Weekly Field Update – 9/19/22

Coming up this week, there are a couple waste pesticide collection events: St. Matthews on 9/20 and Hollywood on 9/21. See more details on the Upcoming Events page.

Also, join Clemson’s Agribusiness team at noon on 9/21 as they discuss Southern Dairy Business (SDBII) Grants and evaluating business ventures. Register here.

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

Zack Snipes reports, “We finally got some relief from all the rain. Fields were allowed to dry out a bit, and we should be able to get into the fields to plant brassica and work strawberry ground. Now is the time to get out herbicides if you intend to use them for preemergent control in strawberries. Most have plant back restrictions so pay attention to when you apply the herbicide and when you can plant the plugs/cutoffs. For example, Vapam HL has a 14-21 day plant back interval but can be extended to 21 days or more if beds are wet, in heavy soil, or are not perforated in time to allow the fumigant to escape. Do not let a simple mistake hurt your strawberry season. Some growers are adding 2 lines of drip tape this season in strawberry fields as opposed to one. And while we are talking about strawberries, get your fences up NOW, BEFORE you lay plastic.  Waiting until after you plant berries (or anything for that matter) once deer have established a feeding pattern is not going to work.

A deer fence keeping a curious doe out of the strawberry patch. (Z. Snipes)


Phillip Carnley reports, “A few growers are starting to dig fresh market sweet potatoes in Orangeburg and Calhoun as the ground has dried out this week. Peanuts are still being dug. Fall squash and pumpkins are seeing downy and powdery mildew and an increase in aphids. For the first time, this season whiteflies have been an issue in fall greens specifically collards and cabbage. Pecans are looking a little worse for wear with an increased occurrence of pecan scab, as well as the onset of black aphid, blackmargined aphid, and various mites. Growers here have already prepped strawberry beds and have applied their fumigants and are now waiting on their plants. Make sure to be on the lookout for cyclamen mites on any incoming plant materials. If you are unsure if you have them or not please reach out to your local agent for diagnostic help. This little pest is considerably harder to control than the two-spotted spider mite due to it being considerably smaller and also the protected areas of feeding. If present, higher carrier volumes may be needed to get adequate coverage for control.”

Black aphids are very small and require a hand lens or microscope to get a good look at them. (P. Carnley)
Blackmargined aphids are also present in pecans. (P. Carnley)


Kerrie Roach reports, “A break in the humidity and cooler nights have made it feel like fall is on its way! Colder evening temperatures also help form anthocyanins in apple varieties and are responsible for red coloration. This week has made a big difference in the color of many of our mid-season varieties like Cameo and Pink Lady. San Jose Scale (SJS) has been reported on the fruit in a few different orchards, mainly on ‘Red Delicious’. Dormant oil applications and preventative measures should be taken in the off-season. Page 10 of the 2022 Integrated Orchard Management Guide for Commercial Apples in the Southeast recommends an oil application at green tip-1/2 inch green, or an oil & Esteem or Centaur application, in orchards where SJS was a problem the previous year. Growers should take note of specific trees, varieties, or areas in the orchard with increased pressure to treat early next season.”

San Jose Scale feeding damage on an apple. (K. Roach)

Andy Rollins reports, “Fall pumpkin crops are looking good in the Upstate. We have been able to keep downy mildew at bay. Some powdery mildew is showing up late but isn’t widespread. Growers have seen success with spraying a labeled DMI fungicide (like Monsoon) and using mancozeb alternated with Bravo as protectants. Still picking a few peaches, and muscadine harvest is about 1/2 way through. Sweet potato harvest is just beginning. New strawberry beds are still being laid in preparation for early October planting.

Pumpkin crops are looking good so far in the Upstate. The sunflowers in the background will be for U-pick. (A. Rollins)
Powdery mildew on the top of a pumpkin leaf. (A. Rollins)

Question of the Week

For this week’s question, take a look at the photo below. What is wrong with this chestnut leaf?

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

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