Weekly Field Update – 8/1/22

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, “It has gotten dry again in the Midlands. Scattered areas received some good rain over the weekend, but others missed it and remain badly in need. I’ve heard of several heat-related issues over the past two weeks including poor seed germination, okra blooms aborting, and peas not filling out properly. As long as it stays hot, monitor watering schedules carefully and make sure plants are getting enough water. That’s about all we can do until it cools off some. We’ve had a few fall crops planted in the past couple of weeks including tomatoes and eggplant. Right now we’re still harvesting some sweet corn, beans, tomatoes, and squash.”

Having adequate water during the pod fill stage is important to achieve good bean quality and yields. Monitor irrigation schedules carefully while it’s hot and dry. (J. Ballew)

Sarah Scott reports, “Rain storms have been hit or miss in the area. Overall, it has been hot and humid and growers are still irrigating in spots where those rain showers haven’t been popping up. Peaches are slowing down a good bit. We are in to late-season varieties and some of the white flesh peaches. Crews are working on summer pruning and removing mummy fruit (cold-damaged fruit that did not develop properly). Bacterial spot remains the worst of the disease issues that we are seeing but overall the quality is still good. We should be picking some through August, but most of the crop will be wrapped up in the next 2 weeks or so. Summer crops are still being harvested but are definitely winding down and feeling the effects of the heat. New plantings of tomato, eggplant, and peppers are going in.”

Pee Dee

Bruce McLean reports, “The weather around the Pee Dee has been hit-and-miss on moisture. Rains have been frequent in some areas and absent in others. Crops without irrigation (in those drier areas) are likely not going to produce a crop.  Blueberries are finishing up this week. Muscadines are looking very good. Noble is about 5-7% colored, and Carlos is about 2% colored. Fresh market varieties (ex. Tara) are starting to pick pretty well. Tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and watermelon are being picked in good volume. The quality looks very good. Cucurbit growers have implemented an intensive spray schedule, managing for Cucurbit Downy Mildew. Tomato growers are managing and scouting for Southern blight intensively. Fall crops are being planted now. Strawberry growers are getting their orders in for plants and materials for the upcoming season.”

An intensive spray schedule (utilizing a couple of different pyrethroids and PBO8 synergistic) has produced a clean crop of peas free of cowpea curculio. (B. McLean)


Andy Rollins reports, “Muscadines are starting to come in from Georgia but not yet in the upstate.  In an on-farm trial of seedless grape, crosses Rhazzmatazz, seen below, will be picked this week. I am concerned about sun scald for some muscadine growers. A small amount of foliar nitrogen may be needed in some cases. We have excessive growth on young 3-year-old peach trees that are in great need of summer pruning. Growers are still busy harvesting other varieties but don’t need to forget to do summer pruning to make sure they get light down into the canopy for next year’s crop.”

Rhazzmatazz muscadines will be picked this week. (A. Rollins)
Some 3-year-old peaches have been pruned to manage excessive growth. (A. Rollins)

Question of the Week

For this week’s question, take a look at the photo below. What is the critter sitting on this eggplant leaf? Look carefully. Appearances can be deceiving.

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

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