Rob Last reports, “In a wide range of crops insect and disease pressure is high, with gummy stem blight across all cucurbit crops and downy mildew is also very active. Fruit rots, including anthracnose and Phomopsis blight, are also readily found. That being said, the quality of crops being harvested is still very good and is a testament to the attention to detail being paid by growers. As we move into August, thoughts are switching towards fall planting and preparations, including fertility building cover crops, ordering next year’s strawberry plants, and field cultivation. I know it seems a long way away, but now is the time to order strawberry plants to ensure you get the varieties best suited to your own enterprises.”
Phillip Carnley reports, “We’re on the second planting of cowpeas in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties with seemingly fewer insect issues so far, but scouting remains a top priority. With the rain, there has been an increase in Southern blight, Alethia rolfsii, but it has been held to the more wet parts of fields. Butterbeans are coming in well, and we should be picking within the next few days. Green peanuts are growing nicely with some increased leaf issues but are right on schedule.
Kerrie Roach reports, “It’s been a hot one in the Upstate, with sporadic rains continuing throughout the area. Irrigation and good drainage have been equally important for continued success in market gardens. With the heat and humidity so high and the heavy rain showers in areas, southern blight has been identified in many market gardens. This pathogen is identified by the white mycelial growth and small pellet-like sclerotia around the base of the stem causing a damping-off effect on the plant and eventual death. Click on the link above to learn more about southern stem blight. For smaller market gardens, soil sterilization might be an option, and now is a great time to achieve the best results. Tree fruits are looking good here. Peaches are still coming in, and apples are just about to begin being harvested.