Zack Snipes reports, “We finally got some relief from all the rain. Fields were allowed to dry out a bit, and we should be able to get into the fields to plant brassica and work strawberry ground. Now is the time to get out herbicides if you intend to use them for preemergent control in strawberries. Most have plant back restrictions so pay attention to when you apply the herbicide and when you can plant the plugs/cutoffs. Some growers are adding 2 lines of drip tape this season in strawberry fields as opposed to one. And while we are talking about strawberries, get your fences up NOW, BEFORE you lay plastic. Waiting until after you plant berries (or anything for that matter) once deer have established a feeding pattern is not going to work.
Phillip Carnley reports, “A few growers are starting to dig fresh market sweetpotatoes in Orangeburg and Calhoun as the ground has dried out this week. Peanuts are still being dug. Fall squash and pumpkins are seeing downy and powdery mildew and an increase in aphids. For the first time this season, whiteflies have been an issue in fall greens, specifically collards and cabbage. Pecans are looking a little worse for wear with an increased occurrence of pecan scab, as well as the onset of black aphid, blackmargined aphid, and various mites. Growers here have already prepped strawberry beds and have applied their fumigants, and are now waiting on their plants. Make sure to be on the lookout for cyclamen mites on any incoming plant materials. If you are unsure if you have them or not, please reach out to your local agent for diagnostic help. This little pest is considerably harder to control than the two-spotted spider mite due to it being considerably smaller and also the protected areas of feeding. If present, higher carrier volumes may be needed to get adequate coverage for control.”
Kerrie Roach reports, “A break in the humidity and cooler nights have made it feel like fall is on its way! Colder evening temperatures also help form anthocyanins in apple varieties and are responsible for red coloration. This week has made a big difference in the color of many of our mid-season varieties, like Cameo and Pink Lady. San Jose Scale (SJS) has been reported on the fruit in a few different orchards, mainly on ‘Red Delicious’. Dormant oil applications and preventative measures should be taken in the off-season. Page 10 of the 2022 Integrated Orchard Management Guide for Commercial Apples in the Southeast recommends an oil application at green tip-1/2 inch green, or an oil & Esteem or Centaur application in orchards where SJS was a problem the previous year. Growers should take note of specific trees, varieties, or areas in the orchard with increased pressure to treat early next season.”
Andy Rollins reports, “Fall pumpkin crops are looking good in the Upstate. We have been able to keep downy mildew at bay. Some powdery mildew is showing up late but isn’t widespread. Still picking a few peaches, and the muscadine harvest is about 1/2 way through. Sweetpotato harvest is just beginning. New strawberry beds are still being laid in preparation for early October planting.