Muscadine Field Day set for next Saturday

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2016

On Saturday, Aug. 27, Mississippi State University will host their annual Muscadine Field Day at the research unit in McNeill. 

According to previous coverage, the 387 acres has been owned and operated by MSU for more than 100 years. 

Reggie Smith, a biological science technician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages the land. 

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“I grow the plants for scientists to study,” he said.

The annual event is held during this time of year because the muscadines are ready to be harvested, Smith said. 

The McNeill site is home to about 60 varieties of muscadines including black beauty, sweet Jenny, Darlene, Pollyanna and Noble, he said. 

During the event, speakers from MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service will present programs regarding how to grow the grapes. 

The event is free and open to the public. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and field day activities last from 9 to 11 a.m. The McNeill Research Center is located at 7 Gill Road. During the event, people will receive bags for sampling fruit. 

For more information, contact Eric Stafne, MSU Extension fruit crops specialist, at 601-403-8939. 

Smith can be reached by calling the USDA’s office in Poplarville at 601-403-8750.