Drought Impact: Lack of Moisture Means Minimal Disease Pressure on Veggies

Clint Thompson Disease, Drought, Georgia, Top Posts

Wilting is common in a heavy gummy stem blight outbreak.

By Clint Thompson

Not all is bad when producers think about the hot and dry conditions throughout the Southeast. Disease pressure has been extremely light in South Georgia vegetable fields, according to Ty Torrance, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Vegetable Agent for Colquitt, Tift and Worth Counties.

“Foliar fungal diseases or bacterial diseases is the only thing that this hot, dry weather is good for. As far as bacteria in tomatoes, pepper, even cabbage, it was a lighter year just because of this weather towards the end here and around harvest,” Torrance said. “Watermelons, we’re seeing a little bit of gummy stem blight move but not terrible. We have not seen downy (mildew) in melons yet, so that’s a good thing.”

According to the University of Georgia Weather Network, Tifton, Georgia received just 1.05 inches in May. That total is reduced to 0.29 inches from May 5 to May 31. Similarly, there was only 1.05 inches recorded in Moultrie, Georgia in May; compared to 3.1 inches last season and 8.26 inches in 2018.