Zack Snipes reports, “We had severe storms roll through the Lowcountry at the beginning of last week. Fortunately, we had very little damage to most of our crops. We had some damage to older squash and zucchini and some damage to untied tomatoes. For the most part, we escaped with little to moderate damage and should still make some good crops. Strawberries are coming in strong but it seems like this could be our last push of the season. I do not see many blooms coming on and our overall plant size and number of crowns per plant seem low for this time of year.
Ants and mole crickets have become more of a problem for produce growers in the past few years. Photo from Zack Snipes.
Burn on leaf margins caused by overapplication of boron. Photo from Zack Snipes.
Justin Ballew reports, “We didn’t see any damage from the storms last Monday morning other than some water damaged strawberries. We’re sure to have more damaged berries once the rain clears out today. Be sure to carry damaged and rotting berries out of the fields so they won’t become a source of inoculum for Botrytis and anthracnose. Growers selling locally are still seeing good demand for their produce. To try to keep everyone safe, some strawberry growers are opting to sell only pre-pick berries. Brassicas are growing rapidly and looking great, though diamondback moth caterpillar pressure has become pretty high. Be sure to rotate modes of action when selecting DBM insecticides. Everything else (tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, squash) is growing well also.
Water damaged strawberries. Photo from Justin Ballew.
Sarah Scott reports, “Peach trees continue to be thinned. This week we will likely begin to see scale crawlers present and should take action with a spray of Esteem. Bacterial canker has been noted across the state this year as seasonal conditions warranted a good year for inoculation. Peach fruit is progressing nicely with some of the earliest varieties potentially beginning to ripe in just a few weeks.”
Peaches that have been thinned with fruit distanced about 6 inches apart. Photo from Sarah Scott.
Early variety peach progressing nicely in Edgefield County. Photo from Sarah Scott.
Bruce McLean reports, “Planting of vegetables is wide open, right now. Cucurbits (cucumbers, squash, melons), beans and peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are all going in. Greens are looking good. Potatoes are coming along nicely, despite having to be planted late. Starting to see Colorado potato beetles in potatoes. Frequent scouting and timely insecticide applications are key to their control. Strawberries yields are really starting to pick up. A lot of nice-sized, sweet strawberries are available now. Blueberry fields are starting to get that tinge of blue on the earliest berries. We should start seeing some fruit being harvested in the next few days.
Colorado potato beetle on a potato leaf. Photo from Bruce McLean.
Tony Melton reports, “It was getting dry, thank goodness for the rain. Most of our butterbeans and peas are grown with irrigation. Most of our first crop cucumbers are starting to hit the rapid growth stage – get out and sharpen the plows. Greens are loving this weather. Watch out for yellow margined beetle- you will most likely see the brown ugly small grubs – they like sandier soils.
Kerrie Roach reports, “With beautiful skies over the last week since the outbreak of tornadoes across the state, growers have been able to get back into the fields. Last night and this morning’s heavy rains caused some minor runoff and ponding, but nothing we haven’t seen before. A few scattered nights/mornings with cold temperatures do not seem to have caused any significant damage to the peach or apple crops. The biggest news in the Upstate has been cleanup… cleanup of the Seneca area and further up near Pumpkintown. So far, there has been a very limited reported effect from the tornados on the fruit & vegetable growers. We’ve had many livestock producers with downed fences and shelter roof damages, but nothing too severe. Residential areas were the hardest hit, and the community has really shown out in its response.
Andy Rollins reports, “This is damage seen on multiple farms is believed to have been caused by self-inflicted miticide application with a surfactant, or possibly damaged from the sun. What allowed us to learn this is that almost all of the damage is located on the top side of the fruit but when flipped over the portion of the shaded berries remained undamaged. Please be careful with all fungicide/pesticide applications and make sure you are following all of them. If the label doesn’t call for a surfactant to be used…..please do NOT use one.
Damage possibly from using a surfactant with a miticide or from the sun. Photo from Andy Rollins.