Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a great holiday season and is off to a good start in 2021. We have several virtual grower meetings coming up over the next two months, so keep an eye on the “Upcoming Events” page for info. Also, don’t forget the Southeastern Regional Fruit and Vegetable conference kicks off virtually this week, and it’s not too late to register.
Rob Last reports, “Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a happy and successful 2021. Crops in the area have slowed down with the cooler weather, and we are seeing a reduction in caterpillar activity. Strawberries look good; however, it would be advisable in advanced crops to remove any flowers to reduce the botrytis pressure later in the season. Winter vegetables are looking very good with low levels of Alternaria leaf spot in some crops. If in doubt, scout.
Zack Snipes reports, “One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to be more proactive rather than reactive. I would like to extend that mentality to my fieldwork as well. This year I really want to help growers nip problems in the bud before they become problems. Weekly calls, texts, check-ups, and regular visits can help both of us achieve our goals. Give me a shout in 2021.”
Justin Ballew reports, “We’ve had a lot of rain to start off the new year. A day or so after Christmas we saw temperatures down in the low 20’s and ended up with some cold damage on greens. They should grow out of it just fine. Strawberries are coming along. We are seeing spider mites build up in places, requiring treatment. Keep scouting regularly, even though it’s cool outside. Let me know if you need a second pair of eyes. On another note, I noticed daffodils starting to come up in my yard a few days before Christmas. Can’t ever remember seeing them emerge that early.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Field preparation for new peach tree plantings is underway along the Ridge. Some growers are using a plow to make berms to plant trees on to aid in disease management issues such as armillaria root rot. Lots of rain in the past week has made for muddy conditions.”
Pee Dee Region
Tony Melton reports, “Very few greens undamaged after the cold if they weren’t either covered or protected in some way. Strawberries are doing well. I hope there is not, and I have not seen any cold damage of the crowns in the Pee Dee. I had one account where coyotes were biting through the row-covers to eat ripe strawberries.”