Clemson Extension Agents Provide Crop Updates

Clint Thompson Fruit, South Carolina, Top Posts, Vegetables

Downy mildew looks a little different on zucchini and pumpkin. Photo from Zack Snipes.

Clemson Extension agents provided updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.

Coastal

Zack Snipes reports, “It has been a hot week in the Lowcountry. Most spring and summer crops have finished up. Ground is being prepared and planted for fall crops. I have received a few texts from growers that have yellow dots on their zucchini plants, which is downy mildew. Even in this heat downy can still be an issue. I have also had some reports of green-colored squash in fields which is an indication of a viral pathogen. The crop handbook has recommendations for cultivars that are resistant to these viruses that cause this discoloring. Fall is notoriously bad for cucurbit viruses, so plan accordingly.  I have also seen some flea beetle damage on crops as of late.”

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “It’s been hot in the midlands and we’ve gotten to the point where there isn’t much relief at night. We had some scattered rain throughout the week, but overall we’re still quite dry. Lots of land is still being prepped for fall crops. We’ve had some fall brassicas and cucurbits planted already and they’re looking good so far. Last week I got to watch a pecan grower in Lexington thin some pecan trees. Without thinning, he would have seen a massive yield this year, which would result in a significantly diminished yield next year. Pecan growers aim for nuts on just 70% of the terminal buds.”

Pee Dee

Tony Melton reports, “Pickles are still being harvested and planted. We still have hundreds of thousands of bushels in contract to be planted and harvested.  Peas for processing are being rapidly harvested and replanted; some seed is short.  Sweet potatoes are starting to swell and size.  Processing peppers are being harvested, but we have a shortage of labor and multi-millions of pounds left to harvest. Processing tomatoes will be finished harvesting this coming week. Spring planted fresh market butterbeans and peas are mostly harvested, but seed is short to plant the fall crop. Still have some flooded fields and drowned crop.”

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “Spotty rain across the county again last week has led to continued issues for growers without irrigation. Fall planting for vegetables is in full force. Peaches are looking good, and apples are coming along. Most growers will be putting on a fungicide cover spray this week before significant rains are forecasted.”

Andy Rollins reports, “Bacterial speck and bacterial spot of tomato are major problems in plum tomato varieties in the upstate right now.  They were not able to control this disease even with a vigorous spray program using mancozeb + copper on several farms. In nearby plantings of large fruit varieties, the disease is present but not a problem. Samples have been sent to researchers at Auburn University where they have confirmed the presence of copper resistant isolates from other farms. Call on your extension agent for assistance with identifying and controlling this problem.”