-17        3.9             10.2

You may recall from yesterday that I broke down the genetic components of ‘Apache’ and ‘Kiowa’.  I will do that again for those I looked at today.

Ouachita:

Thornfree 25%, Brazos 25%, Darrow 17.1875%, OP (unknown) 18.75%, SIUS 68-1-8 12.5%, and US 1482 1.5625%

Kiowa:

Brazos 50%, Thornfree 18.75%, Darrow 12.5%, Wells Beauty 12.5%, and Brainerd 6.25%

Chickasaw:

Darrow 43.75%, Brazos 31.25%, Thornfree 12.5%, and Wells Beauty 12.5%

Sweetie Pie:

Brazos 43.75%, Humble 25%, Thornfree 18.75%, and Darrow 12.5%

As you can see ‘Brazos’, ‘Darrow’, and ‘Thornfree’ are mixed up in all of these cultivars.  Clark and Moore (2005) report that ‘Ouachita’ had low to no incidence of white drupelet in Arkansas. It has 25% ‘Brazos’ compared to ‘Kiowa’ at 50%, ‘Sweetie Pie’ at 43.75%, and ‘Apache’ at 31.25%. It appears likely that ‘Brazos’ has a role, but the extent is unknown. The field data doesn’t really tell us much because of the lack of replication and the few number of data points.  But with more it may be able to narrow down the genetic culprit of white drupelet.

The sugar content of the white drupelets was substantially lower than normal drupelets.  To me this suggests that the sugar may have not been there to begin with.  The texture and thickness of the skin are different than normal drupelets. At what stage does the drupelet abort from normal development?  This type of thing would be very difficult (or impossible) to replicate in a controlled environment.  I will continue to look at this issue and perhaps do a more in-depth study next year.

Below are some ‘Sweetie Pie’ fruit with white drupelets.  Just because it had the most white drupelets of the cultivars I looked at, it should not be an indictment of this cultivar.  It is later ripening that the others and thus had more fruit to sample.

'Sweetie Pie' fruit with white drupelets

‘Sweetie Pie’ fruit with white drupelets

Clark, J.R. and J.N. Moore. 2005. ‘Ouachita’ Thornless Blackberry. HortScience 40:258-260.

The Problem of White Drupelets in Blackberries

It is June, the month for harvest of blackberries in many areas.  Unfortunately, along with ripe fruit we also see other problems crop up.  This year I have seen pollination problems due to rain, SWD damage, stink bug damage, cane borers, anthracnose, and white drupelets.  So, what causes these white (or tan) colored drupelets? For quite some time no one knew what caused it (and we probably still don’t with 100% certainty).  Early theories revolved around insect damage (stink bugs, mites) or sunscald.

There are some very good descriptions and photos on the Team Rubus blog out of NC State and the UC IPM website.  I would encourage you to visit those sites.  Below is a photo of the problem in case you are not familiar with it.

White druplets on blackberry fruit

White druplets on blackberry fruit

The University of Arkansas-released cultivars Apache and Kiowa are most often mentioned as having this problem.  I would say that Apache has it most prominently.  Both the NC State and UC websites talk about the environmental conditions that contribute to this abiotic condition (abrupt increases in temperature, wind, low humidity) in concert with UV-radiation on the drupelet. The descriptions also talk about “tolerance” to the condition.  That would imply a genotype x environment interaction.  Since certain cultivars exhibit worse symptoms than others there is a genetic component that might be able to be exploited to reduce this problem in future cultivars.  But do we understand fully where it comes from (who is the offending progenitor)?

I broke down the parentage for both ‘Apache’ and ‘Kiowa’ to look for common ancestors.  The percentages are below:

Apache:

Thornfree 31.25%, Darrow 31.25%, Brazos 31.25%, Merton Thornless 4.6875%, and Eldorado 1.5625%

Kiowa:

Brazos 50%, Thornfree 18.75%, Darrow 12.5%, Wells Beauty 12.5%, and Brainerd 6.25%

Both of these cultivars have ‘Brazos’ in a significant portion of their parentage (>31.25%).  ‘Thornfree’ (US 1410 x US 1414), ‘Brazos’ (F2 of ‘Lawton’ x ‘Nessberry’), and ‘Darrow’ (NY 15826 x ‘Hedrick’) are in both cultivars and make up a large portion of their genetic makeup.  ‘Eldorado’ also is on both sides, but in a very small percentage (‘Eldorado’ is a parent of ‘Hedrick’ which is a parent of ‘Darrow’).

