Field Update – 2/3/20

Coastal

Zack Snipes reports, “Thanks to everyone that made it out to the Preplant Meeting in Charleston last week.  We had standing room only for the program.  We received a good number of questions on the single-use plastic ban in Charleston County.  I have attached a picture that should explain most things.  To recap: strawberry buckets, plastic clamshell containers, and plastic green produce bags are allowed.  The “thank you” bags or carry out bags you receive at most, if not all, retail stores are no longer allowed in Charleston County.  Some folks have ordered cloth reusable bags with their farm logo on them and are selling them.  Dillion Way with AgSouth in Summerville has boxes of cloth reusable bags that he can make available to farmers during this transition period.”

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Info on Charleston’s new single-use plastic ban. Photo from Zack Snipes.

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “We had more rain late last week and the weather has warmed up a bit since.  Growers are picking what’s left of the mustard and turnip greens after the cold.  Any that weren’t covered are gone.  Strawberries look good considering they are still a little behind where we are used to seeing them at this time of year.  The spider mites have slowed down for now, probably thanks to all the rain.  Not as many blooms were killed by the cold in some fields as we expected, but there is plenty of damage out there.  Just be sure to remove any dead buds and fruit when plant growth takes off in the spring.  Winter weeds are likely to take off this week while it’s a little warmer, so if you have labor available, it would be a good idea to pull as many weeds as you can from the plant holes.”

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Young strawberry fruit cut in half so show the cold damaged tissue (browning). Photo from Justin Ballew.

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Winter weeds in the plant holes will see good growing conditions this week.  Photo from Justin Ballew.

Sarah Scott reports, “Peach trees are being planted and cover crops are being seeded in the row middles. Pruning continues on established peach trees. Copper sprays before the next rain event could lessen the spread of inoculum from disease present in the orchard.”

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Peach trees being planted on berms in Edgefield County. Photo from Sarah Scott.

Pee Dee

Tony Melton reports, “Second cut processing collard and third cut turnip harvest is finishing up.  Land prep is in full swing for spring greens where land is dry enough.  Cold temperatures have set strawberries back to ground-zero in flowering and fruiting which may keep down misshapen fruit at first harvest.”

Upstate

Mark Arena reports, “Recent unseasonably warm and wet days catch Christmas tree growers off guard as needle blight diseases infect trees. The two most common are Needle Blight and Needle Cast. Watching the weather conditions, scouting the trees weekly, and applying appropriate fungicides is the best practice for control.”

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Damage caused by needle blight. Photo from Mark Arena.

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Needle blight damage. Photo from Mark Arena.