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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report – June 14, 2021

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “We received some welcomed rain, but 5+ inches in a day or so was a bit much. Conditions this week will dry things out. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get out fungicides once you can get in the fields. I saw a few squash fields going downhill last week. Upon closer examination, I found thousands of squash bugs. They tend to congregate on the crown of the plant and will hide under the plastic when you look for them.

Squash bugs can quickly take down a healthy squash crop. Zack Snipes, ©2021. Clemson Extension

Squash bugs can quickly take down a healthy squash crop.
Zack Snipes, ©2021. Clemson Extension

Multiple life stages of the squash bug seen on this plant. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Multiple life stages of the squash bug seen on this plant.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Southern blight developing at the base of a tomato plant. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Southern blight developing at the base of a tomato plant.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Justin Ballew reports, “More rain fell in the midlands this past week. We’re up to a little over 4 inches of rain at my house for the month of June, more than March and April combined. Some places have received much more. Crops have been loving the rain, but it does come with a cost. As expected, we’ve seen diseases pop up here and there. We’ve seen some Southern blight and bacterial wilt in tomato fields, fusarium in watermelons, and more black rot in brassicas. Weeds are loving the moisture as well. Keep up with fungicide applications, as diseases can get out of hand in a hurry in these conditions.

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Vegetable crops are growing well. Sweet corn, squash, cucumbers are being harvested in good volumes. Downy mildew was observed in a smaller planting of cucumbers. Powdery mildew was seen on a smaller planting of squash. Tomato harvest is just beginning. Blossom end rot has been an issue on some early tomatoes. This can be attributed to environmental stresses to the plants (high UV, extremely low humidity, high air temps) from a couple of weeks ago. Blueberries are being harvested in good volumes. The quality of the blueberries is good (for the most part) but a bit undersized. Blackberries are looking good, but botrytis (gray mold) is likely right around the corner. Muscadines are looking good in most locations. Even with the frequent rains, calyptra release has been good. Thrips activity has been low so far. Some early-season ALS (Angular leaf spot) is starting to show. Rally is a good product to control ALS. Some fields are getting a bit wet, limiting equipment and harvest activity in the field.

Placing a sheet of paper underneath the cordon of your muscadine vine and bumping the vine with your fist gives you a good opportunity to look at calyptra release, early fruit drop, and thrips activity. Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Placing a sheet of paper underneath the cordon of your muscadine vine and bumping the vine with your fist gives you a good opportunity to look at calyptra release, early fruit drop, and thrips activity.
Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Japanese beetle activity in muscadines looks worse than it actually is. Japanese beetles are foliage feeders, and muscadines have more than enough foliage to spare. Japanese beetles typically are only a concern on newly planted vines. Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Japanese beetle activity in muscadines looks worse than it actually is. Japanese beetles are foliage feeders, and muscadines have more than enough foliage to spare. Japanese beetles typically are only a concern on newly planted vines.
Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Tony Melton reports, “Peppers and tomatoes are rotting at the bottom of the plants from too much rain. Belly rot and Pythium leak are bad on cucumbers. Pickleworm is here and needs to be controlled. Southern stem blight is getting bad on tomatoes.”

Upstate Region

Andy Rollins reports, “Bacterial canker of peach is much worse this year in the upstate. This disease is caused by a Pseudomonas sp. that is different than the bacteria that causes bacterial spot (Xanthomonas sp.). It is common in younger plantings, 3 to 6 years old. A common tell is dead blooms that remain on the tree. This is one of many sites where the bacteria will invade the plant. Fall pruning is a huge mistake as it creates even larger openings for bacteria to enter. This disease can be part of a disease complex (Peach tree short life) or can act independently. The presence of ring nematode would contribute in this case. Cold damage from southwest injury to the trunks is very common and also provides entry. Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to remedy this problem after being found. Trying to limit the above mistakes is helpful, and some research has shown positive results from painting pruning wounds. Other Rutgers research recommended early winter copper applications for bacterial canker in cherry.

A young peach tree suffering from bacterial canker. Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

A young peach tree suffering from bacterial canker.
Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Bacterial canker can significantly reduce the life of peach trees. Photo from Andy Rollins. Andy Rollins, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Bacterial canker can significantly reduce the life of peach trees. Photo from Andy Rollins.
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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