VARDAMAN, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's been a long row to hoe for Danny Clark. He's been a sweet potato grower since 1972.
"Of course, there's always weed problems, insect problems and a tip rot problem prevalent for the last few years and we're trying to find answers to that," Clark said.
Any type of rot affects yields. That's where Dr. Stephen Meyers steps in.
His boots on the ground strategy is hoped to help out growers who want to be more competitive with other states in the marketplace.
That strategy is in line with the Mississippi State University Extension Service's plan to put a researcher in the field full time.
Although harvest was in the fall, sweet potatoes have to store well so they can be processed and shipped months later.
"When these guys are in the field producing crops, I'm gonna be out here as much as I can-working beside them and trying to understand the problems that they have and doing everything I can," Dr. Meyers said.
"We wanted someone to help us answer questions, be on the field for us and pass along information to us on the research and everything," Clark added.
"With the specialist we can call him, get him to come out and tell us what the research has shown (about) those products and maybe help us in making a better crop more suitable for the market and more profit in our pocket," grower Norman Clark said.