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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report August 16, 2021

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “It’s hot and humid in the Lowcountry. Fall tomato and watermelons are in the ground and enjoyed a week of mostly dry weather. Okra and sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes, are loving this heat. Except for those crops, there aren’t too many crops in the ground right now.  I am seeing lots of summer cover crops. I love the idea of using a mixed species of cover crop. One reason is that it spreads out the risk that one of the species in the mix won’t germinate or be eaten by deer. So by using multiple species, you can almost guarantee that something will be there covering the soil. Multi-species mixes also provide different benefits to the farm. Cowpeas may fix nitrogen while sorghum X Sudan hybrids may be a deer deterrent and shade out weeds.”

A beautiful mixed-species stand of cowpeas and sorghum X Sudan hybrid (sudex). Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

A beautiful mixed-species stand of cowpeas and sorghum X Sudan hybrid (sudex).
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Buckwheat is one of my personal favorites because of its ability to attract beneficial insects and mine potassium from the soil. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Buckwheat is one of my personal favorites because of its ability to attract beneficial insects and mine potassium from the soil.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “Not much has changed here in the midlands over the last week. It’s been warm and humid, and we got a little rain a couple of times throughout the week. Recently planted fall brassica and cucurbit crops have gotten off to a good start. We are seeing some caterpillar activity already. Thanks to the rain and humid weather we are seeing increased amounts of scab in pecans this year. I’m seeing some black pecan aphids causing damage as well. For insect and disease management in pecans, take a look at the UGA Commercial Pecan Spray Guide.”

Pecan scab is really showing up this year. If growing cultivars with poor scab resistance (Desirable, Pawnee, Kiowa, Oconee), stay on top of fungicide applications. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Pecan scab is really showing up this year. If growing cultivars with poor scab resistance (Desirable, Pawnee, Kiowa, Oconee), stay on top of fungicide applications.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Black aphid damage on pecan foliage. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Black aphid damage on pecan foliage.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Phillip Carnley reports, “It’s that time of year to be on the lookout for Southern stem blight (Athelia rolfsii) in hemp. To avoid possible infections of this pathogen, avoid planting in fields that have previously had tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, or peanuts. Crop rotation is your best avenue for mitigation as there are no fungicides labeled for control of Southern blight in hemp at this time. Also, be on the lookout for plant stunting from girdling roots. For information on chemicals labeled for hemp, see the EPA website.”

Southern blight mycelium (white fuzzy-looking growth) and sclerotia (small, tan bb-shaped structures) developing around the base of a hemp plant. Phillip Carnley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Southern blight mycelium (white fuzzy-looking growth) and sclerotia (small, tan bb-shaped structures) developing around the base of a hemp plant.
Phillip Carnley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

This hemp plant has wilted due to Southern blight cutting off its ability to transport water from the roots to the shoots. Phillip Carnley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

This hemp plant has wilted due to Southern blight cutting off its ability to transport water from the roots to the shoots.
Phillip Carnley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “Late summer season crops are still producing in the upstate, but many market producers are starting to lose the disease battle. When something is finished for the season, make sure to remove all parts of the crop. Do not leave diseased plant material in the field. Dispose of the diseased crop in an area far away from your fields or garden. Do not use diseased plant material for compost. Most home compost piles do not reach consistent and uniform temperatures at which pathogens will be killed. Dead plant material harbors insects and pathogens that can and will cause issues for fall season crops as well as next year’s crop.”

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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