Zack Snipes reports, “For the most part, it has been hot and dry in the Lowcountry. Things are relatively quiet. I have seen and heard reports of high whitefly numbers in various crops (melons, tomato, and blackberry). We had severe disease outbreaks a few years ago due to a few whitefly-vectored viruses. The two prominent viruses I have seen vectored by whitefly are Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus and Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus: See article from 2019 outbreak. If growers have not already planted their fall melons and tomatoes, it would be a good idea to investigate varieties that have resistance to tomato and melon whitefly vectored viruses. I have also seen very high numbers of melonworms as of late.
Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was another warm one with a few isolated showers and thunderstorms. We’ve had some fall brassicas, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant planted, which should continue this week. Be sure to look carefully at your transplants before planting (and before accepting the delivery, if possible) to ensure they are free of disease and insects. We have seen cases recently where we strongly suspect insecticide resistance issues were introduced to the farm by insects that arrived on transplants. Fall can be a tough season for insects and diseases, so be sure we’re starting clean.”
Sarah Scott reports, “We are still harvesting peaches along the Ridge. Later season varieties, such as Big Red, are being harvested now, and the season should start to wrap up in the next couple of weeks. Post-harvest applications of insecticides for borers are being applied. Orchards that are older and less productive are being pushed up post-harvest. These trees are uprooted and burned on site to prepare for new planting areas.”