Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.
Zack Snipes reports, “We are in our lull period of production right now for the most part. Okra is coming in very strong in high volumes. It’s getting difficult to pick it all. Fall watermelons and pumpkins are starting to run. Make sure to stick to a tight spray plan for fall melons as downy mildew, powdery mildew, viruses, whiteflies, cuke beetles, melonworms and pickleworms can quickly devastate a crop. You can find a weekly spray guide in the Disease section of the Southeast Vegetable Crop Handbook. Some growers are preparing ground for strawberries, as it won’t be much longer before we’re planting. A few growers in the coastal counties have switched over to using two rows of drip tape on their berries. Sometimes I see sections of the field that don’t look as great as other sections. Oftentimes, I will find the drip tape has migrated to one side of the bed causing stunted growth on the other side. This can be solved by adding another line of drip in the bed. Just some food for thought as you are preparing your fields.”
Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was a few degrees cooler, and we had some scattered rain late in the week. Planting fall crops continues. We are seeing some caterpillar pressure in brassicas already, so scout carefully and rotate insecticides. Pecans are looking really good right now. Growers are doing a great job of managing scab this year. The dry weather we’ve experienced over part of the summer has helped. We have seen some trees aborting nuts lately. Without any other apparent issues, it’s likely because of the dry weather we’ve had in between rains. Those with irrigation should pay close attention to their watering schedules and make sure the trees are getting adequate water as the nuts fill out.”
Some pecan trees are aborting some nuts right now, likely due to the dry weather in between rain events. (J. Ballew)
Andy Rollins reports, “Peach production is slowing, but we still have some excellent quality varieties left. We are still picking Ohenry, Flameprince, Monroe, and Faye Elberta. BigRed will be coming off soon, and we still have September Sun and a few others to come. Growers need to focus on applying trunk sprays now for greater peach tree borers. Some growers are using Cormoran insecticide at 20 fl oz per 100 gallons of water and trying to get at least one quart applied to each trunk. Without having Lorsban (chlorpyrifos), we don’t have very good comparative data for other options, according to our peach entomologist. We are seeing stinkbug damage on peach. It typically shows up on late peaches also. The predominant species is the brown marmorated stink bug. We are having problems in pepper and tomatillos with cracking from the rain in nearly every fruit, devastating the crop. Tomato bacterial spot is rampant where we have had rains, and there is not much we can do about it while picking. Some pumpkin plantings are experiencing damage from fusarium for the second year in a row. We are getting ground ready for strawberry plantings. Make sure to add 60 pounds of actual phosphorus regardless of soil test and 5 pounds per acre boron. Lime should be added as per soil test. When working the soil, make sure you work it deep enough, especially on the edges, to ensure you can fill that raised bed when bedding and covering with poly.”