By Clint Thompson
The increase in rainfall across the Southeast is having minimal impact on diseases in the region’s peach crop.
“Thankfully, we’re no longer drought stressed in a lot of the locations, which is good. There’s been an increase in disease some but so far not that much,” Brannen said. “If you look at peaches, brown rot has increased a good amount in our untreated plots in the last week or two. Whereas if you go back to about two or three weeks ago you couldn’t find brown rot. We were trying to find it and couldn’t find it. I was out last week in the middle Georgia area, and you didn’t have problem finding some, but again, it’s not that bad.
“On commercial plantings where they are spraying, we’re just not seeing that much, which is good. It’s still been dry enough, long enough that we don’t have a lot of inoculum. For the peaches that remain they are pretty clean. It’s just amazing how little rot and how little disease we’re seeing on peaches.”
According to the University of Georgia Weather Network, Byron, Georgia, received 4.49 inches of rain and 11 rainy days from July 1 to July 19. Tifton, Georgia, received 3.89 inches and 12 rainy days during the same timeframe.
The main concern peach producers could face is if the rain events intensify.
“If we get into a situation where we get rain quite frequently, which we are actually seeing forecast wise, we’re supposed to get more rain this week and next week, there are two things that are happening. You have a hard time getting out and spraying. If you just have like constant rains over and over it’s really hard to spray and that washes off fungicides,” Brannen said. “But so far, I think we’re getting enough of a break that we can get in in some locations and spray and not have that kind of issue.”