Weekly Field Update
Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.
- Some welcomed rainfall we had over the weekend will help keep soil moisture reserves available for crops. Looking at the forecast, we are looking at some reduced temperatures, which will help to set fall solanaceous fruit.
- I am beginning to pick up diseases in crops, particularly bacterial diseases, such as black rot in some brassica fields.
- Keep scouting crops for symptoms of pest and disease activity.
- Diamondback moths are present but are currently at low levels.
- Checking plants before transplanting is critical to prevent introducing disease and pest issues into the field from the nursery. As we move towards strawberry planting season, checking plants becomes more crucial.
- Heavy rains from last week’s tropical system have areas wet and muddy still. Some pockets experienced wind damage along with scattered hail. No great damage was reported.
- Fields are being prepped and plastic laid for fall plantings of brassicas as well as strawberries.
- Although peach season has passed, we are seeing several issues that come as consequence with reduced spray management in seasons with little to no crop. Mummy fruit is hanging on in some fields, and growers need to make sure they remove all they can to reduce disease inoculum for next year’s crop. Pests that would normally be kept at bay with regular cover sprays have flared up. An example being sawflies. Sawfly is not typically an issue that needs addressing, because it usually isn’t a heavy feeder of peach, and if present, summer pyrethroid sprays will knock it out fairly easily. However, with reduced sprays due to significant crop loss this season, we have seen a hefty population move in and defoliate trees prematurely. In areas where leaves are still plentiful and pests are present, growers can apply a pyrethroid spray.
- We had some cooler temps and some rainfall last week, so be on the lookout for fungal issues caused by increased periods of leaf wetness.
- Some summer vegetables are still being harvested, such as okra, tomatoes, squash, melons and watermelons.
- Fall greens are being planted and coming along well overall. Make sure to be scouting leafy greens for diamondback moth and other pests.