SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report – May 20, 2024

This week, check out the Transitioning Your Business to the Next Generation Workshop put on by Clemson’s Agribusiness Team on Thursday, 5/23.

Keep an eye on the Upcoming Events tab periodically so you don’t miss anything. Also, check out the latest episode of the SC Grower Exchange Podcast below.

Don’t forget to look at our Resources tab for links to crop handbooks, helpful websites, and related blogs.

Coastal Region

Anna Sara Hill

  • This year is turning out to be a high production year for fruit crops.
  • Blackberry vines are full of fruit; some are already starting to turn, and the first berries should be coming off the vine within a week or two. I have seen some rust on leaves. There are several good products listed in the MyIPM app for control of rust that have low restricted-entry interval (REI) and 0 preharvest interval (PHI). Remember to rotate the mode of action (MOA).
  • Early plantings of watermelon are setting fruit. I have seen some downy mildew in cantaloupe, but very low pressure and growers are doing a good job of treating it early before it gets out of hand. Deer damage continues to be an ongoing issue, and growers have tried many control tactics, but none seem to work for long.

Rust on a blackberry leaf.

Rust on a blackberry leaf.
Anna Sara, ©2024, Clemson Extension

Deer damage in melons.

Deer damage in melons.
Anna Sara, ©2024, Clemson Extension


Sarah Scott

  • We are well into peach picking along the Ridge. Volume is heavy, and fruit is sizing nicely. Bacterial spot continues to show up in orchards, mainly on the foliage. Growers should continue using cover sprays and pay close attention to PHI on products. Oxytetracycline should not be used within 21 days of harvest.
  • Strawberries are wrapping up, for the most part. We will still be harvesting for a couple more weeks but will likely end the season a bit sooner than last year. Increased moisture and heavy mite populations have been tough on the crop this year, but fruit has maintained good quality.
  • Vegetable crops are coming in nicely. Squash has been slow to size, but there are a few sunny days in a row forecasted this week, which should push them along.

Pee Dee Region

Christiana Huss

  • Strawberry flowers are becoming scarce, indicating the wind-down of the season. Root rot diseases are more common and likely exacerbated by the rain. Fields that have had strawberries for more than 1 season have more disease present.
  • I saw sap beetles this week feasting on over-ripe berries in the fields. Sprays were ineffective at controlling them. Removing rotting fruit is the best way to prevent yield loss.
  • Tomatoes look healthy and bushy. It is time to prune away the lower leaves of these plants and remove them from the field. This will prevent soil-borne disease from splashing onto the low leaves and infecting the plant. It also increases air flow, which further prevents disease.
Sap beetle larva in an over-ripe strawberry.

Sap beetle larva in an over-ripe strawberry.
Christiana Huss, ©2024, Clemson Extension

Sap beetle adult.

Sap beetle adult.
Christiana Huss, ©2024, Clemson Extension

Brittney King

  • Another rainy week in the Pee Dee. It is important to be mindful of increased disease incidence with all the rainfall we have had lately. The 2024 Vegetable Crop Handbook has a fungicide spray program for foliar disease in melons (page 215) and tomatoes (page 281) that will be useful as we progress into the season.
  • Peppers and tomatoes are starting to set fruit, and squash is producing well. Okra has been planted over the past week or two.
  • Blackberry varieties like Ponco are starting to color.
  • Strawberries are still being picked, but there is a lot of anthracnose fruit rot, along with phytophthora.
  • Leafy greens are looking good with low disease incidence, but imported cabbageworm is still present and causing damage.
Eggplant and leafy greens.

Eggplant and leafy greens.
Brittney King, ©2024, Clemson Extension

Upstate Region

Andy Rollins

  • Peach harvest started last week on multiple Upstate farms with the variety Flavorich/Richmay. We had another close call with slight hail around the Inman area, although no major damage was done. Growers need to continue keeping protectant fungicides like Captan on the fruit as continued rains are keeping humidity and moisture high.
  • Cooler weather is allowing continued strawberry harvest, thankfully, as total yields have been lower than normal.
  • Sweetpotatoes will be planted on several farms this week.
  • We are seeing some issues with the tomato crop and some samples were submitted last week. Will report on the results later.
Peach harvest started last week in the Upstate.

Peach harvest started last week in the Upstate.
Andy Rollins, ©2024, Clemson Extension

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

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