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Mississippi State University Extension names new cotton specialist

brian pieralisi

Brian Pieralisi

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has a new cotton specialist.

Brian Pieralisi was appointed to that role April 1. He replaced Darrin Dodds, who took the helm of the university’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Pieralisi will work with growers to continue to refine cotton production practicesto help them become more profitable. His activities will include cotton variety testing, as well as research and outreach on fertility management, weed control, irrigation, harvest aids and other areas of cotton production.

“As with all aspects of agriculture, sustainability of our farming operations and our environment will be addressed through research and outreach efforts,” Dodds said. “Brian’s background of education and experience is very unique and will allow him to work with growers and students and provide multiple perspectives to each.”

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A native of Leland, Mississippi, Pieralisi earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural pest management from MSU before returning to his family farm and earning a master’s degree in business administration from Delta State University. He returned to MSU to work on a doctoral degree in agronomy with an emphasis on nutrient management and soil fertility, which he will complete this summer.

“Our cotton producers have relied on the resources of MSU Extension for over a century when seeking research-based information and insight in refining their production and yields,” said MSU Extension director Gary Jackson. “Brian joins a long line of agronomists and row crop specialists who have been at the forefront of technological advances in agriculture, and our cotton growers will benefit greatly from having him in their corner.”

Mississippi State University contributed this article.