Late last week, the Clemson Agribusiness team sent out some updated information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Be sure to take a look at that info here.
Zack Snipes reports, “We had a few storms last week that brought heavy rains to the Lowcountry totaling 5 inches in some places. The good news is that wind and sunny days have followed those storms which is helping to dry things out. Highbush blueberries are in mid-harvest right now and rabbiteye varieties are sizing up and may be somewhat early this year. Our strawberry crop has been disappointing this year in terms of yield. I am seeing a ton of thrips damage in strawberry. The threshold used for thrips is 10 per blossom. More thrips information from NC State. Tomato and watermelon growers need to be scouting for thrips, as problems will develop later on from infestations we are having now. I found the first cucumber beetles (striped and spotted) on crops this spring. We had terrible infestations last year on cucumbers and melons that made fruit unmarketable. If you find these on your farm you need to develop a plan to manage them (first generation) right now.”
Justin Ballew reports, “We had really nice weather last week and crops are growing very well. Strawberry harvest volumes are still good, but it appears bloom is slowing down in some fields. Thrips pressure has been high recently and we’re seeing damage on some berries as a result. If thrips are present, they can be found in the flowers or under the cap leaves of developing berries. If you’re seeing lots of damage, an application of Radiant may be needed. Brassicas are growing quickly right now. We’re still seeing high pressure of diamondback moth caterpillars. Be sure to rotate insecticide MOA’s when treating for DBM. If you suspect a population of DBM has developed resistance to one or more insecticides, let us know and we can arrange to test that population.”
Bruce McLean reports, “Strawberries, strawberries! Strawberries are coming off very well, right now. Quality is for-the-most-part very good, although last week’s showers did cause some water damaged fruit in some locations. Blueberry harvest should begin later this week. Volumes will be very light for the first week or so but should pick up soon. Muscadines are looking good, so far. Carlos variety is just beginning to bloom. Vegetables are still being planted heavily. Potatoes and greens are looking very good.”
Tony Melton reports, “Late peach varieties have a short crop, early ones are ok. Strawberry glut is over now producing a normal crop of smaller fruit. Early large crop with big fruit was a large strain on the plants. Thank goodness for these cool temperatures allowing flowers to set which should give us a good set into June. Beans, cucumbers, and peas are slow due to these cool temperatures and wind. Some having damping-off problems and applying Quadris or potassium phosphide now. Mowing tops of sweet potatoes in the beds now and will be planting in a week or so. Yellow margined beetle on brassicas getting worse in parts of the Pee Dee – look for the ugly small larvae eating leaves – easy to see.”
Andy Rollins reports, “We are finding San Jose scale on peach in the upstate. Crawling stage is out now and sprays are recommended for this pest. It can when build up and completely kill a block of peach trees. It is worse on late-season varieties. Movento, Esteem, and Centaur are all labeled on this crop for that pest. Make sure to remove completely dead limbs before spraying, if possible, and make sure you get extremely good coverage. 200 gallons of total spray solution is recommended to achieve that goal.”