Clemson Extension agents provided updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.
Zack Snipes reports, “Summer crops are all but about done. The afternoon thunderstorms, humidity, and heat have just about finished off the tomato and watermelon crops. Growers are getting fields ready for the fall season now. Consider putting up deer fencing now before crops are planted.”
Justin Ballew reports, “We got some more rain early in the week, and the sky was overcast most of the week. Downy mildew finally showed up here in cucumbers. Even though it’s been found all over the coast, it took a while to make it this far inland this year. The dry weather we had most of June may have had something to do with that. Anyone growing cucurbits from now through the fall definitely needs to be applying preventative fungicides. Lots of fields are transitioning from spring crops to fall crops right now. We’re still picking sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, etc.”
Lalo Toledo reports, “Sweet potatoes are in the ground and thriving. Please be aware of any pest activity and disease activity. Weeds are becoming a problem, especially in organic operations. However, there are several options to suppress weeds. Please contact your extension agent for information on chemical and cultural practices. Hemp is having trouble taking off with so much heat, and weeds are gaining ground on it. Peppers are doing great with some minor bacterial lesions.”
Tony Melton reports, “Poured rain every day last week – awful. Processing peas are ready to harvest but cannot get a dry period to burn down to harvest. Need to get second crop processing peas planted before August if fields will ever dry out – don’t forget to control thrips early and do your best to keep deer out of fields. Processing tomatoes & peppers are being harvested. Pickling cucumbers are continually being harvested and replanted. Sweet potatoes are planted, most have been laid-by, many have vines covering beds, and some are starting to size potatoes. We may have some insect damage on roots since it is difficult to get bifenthrin applied and plowed-in. Hopefully, the Lorsban will control insects, and since it is too wet to plow until the rain can wash the bifenthrin into the soil to keep the sun from degrading it. Don’t forget the boron on sweet potatoes.”
Kerrie Roach reports, “Peaches are the showstopper this week in the Upstate! Even with what appears to be late cold damage causing split pits and some varieties not to ripen, the peach crop is still booming. Apples are maturing on schedule and growers should begin harvesting early varieties over the next few weeks. With limited and spotty rain events over the last seven days, irrigation has been vital for vegetable producers…. but heat and humidity (despite the overall lack of rain) have increased the need for fungicide cover sprays, as we’ve seen various fungal activity picking up across the board.”