Now, this doesn’t get us to the answer — more analysis and experimentation needs to be done — but it seems likely that one of these three (or perhaps more than one) has lent genes that result in white drupelet.  Looking at the pedigrees along with real world, in-field data, would narrow it down farther yet.  We don’t know what the factors are that lead to the condition — skin thickness? pigment stability? These are possible hypotheses to follow up on.

With the warmer earth we are experiencing, it seems likely that this problem will continue to manifest in many growing areas.  New selections are being looked at to reduce this problem, but it may not be entirely eliminated.

Beware Buying Fruit Plants at the Big Box Stores

I only write this as a public service message.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not necessarily blaming big box stores for their inventory.  I don’t know how some of the varieties are chosen and how they are labeled, but the consumer must be wary when shopping at these locations.  This past weekend I visited a big box store for a few items I needed.  I didn’t need any fruit plants, but I decided to take a look at what was available.  Needless to say, I was dismayed at the selection.  Where do I begin?

Available grape vine varieties: Concord, Flame Seedless, Black Monukka, Mars, Thompson Seedless.  Problem: All of these are not resistant to Pierce’s Disease and will die within a couple of years at most. There were no muscadine varieties available at this location in south Mississippi.  It boggles the mind. Solution: Do some serious research before buying grapes in the Deep South. Muscadines are the best option.  Some bunch grapes do have potential, but are not usually very common in the nursery trade.

Available blueberry varieties: Legacy, O’Neal. Problem: There is no problem with these per se, except that one was mislabeled as a rabbiteye variety (Vaccinium virgatum) and the other a wild blueberry species (Vaccinium darrowii) when they are actually southern highbush (Vaccinium spp.).  I did not see any rabbiteye varieties (although I did not look at every plant).  Rabbiteye varieties are the best option for a homeowner here.  Solution: Southern highbush blueberries are partially self-fertile but will do better with a pollinizer.  Rabbiteye varieties require planting two different varieties with overlapping bloom times.  None of this information was available on the labeling at the store.  Local nurseries will have a better selection.

Available pecan variety: Elliot. Problem: There were two tags on the tree.  One said ‘Elliot’ pecan and the other said “ungrafted seedling”, which means it is NOT Elliot, but seedling of Elliot. This is very misleading.  Someone thinking they were getting an Elliot may end up disappointed.  A seedling of Elliot may or may not have some of the Elliot traits that make it desirable to grow.  Pecan trees also need to have two different varieties with overlapping bloom periods in order to produce nuts.  In this case there was only one type available. Solution: Local nurseries may not have the best selection.  The internet is your friend in this case.  Most pecan trees come from AL, GA, or TX, although if you search hard enough you can find some in MS.  A homeowner should choose varieties that are resistant to pecan scab.  If you don’t and do not plan to control the disease, it is really a waste of your time, money, and effort.

Available bramble variety: Boysenberry. Problem: Boysenberry is a hybrid raspberry x blackberry cross that originates from the west coast of the U.S. and is not especially tolerant of high heat conditions.  Coupled with the high humidity and prodigious spring rainfall it is a recipe for poor plant production.  It was also mislabeled as Rubus ursinus. Solution: Many blackberry varieties are available that will grow and produce in the Deep South.  Raspberries fair less well because they too do not tolerate the heat as well as blackberries.  I have seen blackberry varieties available at local nurseries recently, namely Kiowa, Apache, and Brazos (!).  These are far better options than Boysenberry in our area, although the thorny types will have problems with rosette (double blossom) fungus.

There were probably other fruiting plants that I didn’t look at too closely at to see if there were problems with them as well.  The real lesson here is this:  Know what you are looking for and why.  Realize that all blueberries or grapes or pecan are not created equal.  Some do well here and some do not.  Mislabeling is not a new thing in the nursery trade, but seeing the grievous errors in these examples made me cringe.   Before buying at the big box store near you, educate yourself on the crop you wish to purchase, talk to the folks in the garden center, and if you are not satisfied go somewhere else.  Contact your local county Extension office for more information on fruit crops for your area.  Or feel free to contact me.  I can help.

Reported Fruit Problems in Mississippi 2014

The list below illustrates the types of pathogens/problems found on fruit plants submitted to the Mississippi State University plant diagnostic lab in 2014. The general format of the list shows the common name for the disease, followed by the scientific name of the pathogen, followed by a number in parentheses that indicates the number of times this problem was diagnosed in the lab.

