Weekly Field Update – 5/23/22

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!

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “As we see temperatures increase strawberry flowering is reducing. Plants are still heavy with fruit, so managing diseases such as anthracnose and botrytis through fungicides and sanitation are key. Pests and diseases in cucurbits are currently low. With watermelon and cantaloupes, a gap in fungicide protection of 7 days can lead to disease. Given the increased chances of rainfall, we are increasing protection against gummy stem blight. We are seeing sensitivity shifts to Monsoon (tebuconazole), so do not reduce rates and, if possible, look for an alternative such as difenconazole. Cucurbit downy mildew is active in South Georgia, so any cucumber growers should be prepared to apply fungicides. An early application of Bravo can be effective in helping to create a window for subsequent applications. Some additional rainfall in the area would be most welcome.”

Zack Snipes reports, “We were extremely dry in the Lowcountry until a rain on Sunday. I checked 2 different weather stations and we received 0.89 inches. We are still very behind on rainfall and could use a few more showers. The good news about it being so dry is that diseases have been kept at bay this spring. However, I am seeing a good bit of powdery mildew on squash and zucchini. If you are not picking or just beginning to harvest, then a spray may be warranted. If you have been picking for a few weeks then you may not get back your return on investment if you spray for powdery mildew. Other crops loved the heat this past week including tomato, watermelon, and cucumber. Strawberry season is winding down especially with the onset of the heat last week.”

Powdery mildew symptoms on yellow squash. (Z. Snipes)
Classic tomato spotted wilt virus symptoms on tomato fruit. (Z. Snipes)

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was hot, dry, and windy. We received a little rain over the weekend, but it really didn’t amount to much. We’re still very dry. The warm weather has strawberry bloom slowing down and runner production picking up. One benefit of the prolonged dry, sunny weather is that the fruit being produced now are some of the best-tasting fruit I’ve tried this season. There are still mites out there, but at this point in the season, we need to be thinking about whether we’ll be picking long enough to make up the cost of a miticide. Squash and zucchini are being harvested now and the first few plantings of sweet corn are silking.”

Now that the temperatures have warmed up, bloom is slowing down and runner production is increasing in strawberries. (J. Ballew)
Growers are picking squash and zucchini now in the Midlands. (J. Ballew)

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “Last week was hot and dry, continuing the drought pressure, but… the rain is FINALLY here! Market gardens have been struggling to keep things watered and thriving in the heat with building insect pressure. A silver lining to the lack of rain has been that the disease pressure in the upstate is fairly limited. Apples are coming along and a cover application will be needed after the rains stop later this week.”

Question of the Week

For this week’s question, take a look at the photo below. What is going on with these strawberries?

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

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