Field Update – 8/12/19

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “We are in the middle of muscadine and scuppernong harvest right now. Okra and mixed peppers are still pushing out despite the heat. We had a great Strawberry Production Meeting in Charleston last week. If you have any questions on strawberry production now is the time to ask before planting.”

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Muscadines and scuppernongs from Ravenel, SC. Photo from Zack Snipes.

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Great strawberry production meeting in Charleston (8/6/19). Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “We had a storm come through Saturday night that brought a little rain to some parts of the midlands, but overall we are still quite dry. More fall brassicas are going in the ground and there is already some caterpillar pressure on those that are up. Downy mildew is showing up on cucumbers and pumpkins on a more widespread scale now.  Stick to fungicide programs if you’re growing fall cucurbits.”

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Fall collards in Lexington County are already seeing diamond back moth caterpillar pressure. Photo from Justin Ballew.

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Downy mildew in fall cucumbers. Photo from Justin Ballew.

Sarah Scott reports, “We have had hot and dry conditions along the Ridge with hit and miss showers. Running irrigation heavily.  Late cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and broccoli are being planted.  Leaf footed bugs on late season tomatoes causing minimal damage.  Peaches still producing through late August, possibly into early September. Field work is still being done to prepare for fall planting of new orchards.”

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September Sun peaches are nearing harvest. Photo from Sarah Scott.

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Leaf footed bugs causing minor damage to late tomatoes. Photo from Sarah Scott.

Upstate

Mark Arena reports fall webworms and tent caterpillars are showing up on pecans. “This is truly a nuisance pest and generally does not influence nut production. Proper control may be challenging since the webbing should be broken apart prior to spraying. Once the webbing is broken apart, the insecticide can make contact with the caterpillars and offer effective control. Any insecticides labeled for caterpillars will work.”

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Fall webworm in the canopy of a pecan tree. Photo from Mark Arena.

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Temps have been soaring and rain has been scarce across the Pee Dee Region. Most crops are looking good though. Watermelon, cantaloupe, canary melons, cucumber, zucchini and yellow squash volumes are still up and quality is good. Okra volumes are really starting to pick up and the quality is very good. Okra is flowering heavy, so volumes should be good for the foreseeable future. Muscadines are continuing to ripen. Muscadine brix levels (sugars) are rather high for this time of the season. Harvest should be very good this year. Fresh market muscadines should be available starting this week.

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“Noble” muscadines are getting close to harvest. Photo from Bruce McClean.

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Okra is rolling along in the summer heat. Photo from Bruce McLean.

Tony Melton reports, “Fall pickling cucumbers are being planted.  Pythium is still prevalent on pickling cucumbers and may need to be controlled.  Fall peas and snap-beans are up and growing and need thrips control, but I have found thrips are in low numbers this fall and they may grow out of damage. I have found some beet armyworms on peas in some locations – scout.  Also, lesser cornstalk borers are bad on both peas and snap-beans mainly due to the dry conditions; therefore, irrigate if possible or apply Coragen or similar systemic product.  Loopers are present on sweet potatoes but doing mostly very little economic damage.  I have found some striped armyworms in certain locations which need to be controlled.  Starting to plant fall processing greens.

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.

Field Update – 7/29/19

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “We are harvesting the last remaining things in the fields, preparing fields for fall planting, and planting fall pepper and tomato.  I found an interesting disease in watermelon this week that is known as bacterial rind necrosis.  While it is not entirely known what factors and pathogens cause the disease, it is thought that environmental conditions could increase the presence of this disease.  If you have seen this disease, take precaution by rotating fields, staying away from varieties known to have had symptoms in the past, and stay on top of irrigation and nutrient management.  I have also seen some spongy squash this week.  The combination of heat, high humidity, and poor pollination can all lead to poor quality squash.”

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Watermelon with discolored rind from rind necrosis. Photo from Zack Snipes.

