Weekly Field Update – 10/3/22

Do you grow cole crops? Do you have diamondback moth in your fields? Have you experienced reduced efficacy of insecticides to manage them? We are looking for cole crop farms throughout SC to collect diamondback moth larvae from. We will test these larvae in the lab against a range of common insecticides to determine if resistance has developed. The results will help us provide better recommendations on insecticide sprays and rotations. Studies conducted over the last several years in GA and FL found diamondback moth resistance to a number of commonly used insecticides (Avaunt, Lannate, Intrepid, Knack, Rimon, Warrior II, Brigade, and Coragen) and it is important we determine where else these resistance issues are occurring. If you grow kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, or other cole crops and have diamondback moth in your field please send an email to tbilbo@clemson.edu and we will plan a visit to collect diamondback moth larvae from your farm. All results will be kept confidential and reported only in aggregate. We greatly appreciate your help, and thank you in advance!

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, “What a wild week we had with the hurricane, rain, and storm prep. Overall, the Lowcountry dodged most of the wind and water.  While we still had wind gusts exceeding 45 mph and several inches of rain, most all crops pulled through. It seems that the amount of rain depended on what band of the hurricane passed by. Downtown Charleston and James Island received 10+ inches of rain while the Coastal REC, just a few miles away, received half of that. Some crops got beat up a bit but I have heard no reports yet of a total crop loss. Before the storm, I went out and about and found lots of lepidopteran pests (diamondback moth larvae, cutworms, melonworms, pickleworms, imported cabbage worm, and an assortment of armyworms…I feel like Bubba Gump here).  I also saw a good bit of black rot on brassicas and plenty of downy mildew. I suspect with the wind and rain, those diseases will really pick up this week and next. Many growers are putting the finishing touches on strawberry plastic and seeding fall carrots, turnips, beans, arugula, radish, etc.”

Black rot in brassica crops was prevalent before the storm. I expect it to be much worse in the coming weeks. (Z. Snipes)
Melonworms turned this beautiful pumpkin patch into a pumpkin desert in a matter of 3-4 days. (Z. Snipes)


Justin Ballew reports, “Most of the severe weather from Hurricane Ian passed to the east of us on Friday. Our weather station in Lexington recorded almost 2.5″ of rain and maximum wind gusts of 43 mph. Further west, in Pomaria (Newberry County), 1.9″ of rain was recorded, and the maximum wind gusts were 46 mph. We’re thankful for the rain and lucky the wind wasn’t any stronger. Earlier in the week, more strawberry plastic was laid. Fall planted brassicas and squash are being harvested and look really good. Expect to see black rot increase in fields where it was already present.”

Plastic is laid and strawberry planting will start later later this month. (J. Ballew)

Pee Dee

Bruce McLean reports, “

he coastal area and the Pee Dee took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian on Friday. Luckily, the damage that we sustained is substantially less than our friends to the south, down in Florida. As of now, reports have been minimal for any significant damage or crop losses to fruit and vegetable crops (related to the hurricane). If any grower has damage caused by the storm, please contact your local Clemson Extension office or one of the Food Crop Agents for assistance. Hurricane Ian did bring beneficial rains to the region. The coast received more rain than most interior locations. Initial reports are that pecans did see some significant nut drop in areas, and pecan tree loss/orchard damage was minimal. Some wind damage was reported on vegetable crops in Horry County. Many strawberry growers had already bedded and laid plastic. No reports of plastic being blown off of beds, but it is likely to have occurred. For growers that recently fumigated, be sure to allow a little more time for fumigation and venting to prevent injury to your plantings. Excessive moisture can interfere with and delay the process of soil fumigation. Ideally, you would want to test for gas levels before planting. If testing isn’t performed and moisture within the bed is not excessive, a couple of extra days of venting is advised.”

Question of the Week

For this week’s question, take a look at the photo below. This little guy was hiding under a flower pot. What kind of snake is it and is it venomous?

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

One response to “Weekly Field Update – 10/3/22”

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