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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report June 7, 2021

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “After some welcome rain in the area over the weekend, crops are looking good. However, given the humidity and rainfall, we are likely to find disease pressure increasing. Strawberries are all over. The wet, humid conditions have spiked infections of botrytis and water-soaked berries. Blueberries, blackberries, and peaches are all coming to market with good quality and volumes, with few insect or disease pressures being seen currently. Watermelons and cantaloupes are developing well, with some early planted crops coming to harvest. In response to rainfall and increased humidity, keep an eye out for diseases such as bacterial spot in pepper and tomatoes. In addition, some cantaloupe crops are beginning to show Alternaria leaf spot. Make sure fungicide timings are good using a robust program.”

Zack Snipes reports, “We finally got a little bit of rain last week which knocked the dust down some. We could use more, and hopefully, we will get some this week. Incidence of Southern blight increased last week in tomato. Make a note of these fields and avoid planting them in tomato, eggplant, pepper, squash, or melons next season. Overall, the crops look solid. We are in the thick of things when it comes to tomato harvest, and rabbiteye blueberry harvest is starting this week as well. We have really humid and wet conditions coming this week, so don’t forget to use protectant fungicides. I know everyone is busy, but during the busy season is when most of our insect and disease pressure spiral out of control.”

Classic signs of Southern Blight on tomato. Knowing the difference between Southern Blight and Bacterial Wilt is critical to management. Zack Snipe, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Classic signs of Southern Blight on tomato. Knowing the difference between Southern Blight and Bacterial Wilt is critical to management.
Zack Snipe, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “We finally got some significant rain in the midlands this past week. I’m up to 1.8 inches at my house, and there is a good chance in the forecast for more. It has been warm, overcast, and very humid the last several days, which is the perfect recipe for disease development. Make sure you are using preventative fungicide where necessary. Insects seem to be picking up a bit as well. Caterpillars are going strong, we’re still seeing plenty of mites on various crops, and I’m getting reports of stink bugs here and there. We’re harvesting brassicas, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and herbs.”

Tobacco hornworm egg on a tomato leaf. Hornworms start out small but eat significant amounts of foliage as they grow. Photo from Justin Ballew. Two adult diamondback moths making more diamondback moths. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Tobacco hornworm egg on a tomato leaf. Hornworms start out small but eat significant amounts of foliage as they grow. Photo from Justin Ballew. Two adult diamondback moths making more diamondback moths.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Two adult diamondback moths making more diamondback moths. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Two adult diamondback moths making more diamondback moths.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Pee Dee Region

Tony Melton reports, “1 pickle worm was found in a local squash. Processing and fresh market peppers will be ready to harvest on the week of June 13. Early tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. The rains have been mostly very beneficial but excessive in others. Mudding through to pick pickles in spots. Very difficult to apply a timely application of chemicals, and some have to be reapplied after the rain.”

Upstate Region

Kerrie Roach reports, “Things are looking good in the Upstate with warm-season crops starting to come off. It’s still early for too many disease and insect issues, but high humidity and a couple of days of spotty rain will most likely increase pressure significantly.”

Squash are beginning to set fruit in the Upstate. Kerrie Roach, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Squash are beginning to set fruit in the Upstate.
Kerrie Roach, ©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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