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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report May 10, 2021

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “Following some hail events last week, we find some shredded leaves in cucurbits and some small fruit crops. Strawberries continue to develop well, with isolated incidences of gray mold being seen. Sanitation is one of the critical methods for managing gray mold along with fungicide applications. Thrips are also beginning to be observed. Blueberries in the area are being harvested with good quality fruit. Keep a close eye on scouting for insects. Spider mites are still active in many crops. Cucumber beetles continue to increase as they are migrating from overwintering sites. Many populations are at or very close to the threshold of five adult beetles per plant.”

Zack Snipes reports, “The word in the field right now is…boring. We have had mild temperatures and not much rain, so there isn’t a whole lot of disease in the fields right now. I saw the first tomato plant casualties to Bacterial wilt earlier this week. There isn’t anything you can do if you see this disease at this point. Take notes on what varieties and where you see the wilting to help with the issue next year. We have a good fruit set on the tomato crop.  We are seeing heavy volumes of squash and zucchini being picked right now. Melons are blooming in some places and in more coastal areas are sizing up.”

Bacterial wilt causes sudden wilt of tomato plants. Typically it will get a few plants within the same row. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Bacterial wilt causes sudden wilt of tomato plants. Typically it will get a few plants within the same row.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Highbush blueberry variety trial taste test. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Highbush blueberry variety trial taste test.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was a tough week for strawberries. We had a couple of heavy rain events, one of which brought hail with it. Several crops suffered torn leaves from the hail, including strawberries, brassicas, and cucurbits. We had a lot of water damaged berries which have kept growers busy sanitizing. We are seeing higher amounts of disease since the rain, including botrytis and a little bit of anthracnose fruit rot. Cyclamen mites were found in strawberries this past week. Infested plants from nurseries are a major source for cyclamen mites. The symptoms are very similar to thrips damage, so if you see crinkled, dark-colored leaves or bronzing and cracking on the fruit, reach out to your local Extension agent for help distinguishing the cause before making treatments. Also, I’m not seeing a whole lot of blooms on the plants, so we may only have a couple of weeks of picking left. Keep that in mind if planning miticide or insecticide applications and plan accordingly.”

Monday afternoon hail left holes and tattered leaves in several crops across a fairly wide swath in Lexington County. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Monday afternoon hail left holes and tattered leaves in several crops across a fairly wide swath in Lexington County.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Crinkled, dark colored leaves from cyclamen mites. Thrips cause similar symptoms, so be sure to determine what caused the damage before treating. Justin Ballew. ©2021, Clemson Extension

Crinkled, dark colored leaves from cyclamen mites. Thrips cause similar symptoms, so be sure to determine what caused the damage before treating.
Justin Ballew. ©2021, Clemson Extension

Cyclamen mites on a developing strawberry (45x magnification). The arrow on the right is pointing to a juvenile mite. The arrow on the left is pointing to an egg. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Cyclamen mites on a developing strawberry (45x magnification). The arrow on the right is pointing to a juvenile mite. The arrow on the left is pointing to an egg.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Sarah Scott reports, “Peach harvest has slowly started with the earliest of varieties. With the drier weather, we have not seen a lot of bacterial spot; however, we will be on the lookout in the coming days, with the forecast showing some moisture coming our way. Cover sprays continue for later varieties, and we expect active scale crawlers in the next week or so.”

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Much of the northern portion of the Pee Dee received beneficial rains over the last week or so, although it did come by way of severe storms. Damage to fruit and vegetable crops was (for the most part) minimal, with more significant damage (damaged plastic, broken tomato plants, wind damaged leaves on cucumbers and squash) localized. Vegetable planting has resumed. Thrips activity has been seen on cucurbits and peas. Disease on strawberries (primarily botrytis) has been really heavy, since we have received recent rains. Growers need to step up on old, damaged, and diseased fruit removal and their fungicide sprays to try to get it back under control. Blueberries are coming along… slowly. The first harvest looks to be a bit behind normal timing. Muscadines did take a bit of a hit during the Easter freeze. A lot of primary buds were damaged (on Carlos and Noble muscadines) and were replaced by secondary buds. How it will affect the harvest…we’ll see.”

Loss of primary buds during the Easter freeze event forced the secondary buds to break. Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Loss of primary buds during the Easter freeze event forced the secondary buds to break.
Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Upstate Region

Kerrie Roach reports, “Things are starting to pick up speed in the Upstate. With the potential of a late frost finally past, growers have been busy planting warm season vegetable crops in the ground. Strawberries are still doing well, with heavy rains interrupting harvest only a few times early last week. This week’s weather is projected to be unseasonably cool, but not cold, with potential rain for a couple of days. Insect issues should continue to stay low, but growers should be monitoring closely for diseases under these conditions.”

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

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