Clemson Extension Agents Provide Crop Updates

Jim Rogers South Carolina

Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.

Weekly Field Update – 9/12/22

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “Fall watermelons are looking good. There is some disease around, so fungicide applications remain crucial. I am finding whiteflies in a few crops, too. As we move into fall, with increasing numbers of misty mornings, scouting for diseases is going to be very important. Mists will increase periods of leaf wetness, exacerbating disease pressures in crops. Scouting enables us to make timely applications. Thoughts are turning to planting fall crops. I urge everyone to check transplants carefully to minimize the risk of bringing infected plants into the fields and storing problems for the rest of the crop cycle.”

Zack Snipes reports, “Another wet week for us here in the Lowcountry. Some fields are drying out enough to get in and spray. A few growers have been lucky enough to miss some of the rains and have gotten in the fields to plant fall greens. Muscadines are really coming in right now. It seems that they are all coming in at the same time, which is not good news for U-pick and roadside stands. I am seeing a lot of ripe rot in the berries, particularly purple grapes. I am seeing it in scuppernongs but not as widespread as the muscadines. Symptoms of this disease will be circular, sunken in lesions on the fruit. If allowed to incubate or under ideal conditions, salmon-colored spores will appear in the center of the fruit. This is the same disease we call anthracnose in strawberry, tomato and watermelon. Our wet August has significantly contributed to this disease.  At this point in the season, there isn’t much that can be done. Removing dropped berries and leaf litter will help with management for next season.”


Phillip Carnley reports, “Here in Orangeburg and Calhoun, it’s another cloudy and humid start to the week. Last week there were many overcast days with heavy dew and a fair amount of rain scattered in as well. Cucumbers are growing well on the high ground despite increased pressure from downy mildew. Parts of some fields have been completely flooded out, and the weather has made fungicide applications difficult. Cowpea curculio is still an ever-present pain. Growers have had varying degrees of control with pyrethroids due to the weather and not being able to get into the fields to spray. I am seeing purple spot becoming a problem in asparagus with our prolonged period of heavy dew and cooler temperatures. Dr. Keinath authored a great piece about this disease and the control options that can be found here.”


Andy Rollins reports, “Muscadine harvest is continuing with high quality and high sugar content on several farms. Strawberry planting has begun on a few farms, although most are getting soil and beds prepared. Initial plant quality had somewhat irregular growth, although no disease detections yet. Peach production is almost completely finished, with only a few growers harvesting very late producing varieties. Root rot and some budworms (probably tobacco budworm but not sure) were identified in a cut flower operation. Recommend using Bt type insecticide early for smaller caterpillars followed by Intrepid later if problem progresses. Of course, we have to be sensitive to labeled crops.”

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