Weekly Field Update – 1/23/23

The Weekly Field Updates are back for 2023! We hope everyone had a great holiday season and is off to a good start this year. We have lots of fruit and vegetable meetings over the next couple of months, so check out the Upcoming Events tab for the complete lineup. This week there will be a Cucurbit Grower Meeting at Edisto REC

As everyone begins thinking about filing taxes, take a look at this article by Clemson Agribusiness Associate Kevin Burkett about form 1099.

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, “Crops are benefiting from the recent warmer weather, with new leaves pushing out on strawberries and buds beginning to break in other crops. Following the rainfall over the weekend, the disease may start to be an issue, particularly in frost affected plants. The key will be to continue to scout often to monitor any changes to the crops.

Take a moment to check out some of the upcoming events hosted around the State.”


Sarah Scott reports, “Growers are busy, along the Ridge, pruning peach trees and applying oil sprays. We are a little behind on chill hours, compared to last year at this time but hopefully we will catch up in the next week or so with some colder nights expected. Trees are still being planted at this time as some shipments of trees were delayed earlier in the season. With some heavy rainfall over the weekend, field conditions will be soggy for a while. Some areas saw 2 or more inches of rainfall which was much needed. Disease pressure will increase in strawberry and vegetable plantings so growers should scout often to monitor crop conditions.”

Peach trees being pruned in Edgefield County. (S. Scott)


Bruce McClean reports, “Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries… that has been the primary focus for the last few weeks. Diseases are the biggest issue. You name the disease; I have seen it. Neopestalotiopsis has been identified in the region. Crown rot, root rot, and gray mold have been observed in the field. Much of the root rot is found on improperly planted plants – planted too deep and or J-rooted. Some root rot is found in beds incorrectly bedded – sunken beds holding water. Much of the gray mold being seen is coming from cold injury (and dead tissue) from the December cold spell. Other diseases observed include various fungal leaf spots. So far, insects and mites have not been a big issue. So, word of advice; know your diseases (or get assistance from your Extension Agent), know your appropriate fungicides, and be ready to have a sample submitted (for lab identification) if it cannot easily be identified in the field.

In other fruit crops – from now until March is an excellent time to take care of your winter pruning.”

Strawberry leaf exhibiting symptoms of Neopestalotiopsis. (B. Mclean)

Sporulation of suspected Neopestalotiopsis. (B. Mclean)

Question of the Week

For this week’s questions, take a look at the images below, what is causing the stipling effect to these strawberry leaves?

Photo Credit: T Bilbo, Clemson Extension.

What are these translucent spheres on the underside of this strawberry leaf?

Photo Credit: T Bilbo, Clemson Extension.

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

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