Weekly Field Update 11/30/20

Coastal

Zack Snipes reports, “After a long Thanksgiving nap, I was able to waddle out in the fields and look at some strawberries.  We have had some really good strawberry growing weather especially considering most folks got their plants out somewhat late this year.  We need some cold weather to slow them down a bit in places.  I am seeing a tiny bit of plant collapse and death in some spots within the fields.  It is very important to send these plants into our lab to get a positive identification of the pathogen.  Phytophthora crown rot and anthracnose crown rot can cause similar symptoms but are managed completely different. For information on how to submit a sample during COVID times, click here. I am also keeping my eye on a good bit of leaf spotting in some fields to make sure its not the new disease, Neopestalotiopsis. I don’t think we have it yet, but being proactive is better than being reactive.  More information on that disease can be found here.”   

A healthy and a diseased plant side-by-side.  Perhaps a positive identification of the pathogen can help with management to protect the healthy plant. Photo from Zack Snipes.
Determining the pathogen responsible for plant collapse can be tricky in the field.  Send in a plant pathology sample to our lab.  Is this anthracnose, phytophthora, or another pathogen? Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “The mornings were nice and cool last week and we saw light frosts in a few more areas. We’ve been getting a fair amount of rain also. This has the brassica crops looking great. Caterpillar populations are still fairly high. Don’t give up on scouting as it gets cooler this week. Diamondback moth caterpillars and adults can survive for several hours at temperatures well below freezing, so a few nights in the upper 20’s is unlikely to affect them, other than slowing down their life cycle a bit. Don’t give up on scouting for mites in strawberries either. Even though we’ve had some wet weather lately, they’re still out there.”

Lacinato kale is growing well and looking good. Cropping has already started in this field. Photo from Justin Ballew
Keep up with scouting for caterpillars as the weather gets cooler. Winters in SC don’t get cold enough to wipe out diamondback moth populations. Photo from Justin Ballew.

Pee Dee

Tony Melton reports, “We still have some sweet potatoes in the ground. Greens are growing well except for bacterial diseases. Some diamondback are hard to kill. We are trying everything.”

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “With a low of 30 degrees Fahrenheit predicted tonight, and 26 degrees F predicted tomorrow night(Tuesday), growers in the Upstate should be making preparations for a hard freeze event. Wind speeds from 10-25 miles per hour have begun, and are expected to continue through Tuesday. So make sure any protective measures are held down tightly!”

Field Update – 4/29/19

Statewide: Dr. Tony Keinath reports finding powdery mildew on Hale’s Best Jumbo cantaloupe in Charleston last week. “Anyone growing heirloom varieties of cucurbits should spray for powdery mildew, because open-pollinated varieties do not have the resistance found in hybrid varieties. All cucurbit growers should be on the lookout for powdery mildew starting now and be ready to spray when it shows up on their farms.”

Dr. Guido Schnabel reports, “2019 promises to be a great peach season despite the one late freeze we had late March. Still, some remnants of this late freeze can still be observed on many cultivars. They include peach buttons next to well developing fruit. The embryo of those button peaches are often damaged. These buttons will soon fall off the tree. Most cultivars do have enough normal fruit, however, for a full or nearly full crop.”

Freeze damaged peaches and healthy peaches. Photo from Dr. Guido Schnabel.
Peach button with dead embryo due to freeze damage. Photo from Guido Schnabel.

Coastal: Zack Snipes reports, “Beautiful weather last week really helped the progress of spring crops like tomato, pepper, and squash. We should be harvesting the first flush of squash this week. Spring onions, broccoli, radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, and greens are continuing to be harvested. Have seen some major issues with the diamond back moth this spring on greens.”

Tomatoes are growing well in the Coastal Region. Photo from Zack Snipes.
The first squash harvest is getting close in Charleston. Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands: Justin Ballew reports, “Strawberry harvest has picked up this week and disease is very low since the weather has been dry. Spring and Summer crops are growing fast. A few spidermites have been seen and could increase quickly if it stays dry. Keep an eye out for those.”

Sarah Scott reports finding high numbers of brown marmorated stink bugs in traps along the Ridge. “While scouting the orchards I saw a few peaches that had some stink bug damage as well. Not wide spread but it is showing up so be mindful when you’re scouting in the coming week.”

Stink bug damage on a young peach. Photo from Sarah Scott.

Upstate: Andy Rollins reports, “Strawberry production is finally in full swing after a very delayed start to our year.  Early picking resulted in some knotty fruit but fruit quality and flavor are excellent now across all of the upstate. Slug problems show up when we have high moisture conditions as in the below picture from a neighboring state. Deadline pellets are a very effective control should they show up here, but caution is needed to keep the pellets from directly contacting fruit when applying.”

Strawberry harvest is in full swing in the upstate.
Slug damage on a strawberry. Photo from Andy Rollins.