By Clint Thompson
Rainy weather in recent weeks has impacted specialty crop production in central Alabama. David Lawrence, regional Extension agent in central Alabama, discussed the state of certain crops amid wetter weather.
“Peaches are winding up. There’s a couple of varieties that are still hanging on. We’ve still got a few growers that are bringing some out of the field, but they’re definitely slowing down,” Lawrence said. “We’re right in the thick of apples right now, and most everybody is getting their ground prepped and ready to lay plastic for strawberries. We usually try to plant maybe the first half of October. If the weather stays like this, we could plant right now. It’s been cool.
“If you’ve got peaches or fruit on the trees, cool, cloudy and wet is not really what you want. We’d rather have a little bit of sunshine and dry air.”
Lawrence said the region received rain almost every day last week. With temperatures in the 80s and saturated conditions, it creates ideal conditions for disease development. Vegetable growers need to be timely with their fungicide applications.
“There’s a lot of disease on cucurbits right now so we’re having to spray those. Any chance you get to get out there and spray them, that’s what we’re doing. There’s a lot of downy mildew and powdery mildew,” Lawrence said. “We’ve been plenty wet. The last week or two, it’s been really wet.”