Zack Snipes reports, “Most crops are finished here in the Lowcountry. There are a few crops that are being harvested for the final time this week. Fall watermelon and tomato are in the ground already. I saw some interesting cucumber beetle larvae damage on watermelons this past week. This type of damage will result in loads of melons being rejected by buyers. Crop rotation is a vital component to managing this pest. If you have seen this type of damage, please reach out so we can develop a plan of attack for next season. I attended the Edisto REC Watermelon Field Day this past week and learned about the future of robotics in agricultural production and had the opportunity to taste over 30 varieties of watermelons.
Justin Ballew reports, “We had some scattered rain over the last week. Some folks are still needing some. We’re winding down on the spring brassicas and cucurbits. This is good because foliar diseases like anthracnose and powdery mildew are really increasing with the humidity. We’re still picking tomatoes and have started picking peas. Spider mites are picking up, so scout closely for those. Hemp is growing well, though we’ve seen some seedling disease and cutworm damage in spots.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Hot and dry weather along the Ridge. Conditions have been favorable for increased spider mite and stink bug activity.
Andy Rollins reports seeing some blackberry tips wilting from raspberry cane borers. “If you see this, they need to be cut off 6 inches below the 2 girdled lines you see below. This material can be composted or you can just squish them. Insecticide sprays can be helpful but only when applied before symptoms appear. It is a type of beetle larvae that is feeding on the stem before becoming an adult. Commercially, there would have to be a major infestation to warrant the extra labor. Normally this won’t be present in a regularly sprayed crop.”
Kerrie Roach reports Ginger Gold apples are being harvested in the upstate.
Bruce Mclean reports, “Well, it looks like another hot week is on tap for us this week. Squash, watermelons, cucumbers, cantaloupes, peas and peppers are coming off in good volumes. Quality looks especially good on these crops. Blueberries and sweet corn are finishing up. Starting to see some disease in muscadines. If you are seeing leaf spots in them, it may be time to evaluate and adjust your spray program. Also, starting to see early ripening of fruit. Be on the look out for fruit rot.
Tony Melton reports, “Cucumbers having hard time setting fruit in the heat – getting many nubbins (crooked fruit). Parthenocarpic varieties seem to handle the heat better than regular pollinated varieties. Processing tomato harvest is progressing quickly and about ½ complete. Processing pea harvest will begin this week – thousands of acres ahead to harvest. Processing hot pepper harvest has begun and will continue for a month.