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Soft squash as a result of poor environmental conditions. Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “The weather cooled down a few degrees towards the end of last week and felt nice.  Fall tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are in the ground now.  Downy mildew was found in the midlands in slicing cucumbers this past week, so folks growing fall cucurbits definitely need to maintain a good spray schedule.  Also, late last week, bacterial wilt was confirmed for the first time in hemp.  In the future, growers will need to practice good rotation between hemp, tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.”

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Peppers planted for a fall crop. Photo from Justin Ballew.

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Industrial hemp plant wilting from bacterial wilt infection.  Photo from Justin Ballew.

Lalo Toledo reports, “Bell peppers are being planted in Orangeburg and Clarendon counties. Hemp is growing well and is expected to make a good harvest. Worm damage was found on some hemp plants in Orangeburg county. Collards are also being planted.  Mole crickets have been found tunneling in many collard fields.

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Hemp is growing well in Orangeburg. Photo from Lalo Toledo.

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Mole cricket tunneling around collard seedlings can expose young roots to the sun, causing them to dry out. Photo from Lalo Toledo.

 

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Last week was a welcomed reprieve from the heat and humidity. Many crops seemed to respond positively from the temperature break, as well. Watermelon, cantaloupe volumes looked very good. Yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers were well improved from the week before. Okra volume is on the rise, and should be coming off very well in a week or so. Peas and butterbeans, on the other hand, sustained significant damage from the heat and many plantings have dried up. The first of the week looks pretty dry with building temps. By the end of the week, some welcomed rain should be in the forecast.”

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Zucchini are doing well in the slightly lower temperatures. Photo from Bruce McLean.

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The volume of harvest of okra is rising in the Pee Dee. Photo from Bruce McLean

Field Update – 7/22/19

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “It was another fairly hot week with scattered afternoon showers. We’re about finished with the spring cucurbit and brassica crops and growers are planting some fall brassicas now.  Peas, green onions, tomatoes, peppers and some eggplant are being picked now.  Still seeing some cutworm damage showing up in hemp.  They feed at night, so growers having trouble with cutworms may benefit from night time applications of Dipel or Grandevo directed at the base of the plant.

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Peas are being picked in the midlands. Photo from Justin Ballew

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Cutworm damage on hemp stem. Photo from Justin Ballew

Sarah Scott reports, “The fall crop of bell peppers are being planted. We are continuing to pick peaches and have started picking Asian pears. Field prep is underway for fall planting of new peach trees. Old orchards are pushed up and the trees burned when they are no longer productive, making way for new orchards for the coming seasons.

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Fall peppers are going in the ground in the Ridge Spring area. Photo from Sarah Scott.

Lalo Toledo reports, “Tomatoes have been suffering from many pest and diseases. Most prevalent Southern Blight (White Mold) and Bacterial wilt. Make sure to properly diagnose your pest and/or diseases. Improper identification has led to improper control.”

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Tomato plant wilting rapidly from bacterial wilt. Photo from Lalo Toledo

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White fungal growth from Southern blight on a tomato stem. Photo from Lalo Toledo

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “This last week’s hot weather has taken a bit of a toll on some crops in the Pee Dee Region. Volumes on cantaloupe, cucumber and peppers were off a bit due to heat related damage. But, cooler weather looks to be in the forecast for this upcoming week. Be on the look out for Downy Mildew in cucurbits. I found some in a field of cucumbers last week. Some fall crops have been planted. The remaining acreage will likely be planted after the temperature break.

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Peppers are slowing down from the heat in the Pee Dee. Photo from Bruce McLean

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Downy mildew symptoms on a cucumber leaf. Photo from Bruce McLean

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “Many upstate apple growers are having to do some late thinning on orchards hit by hail from one of the many late afternoon summer storms. Picking early varieties like ‘Wolf River’ and some of the Golden Delicious sports. Peaches are in full swing as are all our major summer vegetable crops. As in other areas of the state we have seen many instances of southern stem blight on tomatoes.”

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Early apple varieties are being harvested in the upstate. Photo from Kerrie Roach