Clemson Agronomics and Vegetable Field Day highlights the latest research/technology

DENISE ATTAWAY Clemson University

Weevils and thrips are major insect pests of South Carolina cotton. But researchers at Clemson University are confident that help for farmers is on the way.

At the 2022 Agronomy and Vegetable Field Day at the Edisto Research and Education Center (REC) in Blackville, Clemson entomologist Jeremy Greene told growers that Bayer’s Thryvon Bt technology, although not currently available, shows increased protection against these pests in cotton. .

“Pending regulatory approvals, Thryvon should be ready soon,” Greene said.

To estimate thrips risks, Greene encourages the use of the Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton https://products.climate.ncsu.edu/ag/cottontip/. This tool predicts trip risks using data based on field location and planting history.

As for the effectiveness of other cotton technologies, Greene said bollworms are developing resistance to older traits used in Bt cotton.

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Other cotton insect pests producers should watch out for include brown marmorated stink bug, green stink bug, southern green stink bug, and other species.

Other topics at the field day included a discussion by Clemson Extension irrigation specialist Jose Payero on the potential use of subsurface drip irrigation to irrigate row crops in areas where a center pivot is not possible. Payero also discussed and demonstrated the use of a wireless sensor network to automate irrigation based on real-time soil moisture data.

Bennett Harrelson, a Clemson doctoral student, spoke about his research on double-cropping soybeans after corn. Harrelson studies under Clemson Extension corn and soybean specialist Michael Plumblee and looks at several different agronomic factors revolving around a double-crop corn and soybean production system, including planting and harvest dates, row spacing and plant nitrogen use. Researchers are also working to determine whether this double cropping system causes problems with plant-parasitic nematode establishment under certain scenarios.

Nematodes can be a problem for South Carolina farmers. Clemson Extension row crop pathologist John Mueller spoke about nematode control in cotton and soybeans. Mueller also talked about fungicides against foliar diseases in cotton and soybeans. Seed-treated fungicides usually do a good job against seedling diseases in soybeans. Seedling diseases occur in South Carolina cotton every year. Disease incidence and severity are determined by environmental factors such as soil temperature and moisture, as well as seed quality and viability. Management of seedling diseases is based on cultural practices and the use of fungicides.

Attendees also heard from Alex Coleman on nitrogen management in grain sorghum, in addition to information on seedling cotton response to pre-herbicide and 2,4-D herbicide programs at Enlist Soybeans by Clemson PhD student Sarah Holladay and Michael Marshall, Clemson Extension. weed scientist.

Field day participants also work with Phillip Wadl, Gilbert Miller, a research geneticist in charge of the Sweet Potato Breeding Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston. Clemson Extension vegetable specialist stationed at Edisto REC and Brian Ward, Clemson organic vegetable specialist, and Matthew Cutulle, Clemson vegetable weed scientist, both stationed at the Coastal REC in Charleston.

One trial involved clones planted in beds covered with organic black plastic mulch. The researchers note that although more research is needed, “…it appears that plastic mulch can deter underground insects” and “…results from this study indicate that black plastic mulch is beneficial for organic sweet potato production in South Carolina. system. , as well as other southern states of the United States.”

Recommendations are given to breeders. More information about this study is available in the March 22 issue of HortTechnology.

Bowman’s Henry Houser grew peas, okra, butternut squash, watermelons, sweet potatoes, etc. He depends on Clemson Extension information to help him succeed. He attended a field day to hear about sweet potato research and drip irrigation.

“I try to plant a little bit of just about everything,” Houser said. “I attend these field days to learn more about growing different crops. I trust the information from the Clemson Extension Service because I know the agents and experts have already done the research, and I will benefit from the information they provide.”

In addition to attending field days, Houser said he also gets information when he visits the local Clemson Extension office to speak with agents.

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