Clemson Extension Agents Provide Crop Updates

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

Clemson Extension

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “What a wild week we had with the hurricane, rain and storm prep. Overall, the Lowcountry dodged most of the wind and water. While we still had wind gusts exceeding 45 miles per hour (mph) and several inches of rain, most all of the crops pulled through. It seems that the amount of rain depended on what band of the hurricane passed by. Downtown Charleston and James Island received 10-plus inches of rain, while the Coastal Research and Education Center, just a few miles away, received half of that. Some crops got beat up a bit, but I haven’t heard any reports yet of a total crop loss. Before the storm, I went out and found lots of lepidopteran pests (diamondback moth larvae, cutworms, melonworms, pickleworms, imported cabbage worm, and an assortment of armyworms…I feel like Bubba Gump here). I also saw a good bit of black rot on brassicas and plenty of downy mildew. I suspect with the wind and rain those diseases will really pick up this week and next. Many growers are putting the finishing touches on strawberry plastic and seeding fall carrots, turnips, beans, arugula, radish, etc.”


Justin Ballew reports, “Most of the severe weather from Hurricane Ian passed to the east of us on Friday. Our weather station in Lexington recorded almost 2.5 inches of rain and maximum wind gusts of 43 mph. Further west, in Pomaria (Newberry County), 1.9 inches of rain was recorded, and the maximum wind gusts were 46 mph. We’re thankful for the rain and lucky the wind wasn’t any stronger. Earlier in the week, more strawberry plastic was laid. Fall planted brassicas and squash are being harvested and look really good. Expect to see black rot increase in fields where it was already present.”

Pee Dee

Bruce McLean reports, “The coastal area and the Pee Dee took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian on Friday. Luckily, the damage that we sustained is substantially less than our friends to the south, down in Florida. As of now, reports have been minimal for any significant damage or crop losses to fruit and vegetable crops (related to the hurricane). If any grower has damage caused by the storm, please contact your local Clemson Extension office or one of the food crop agents for assistance. Hurricane Ian did bring beneficial rains to the region. The coast received more rain than most interior locations. Initial reports are that pecans did see some significant nut drop in areas, and pecan tree loss/orchard damage was minimal. Some wind damage was reported on vegetable crops in Horry County. Many strawberry growers had already bedded and laid plastic. No reports of plastic being blown off of beds, but it is likely to have occurred. For growers that recently fumigated, be sure to allow a little more time for fumigation and venting to prevent injury to your plantings. Excessive moisture can interfere with and delay the process of soil fumigation. Ideally, you would want to test for gas levels before planting. If testing isn’t performed and moisture within the bed is not excessive, a couple of extra days of venting is advised.”