Weekly Field Update – 10/26/20

Statewide

Dr. Matt Cutulle reports, “A good stand of fall cover crops will typically suppress most weeds. However, you may want to pursue herbicide options for cleaning up the weeds that have pushed through the cover crop canopy. If these cover crops act as buffers in fall vegetable crops, one has to proceed with caution regarding herbicide application. The best selective herbicide option for controlling broadleaf weeds in cereal rye would be a low volatility 2,4D or dicamba product ( the low volatility dicamba products may not be available right now).  Enlist One is a 2,4D choline formulation. Apply the herbicide with a hooded sprayer using nozzles that produce coarse droplets. We are approaching cooler temperatures so the conditions do not favor volatility as much as they did in late spring/summer. If you have a clover cover crop and do not want to kill it, do not spray 2,4D. Using a labeled graminicide (clethodim or sethoxydim products) in clover will provide control of grass weeds that have escaped the clover cover. Remember to read the label and use appropriate surfactants with the graminicides for maximizing activity”

A good fall cover crop can suppress late summer weeds and early winter weeds.

Coastal

Rob Last reports, “Strawberry plants and cut offs are going into the ground in the area.  Remember to check roots and crowns before planting and also supervise planting crews to ensure correct depth of planting is achieved. Caterpillar and whitefly on a range of fall crops, pressure remains high in the area so vigilance and regular scouting will be required to spot potential problems.”

Zack Snipes reports, “This past week was all about strawberries.  I visited many farms and saw lots of plastic being laid.  I checked many strawberry plants from a multitude of nurseries.  Overall the plants look ok this year. I haven’t found any glaringly obvious root or crown rots and very little foliar issues in our plugs and cutoffs.  Overall the plants are on the smaller side and I hope for a good fall growing season so they can size up a bit before going into the winter.  I saw, on a few farms, issues with calibration and equipment for fertilizer distribution.  If you need help calibrating or calculating fertilizer rates, please give me a call. I would be more than happy to come give you a hand.  I hate to even mention it but I am already seeing deer tracks in strawberry fields…if you need it…”

Imagine that…deer tracks in a strawberry field…Get up your fences! Photo from Zack Snipes.
Strawberry plugs about to go in a field.  Can you pick out the smaller, weaker trays of plants?.  I would plant these trays last. Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “Strawberry planting has wrapped up in the midlands and the earliest transplanted fields are already pushing out new leaves. This cooler, damp weather is much better for getting strawberries established than the dry, 95 degree days we saw this time last year. Be sure to go back through the fields shortly after planting to ensure the plants are set at the proper depth. If any were planted too deep or settled too much after the first overheard watering, gently pull them up to the proper depth and refirm the soil around them. This should be done before new roots start to form. Also, get ready for deer! it doesn’t take them long to find newly planted strawberries.”

Cutoff transplants pushing out new leaves less than a week after planting. Photo from Justin Ballew.
This transplant was either set too deep or it settled too much during the first overhead watering. If any plants are too deep, gently pull them up to the proper depth and repack the soil around them. Photo from Justin Ballew.

Pee Dee

Bruce McLean reports, “Strawberry planting is going full pace. Much of the acreage was planted in the last half of last week. The remainder will be planted this week. So far, the transplants look very good. Acreage is up compared to last year. Brassicas are (for the most part) looking good. Insects have not been much of an issue – minimal caterpillar occurrences, occasional aphids, and some grasshopper damage. Some fields have experienced some plant stunting and plant losses due to persistent wet soil conditions (root rot). Die-off really started to show on affected plants with last week’s heat. Some growers will begin harvest next week.”

Strawberry field immediately after planting. Getting ready to turn on the overhead irrigation. Photo from Bruce McLean.
Aphids on turnip leaves. Photo from Bruce McLean.

Tony Melton reports, “Very little insect and disease problems on greens.  However seen a lot of B and Mg deficiencies.  Continues to harvest sweet potatoes yield is very good.  Some late Butterbeans and peas are planted.  Most strawberries are planted already some deer damage.”

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “Late season rot issues have sent some apple growers looking for more answers with fungicide resistance testing. Apple pathologist Sara Villani’s lab at the MHCREC in Mills River, NC is conducting tests to look at resistance to specific modes of action(MOA) and fungicides in Apple production. Harvest in apples is about 80% complete with only a few varieties left to pick.”

Field Update – 8/5/19

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “Summer cover crops are looking good in the Lowcountry.  Cowpeas are one of my favorite cover crops for their ability to shade out weeds, particularly nutsedge, and provide the land with nitrogen for the next crop planted. We have had some timely rains to keep everything green and prepare fields for the fall.  Some fields are being laid out and prepared for the fall season now.  One technique used for weed management is called the stale bed technique.  This involves working the soil and bedding up a few weeks to a month before growers plan to transplant. An herbicide or a flame is used once weeds germinate on the bed tops.  This process is repeated 1-3 more times before the crop is planted.  Because the soil is not disturbed after the initial bedding process, weeds are less likely to germinate once a crop is seeded or transplanted.”

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Cowpeas taking off with warm weather and timely rains.  Photo from Zack Snipes.

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Field being prepared by using the stale bed technique.  Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “We had a few isolated showers throughout the week, but overall we’re still pretty dry in the midlands. Muscadines are ripening and some of the earliest varieties should be ready to pick this week. The first of the fall brassicas are up and growing now. Fall tomato, eggplant, and peppers are looking good. We are seeing some spidermites in tomatoes, so scout closely. If treatments are needed, remember to use high spray volumes to get good coverage and rotate IRAC groups.”

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Muscadines are ripening and will be ready to pick very soon.  Photo from Justin Ballew.

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Kale planted for fall harvest is growing well.  Photo from Justin Ballew.

Lalo Toledo reports, “Fall bell peppers and Broccoli are being planted. We are continuing to pick string beans, processing tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Field preparations are underway for fall planting for Brassicas. We finally got some rain over the weekend, which will help with the new plantings.

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Still picking beans and peas in the midlands. Photo from Lalo Toledo.

Upstate

Mark Arena reports, “Fall webworm or tent caterpillars are showing up on pecans.  Breaking the web apart and spraying with an appropriate insecticide is an option.”

Kerrie Roach reports, “Peaches are still coming in strong in the mountains, and the apples are continuing to build. The earliest ‘Ginger Gold’ apples (right photo) are just about finished. ‘Golden Supremes’ (left photo) are still a little low on the sugar (Brix) scale, but will sweeten up a little more this week. We should be picking ‘Galas’ within the next two weeks if the weather cooperates.”

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Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Well, it’s starting to look a bit like harvest time for muscadines. We’re seeing some advanced ripening this year due to heat, primarily in Carlos. There’s still some ripening to do, but it won’t be long. The crop looks really good this year… just a bit early.  Watermelons, cantaloupe, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and okra are being harvested in good volumes, and grading out well.

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‘Carlos’ muscadines really coloring up. Photo from Bruce McLean.

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Seeded watermelons harvested in good volume and condition. Photo from Bruce McLean.