Apple (Malus x domestica)
• Apple Scab suspected (Venturia inaequalis) (1)
• Cedar apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniper-virginianae) (1)
• Diplodia canker (Diplodia mutila) (1)
• Fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) (1)
• Flyspeck (Schizothyrium pomi) (1)
• Phoma Leaf spot (Phoma sp.) (1)
• Russetting (Abiotic) (1)
• Sooty Blotch (Gloeodes pomigena) (1)
• Undetermined (mummified fruit ) (1)

Blackberry (Rubus sp.) ‘Arapaho’
• Abiotic (Freeze damage) (4)
• Blackberry Rust (Phragmidium violaceum) (1)
• Cane blight (Coniothyrium fuckelii) (1)

Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
• Abiotic (Cold injury) (1)
• Abiotic (Possibly Glyphosate) (1)
• Leaf spot (Cercospora rubi) (1)
• Leaf spot (Septoria sp.) (1)
• Fruit Spot (Exobasdium maculosum (1)
• Twig Blight ( Fusicoccum sp.) (1)

Cherry (Prunus sp.)
• Insufficient sample (Vascular disruption suspected) (1)

Fig, Common (Ficus carica)

• Diplodia canker (Diplodia sp.) (1)
• Rust (Cerotelium fici) (1)
• Undetermined fruit rot (1)

Fruit Trees (Prunus sp.)
• Black knot (Apiosporina morbosa) (1)

Grape (Vitis vinifera)
• Abiotic (Magnesium deficiency suspected) (1)
• Abiotic (Freeze injury suspected) (2)
• Black Rot (Guignardia bidwellii / Phyllosticta ampelicida) (2)

Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)
• Borers suspected (1)

Jujube (Ziziphus jujube)
• Leaf spot (Cercospora sp.) (1)
• Fruit injury undetermined (1)

Mayhaw (Crataegus aestivalis)
• Insect infestation (1)
• Sooty mold (1)

Peach (Prunus persica)
• Brown fruit rot (Moilinia fructicola) (2)
• Peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans) (1)
• Root rot (Armillaria sp.) (1)
• San Jose Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus) (1)

Pear (Pyrus sp.)
• Abiotic (Chemical root injury suspected) (1)
• Fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) (2)
• Phomopsis Twig Blight (Phomopsis sp.) (1)
• Quince rust (Gymnosporangium clavipes) (1)

Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)

• Abiotic (Possible Nitrogen Burn or nutritional issue) (1)

• Animal injury suspected (1)

• No pathogens (1)
• Pecan phylloxera (Phylloxera devastratrix) (2)

Plum (Prunus sp.)

• Abiotic (Sunscald suspected) (1)
• Black knot (Apiosporina morbosa) (1)

Plum (Prunus spp.) ‘Shiro’
• Bacterial spot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni) (2)
• Brown rot (Monilinia fructicola) (1)
• Plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar) (1)
• Scale insect (1)

Satsuma (Citrus reticulata)
• Root/Stem injury suspected (1)

See the entire list here: http://msucares.com/lab/2014list.pdf

MSU Fall Flower and Garden Fest 2014 — Presentation on Fruit Crops

Last week, I gave a presentation on Fruit Crops for your Yard at the MSU Fall Flower and Garden Fest that was held in Crystal Springs.  This is a big event, with over 5,000 attendees each year.  You can find more info on this event at this link: Fall Flower and Garden Fest

As for my participation, I presented on some of the common fruit crops that are grown in Mississippi.  Unfortunately, the time is short (45 minutes) and I can’t go into all the details I wish I could.  But I tried to give the basics on several different popular fruit crops.  To access the PDF version of the presentation, click below:

Fruit Crops for your Yard

Mississippi Chill Hour Accumulation

I have previously wrote on the topic of chill hours, but I also get a lot of requests for what the accumulated hours are for the season.  This year I will be posting them on this site on the page entitled Chill Hours (on the right hand side of your screen).  By visiting this page, you will be able to keep up to date on the accumulated chill hours as reported by locations in five counties in Mississippi — Copiah, George, Jones, Lee, and Wayne.  The recordings are reported by volunteers, so they may or may not be available for each week.  In the future I hope to put together data from previous years (at least those I have) and also make them available on the site.

As of today, the first posting is up.  Each recording season runs from October 1 to April 1 of the following year.