Rob Last reports, “We are progressing well with preparations for strawberry planting. Some plants are due to be delivered this week. Remember, if fumigants have been used, check to ensure the products have dissipated to prevent damage to the transplants. The same is true to make sure planting restrictions on any pre-emergence herbicides applications are observed. Always refer to the label. Finally, remember to check your plants carefully for pest and disease inoculum from the nursery. Planting any disease or pest-infected plants will lead to a more challenging growing season. If you require any help, please reach to Extension Agents.”
Zack Snipes reports, “I thought I had moved to Seattle last week with all the rain and dreary weather. We have a good week of weather coming up, and I expect that everyone will be busy in the fields transplanting greens, finishing laying plastic, and continuing the harvest of fall crops. Watermelons, squash, and winter squash are being harvested this week. Downy mildew is loving this weather and is on basil, squash, cucumbers, winter squash, and cantaloupe. I have seen many freshly transplanted fields with black rot in brassica. This disease shows up every time we plant brassica. It is essential to transplant quality transplants. If your transplant supplier is sending you diseased plants, then visit our Seed and Transplant Supplier list to find a new supplier. You might be surprised how big of a difference it makes.
Justin Ballew reports, “We finally saw some sunshine this past weekend after a pretty rainy week. Caterpillar pressure has been high, and lots of treatments have been going out. I’ve been seeing a decent amount of pathogenic fungi developing on diamondback moth (DBM) caterpillars due to the wet conditions creating the perfect conditions for development. We’ve had a couple of acres of strawberries planted, and ordinarily, we would be planting full steam ahead now, but strawberry plants are late coming in this year. Lots of folks are being told it will be next week before their plants come in. I’m also hearing reports that anthracnose may be a problem from nurseries this year. As a result, we are strongly recommending a fungicide dip on transplants before planting to combat this and any potential infections from the new disease Neopestalotiopsis.”
Phillip Carnley reports, “Cucumbers are finished in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. Fall greens are in full swing with some pressure from DBM with the occasional looper. Growers are bedding strawberry fields. We have seen heavy infestations of gummy stem blight in fall watermelons, as well as spider mite damage in blackberries.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Tree removal and field prep for new peach installations are happening around the Ridge. Strawberry plants are being planted now and got a good watering in with last week’s rain. Fall vegetables are looking good; growers should keep up with scouting for disease issues in the field following the week of wet and humid weather.
Andy Rollins reports, “I am busy scouting new strawberry plantings this past week. Be on the lookout for leaf diseases of plants but also check roots thoroughly for discoloration. When planting, make sure crowns are still visible after planting. We are also preparing the ground for new peach production going in. We are still picking a few muscadines, but that will be finishing pretty soon.”