- The tomato crop is coming in at very heavy volumes.
- The week of rain has really started making diseases appear. I’ve seen a lot of bacterial wilt and Southern blight in tomatoes as well as increased bacterial spot on foliage. Crop rotation and variety selection are key in the management of this disease. Both organic and conventional growers can use these cultural practices to manage the disease.
- The watermelon crop is looking great, but we shall see what it looks like after a wet week.
- Other crops are coming in as fast as we can pick them.
- After a very wet week, crops are, on the whole, looking reasonable. That being said, I see plenty of fields with standing water. Take action to remedy standing water from the field. Wilting caused by anaerobic soil conditions may occur, though crops will recover as excess moisture drains away.
- Foliar diseases are beginning to take off, such as gummy stem blight in cucurbits and anthracnose fruit rots in tomatoes and peppers. Sanitation of harvesting equipment may help to minimize the spread of pathogens, including boots. Scout often and thoroughly to manage disease pressures.
- Timely fungicide applications will be critical.
- This past week was extremely wet! We had heavy amounts of rain throughout Aiken, Edgefield, and Saluda Counties, with some flash flooding and heavy winds.
- We are picking and packing peaches for the next few weeks. Our July peaches will definitely be our heaviest crop, as they received the least amount of cold damage. The biggest disease issue we have now is brown rot. Trees that have been under a reduced management plan and are heavily loaded with fruit because of conservative thinning are likely targets. It is important to remove diseased fruit from the trees to reduce mummy fruit that will provide inoculum for next season.
- Summer crops are coming along nicely. We have eggplant and peppers, as well as summer squash being harvested. Tomatoes will soon be ready for harvest. Early varieties of corn, such as Silver King, is still being picked. Squash vine borers have started showing up in spots.
- Several farms had strawberry plants beginning to collapse last week. They were sent to the lab for diagnostics. With an initial inspection of good and bad plants, the root systems were much weaker and had more black decayed roots than good ones on both sets of plants. Above ground leaves don’t have diagnostic fungal lesions, just rapidly declining green to brown coloration that seems to originate from fruiting shoots. Many plants have started to produce runners ahead of decline. When you cut through the crowns, there is some evidence of damage from the December deep freeze that may be playing a role. On previously submitted samples, we found Phytophthora root rot, which I believe is at least part of the problem here. On other farms, we have found fusarium in the crowns causing similar symptoms. It was believed to have come into the crown because of cold damage. Now we will wait and see what the lab tells us. Many disease problems are not as simple as you’d think and take a close observant eye to figure out.
- Peach picking in the Upstate is light. We will harvest Julyprince on some farms by the end of the week.
- Blackberry harvest is continuing into Von from Primeark 45. There is plenty of availability in the region.
- Tomatoes are starting to come off but are still slow, except in high tunnel production.
- We are seeing some internal ripening issues in squash. Not sure what is causing those problems, but we suspect a seed issue.