Weekly Field Update – 5/16/22

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see this week’s Question of the Week and check back on Thursday for the answer!


Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was cooler and felt like spring again, but that seems to be gone now. We got a little rain late last week (0.4 inches on our weather station in Lexington), though we could have used more. The hot, dry weather we are expecting this week will be good for disease management but could be an opportunity for insect populations to increase, especially mites. Keep a close eye on spring-planted crops for mites and treat accordingly. On strawberries, we’re probably only a couple of weeks away from the end of the season, so keep that in mind when making treatment decisions.”

Light-colored discoloration on tomato leaves from spider mite feeding. It’s hard to see, but mites are present on this leaf. (J. Ballew)

Phillip Carnley reports, “Green beans have been looking great in Orangeburg and Calhoun. We are seeing some white mold running down rows affecting small numbers. Preventive spraying is paramount. With many fungal problems being called “white mold”, it’s important to correctly ID to properly treat. Different white mold species require different treatments. Cucumbers are putting on the first true leaves of the season and have had great germination with little in the way of disease, thanks to the dry conditions. With that being said there have been reports of Cucurbit Downey Mildew in South Georgia so it’s only a matter of time. Stay vigilant and scout often. Also, thanks to the warm dry weather pecan scab has been less abundant so far this season, but there has been an uptick in pecan leaf gall due to Southern pecan leaf phylloxera. There are two species with the former affecting older plantings and orchards and Pecan leaf phylloxera affecting immature orchards and nursery stock. Treatment is usually not required for infestations on the leaves. If you are seeing galls on the stems or branch tips/new growth, this can cause significant damage to the tree itself and to the nut crop. If you have a history of stem phylloxera in your orchard it is recommended to treat with imidacloprid from bud break until the new growth is a minimum of an inch long. There are no current recommended treatments for homeowner trees at this time.”

Beans are looking great in Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties. (P. Carnley)
Cucumbers have their first true leaves now. (P. Carnley)

Pee Dee

Bruce McLean reports, “It’s starting to heat up in the Pee Dee. This week looks to be a scorcher. Thursday and Friday should be bumping around 100. Last week, looks like everyone got a little rain, but not quite what everyone was hoping for. It’s getting rather dry, both surface moisture and subsoil moisture. Fields that don’t have irrigation are starting to suffer. Vegetable crops are looking pretty good, but most crops are a bit late. Strawberries are looking good for the most part, but they are starting to slow down. The heat for this upcoming week is gonna be tough on the strawberry crop. A good evaluation of the crop this coming weekend/first of next week will be needed to determine how much damage occurred from the heat and how much season is left for the crop. Blueberries are just starting to pick good. Heat can affect blueberries, as well. Watch packing soft berries. They are more prone to leak and will have a shortened shelf life. Muscadines are just starting to bloom. Watch for thrips and aphids in the flower clusters. Treat (if necessary) with malathion or a pyrethroid (Zeta-cypermethrin, Fenpropathrin). In strawberries, corn earworm activity is pretty high. The caterpillars you are seeing now come from eggs laid a week or more ago. Control of the caterpillars is difficult, especially if they are in the fruit. Grade the fruit closely to prevent bad fruit from getting inside of a clamshell or busket. Chlorantraniliprole (Coragen) is the best bet at controlling them. But keep in mind… how much season do you have left? With the early onset of heat, we may not have much harvest left.”

Corn earworm in a strawberry. This is a recurring problem this year. (From grower R. Porter).


Andy Rollins reports, “The peach crop is progressing nicely. We are rapidly thinning fruit still with pit hardening approaching quickly. Drought is a concern for many as light rains gave only cursory assistance. the plum curculio pictured below was forced out of fruit by containing fruit in a bag indoors for a few days. It came from an unsprayed orchard on land that was sold. Insecticide sprays after shuck off are critically important to prevent this pest. I have also recently found Bacterial canker on trees that had been weakened by greater peachtree borers. Pheromone ties are available to prevent this pest and need to be put out in the next 2 weeks. We put in a grafted pepper trial on a farm where Phytophthora capsici (root rot) had done significant damage last year. This trial will show us the performance of these new plants, donated from Trihistil, compared with the growers’ standard.”

This plum curculio was forced out of fruit by containing fruit in a bag indoors for a few days. (A. Rollins)

Question of the Week

For this week’s question, take a look at the photo below. What caused these near perfectly circular holes around the margin of this muscadine leaf?

Answer in the comments below and check back on Thursday to see the answer.

One response to “Weekly Field Update – 5/16/22”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: