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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report June 1, 2021

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “On the whole, disease pressure in most crops remains low. The exception is cucurbits, where we are finding powdery mildew in cucumbers as well as downy mildew. Cucurbit bacterial wilt has been found in isolated fields. This disease is characterized by wilting of one vine or the whole plant. Once cut, the stem will ooze a sticky sap from the wound. It is transmitted by the feeding activities of cucumber beetles. Strawberries are beginning to slow down while tomatoes, peppers, and peaches are doing very well.”

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “We had an unseasonably hot week last week followed by a much cooler weekend. Some places received a little rain early in the week, and some places received a little on Saturday. However, the Midlands are very dry overall. Crops responded well to the heat last week. Brassicas and cucurbit crops progressed extremely quickly. Squash and zucchini are setting fruit, and some are being picked. Brassica and herbs are still being harvested. Tomatoes are setting fruit, but we still have a little time before picking on a large scale.”

Squash has grown rapidly in the last week in the Midlands. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Squash has grown rapidly in the last week in the Midlands.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

 

Squash has grown rapidly in the last week in the Midlands. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Squash has grown rapidly in the last week in the Midlands.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Sarah Scott reports, “Peaches are still going strong in the Ridge. Some varieties are showing more cold damage than anticipated, but there is still a good crop out there. It seems that the very early varieties and then some of the very late varieties are the ones with the most damage. Some bacterial spot is showing up but not near as bad as last season, mainly due to dry conditions. We’ve had some really hot days, but this past week we finally got some relief from the temperatures and some cloudy days. Hopefully, rain is in the future as growers are irrigating heavily now. Some second croppings of Camarosa strawberries are still being harvested this week. Squash, zucchini, and cucumbers are producing well. Insect pressure is starting to occur more heavily, but disease, for the most part, is still at bay.”

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Blueberry harvest is starting to provide good quantities, after getting a late start. Strawberry harvest is winding down for most. Last week’s heat caused much of the strawberries to become soft and unmarketable. Some varieties are still holding up, though, with a limited harvest. Some early blackberries are being harvested in good volume, with very good quality. Peach harvest is light, and the fruit is a bit small. Tomato harvest should begin late this week/early next week. Tomatoes have been experiencing some environmental stress (heat, low humidity, high UV), causing some leaf curl. This should subside with the increased moisture and lower temperatures. Squash is starting to be harvested. Cucumbers harvest isn’t far away. Peas and beans have been affected by thrips but are growing out of that damage. Sweet corn harvest is getting near. Vegetable planting is starting to resume with the recent moisture and reduced temps.”

Although small and difficult to see, thrips (larva pictured above) can be a limiting factor for yield in muscadines. Thrips feed upon the blooms of the crop, damaging the flowers and early developing fruits. Checking for their presence during bloom is critical for their control. Placing a sheet of white paper underneath the clusters of blooms and forcefully bumping the wire or cordon with your fist should dislodge the insect, allowing it to drop onto the paper for detection. The size of the insect is small – about 0.5 – 1.0 mm in length. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Although small and difficult to see, thrips (larva pictured above) can be a limiting factor for yield in muscadines. Thrips feed upon the blooms of the crop, damaging the flowers and early developing fruits. Checking for their presence during bloom is critical for their control. Placing a sheet of white paper underneath the clusters of blooms and forcefully bumping the wire or cordon with your fist should dislodge the insect, allowing it to drop onto the paper for detection. The size of the insect is small – about 0.5 – 1.0 mm in length.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Tony Melton reports, “Peppers and tomatoes are setting fruit. Harvesting pickles consistently. Growers are finishing up the first cut of collards for processing. They also started the 2nd cut of processing turnips. Growers are also harvesting processing cabbage. Snap beans and butter beans are flowering. Setting sweet potatoes as fast as slips become available.”

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

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