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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report – July 26, 2021

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “We are in a summer weather pattern with warm, muggy days and occasional thunderstorms. Most crops have finished up or are in the process. Now is a great time to sit down and do some crop planning and field rotation planning. I collected many soil and root tissue samples lately and had them analyzed for nematodes. I was surprised at how many nematodes were present in the fields. Nematodes can interfere with growth, cause stunting, and lower overall yields. Sometimes the symptoms of nematodes can be very discrete, so sampling right now is the best way to get a baseline of your populations and how to properly manage and rotate fields. If left unchecked, thousands of dollars are wasted before the first seed is planted into a field.”

Significant galling from root-knot nematodes on a cucumber seedling. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Significant galling from root-knot nematodes on a cucumber seedling.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “It was another fairly mild week with high humidity and some pretty decent rain. Not much has changed on the disease front. We’re still seeing plenty. Growers are still prepping fields for planting fall crops. Some fall cucurbits and brassicas have been planted already, and more are on the way. As soon as brassicas go in the ground, start scouting for worms. Remember, we can perform bioassays to screen for insecticide resistance in diamondback moth populations. Reach out to your local fruit and vegetable agent to schedule a bioassay when you start seeing worms.”

Bacterial spot is common on tomatoes right now. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Bacterial spot is common on tomatoes right now.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Recently planted kale is growing well. Start scouting for worms as soon as you plant brassica crops. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Recently planted kale is growing well. Start scouting for worms as soon as you plant brassica crops.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Vegetable crops are harvesting well, with good volumes of squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, butterbeans, peas, tomatoes, and okra. Sweet corn is beginning to wrap up. Late season blueberries are still being harvested in some volume but will be finishing soon. Muscadines are sizing well. Vineyards that were only slightly affected by the Easter freeze are looking good and should have a good crop. Vineyards that were more significantly affected by the freeze are very short on crop this year. Grape root borer traps in muscadine vineyards are starting to catch moths in all locations. Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) trap captures (in blueberries) have dramatically increased over the past few weeks, showing that even in late season when fruit is becoming less plentiful, the fly is still very active and must be managed.”

Bucket trap baited with the Grape root borer (GRB) pheromone lure in muscadines.  Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Bucket trap baited with the Grape root borer (GRB) pheromone lure in muscadines.
Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

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Where we did not see significant damage from the Easter freeze, there is a good looking crop of muscadines.
Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Upstate Region

Andy Rollins reports, “I identified a major scale problem on peaches. A grower from the middle part of the state called about red spots on peaches. Earlier in the year, across the whole state, we had red spots on leaves. We found prunus necrotic ring spot on all of those samples last year, but we are still unsure of the origin. In this case, it is something much different. This is an insect that feeds on the fruit and the tree itself. The adult stage of this insect doesn’t move, but the crawlers do. After consulting with Dr. Brett Blaauw, regional entomologist for Clemson, the grower decided to go ahead and treat now. On Friday, he sprayed Movento at the label rate. There is great concern because, with this high population, the life of the entire tree is at risk. The plan is to follow that application with chlorpyrifos and oil at low rates after the leaves drop. You have to be careful when doing this as the oil can damage next year’s bud crop if temperatures are too hot. We will be trapping using black electrical tape wrapped around the limbs then double-sided scotch tape around that. We will then look for the crawlers on the scotch tape. This ensures money isn’t wasted killing a pest that has already been controlled.”

Red spots have been common on peaches this year. Photo from Andy Rollins. In this close-up of the bark on a peach tree, you can see the tiny, black, and grey colored scales. Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Red spots have been common on peaches this year.
Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

In this close-up of the bark on a peach tree, you can see the tiny, black, and grey colored scales. Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

In this close-up of the bark on a peach tree, you can see the tiny, black, and grey colored scales.
Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

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

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