What’s Happening: Clemson Extension Agents Provide Crop Updates

Jim Rogers South Carolina, Strawberry

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

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes

Zack Snipes reports, “It finally feels like spring in the fields. The strawberry crop is really behind schedule this year. Most farms have plants with 3-to-4 crowns on them. In most years, we have 5-to-8 crowns at this time. I blame the cool weather right after we planted them and then an unseasonably warm winter followed by two really cold events recently for them being so far behind. I am seeing an uptick in spider mite populations, so scout, scout, scout this week. This warm weather will have them active. Spring planted crops are germinating or being transplanted and have no issues so far.”

Midlands

Justin Ballew

Justin Ballew reports, “We got some much-needed rain this past week (1.4 inches at my house). Strawberries are ripening, and roadside stands and U-picks are open for business. We’ve seen a little bit of botrytis and a good many of mites, so be sure to scout carefully. It looks like we have a couple of rain events coming this week, so now would be a good time for one of the site-specific fungicides. Young brassica plants are growing out of their cold damage well. In some fields, the plants have put on enough new growth that it’s hard to tell they were ever damaged. Diamondback moth caterpillars are already causing issues in some areas, so be sure to scout regularly for those also.”

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “We are just starting to see the first strawberries in the ‘Golden Corner’ with mainly pre-pick limited quantities. With heavy rain and severe weather headed our way again this week, growers need to be actively scouting for disease development. Most peach varieties are headed towards the end of bloom. Scouting for insects and disease is important at this time. With warm days and multiple rain events, preventative applications for diseases like bacterial spot and scab are likely to be needed. It is still too early for warm season crops to be set out in the weather. We are about four weeks out from planting those, so land prep work and seed starting are happening now.”