Weekly Field Update
Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.
Rob Last reports, “Fruit crops are all developing well with good fruit set and flowering. Strawberry crops are beginning to ripen, heralding a fresh taste of spring. Pests and disease remain low, and I would urge vigilance and continued monitoring for spider mites. If you haven’t already, protectant fungicide applications will be beneficial to counter gray mold and anthracnose fruit rots. Early peaches are in full flower with some early fruit set. Later varieties are beginning to flower. Land preparations for spring plantings are progressing well, given the dry weather and occasional showers. The first asparagus crops in the area are now being harvested with excellent quality.”
Phillip Carnley reports, “So far, the drier weather has been nice for berry growers here in the Midlands. Botrytis is starting to flare with the cool, moist mornings. Switch or any of the group 7 and 11 fungicides work well and will also help control the threat of anthracnose if your berry patch has a history with that pathogen. The only downside, these chemicals tend to be more expensive. Gnomonia symptoms are rapidly in decline, as is plant mortality from Neopestalotiopsis. Plant size was observed to have been adversely affected by early sanitation of infected leaves in Camarosa. Onions are coming in nicely and sizing up, but there has been some late decline/death from residual cold damage in December and January. Blueberries are setting fruit, and barring a late cold snap, should have a fairly good season. Peaches are still in full bloom with some varieties in the early-to-mid stages of petal fall.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Peach trees are progressing nicely. Growers are “cautiously optimistic” about the season as we wait to see what the weather will bring in the coming weeks. As it looks, we will be ok with some lower temperatures to help naturally bloom thin, if they occur. Trees range from blooming to leafing out. We are still finishing up pruning and bloom sprays but have some varieties that are into cover sprays already. Some growers are bloom thinning.”