Question of the Week: Green Bug Aphids

Last week the question was:  What is on this wheat leaf?

Aphids of Wheat 1

These are green bug aphids.  These are one of the aphid species that can be a pest of small grains in SC.  They cause direct feeding damage by piercing the leaf with their straw-like mouth parts and sucking sap out of the plant.  We don’t see them build up to damaging levels very often, but for more info check out the Wheat Cheat Sheet.


Here is this week’s question:  What are the small red things on the underside of this strawberry leaf?


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Time to Think about Strawberry Diseases

With the weather warming up, its time to start thinking about our strawberry disease programs.  Grey mold loves these cool, damp mornings and warm afternoons we’ve been having this week.  Each year we know we are going to have to deal with grey mold and we need to be ready before it begins causing a problem.


Dead strawberry blossom with grey mold on the stem.

Before we start getting a lot of blooms on the plants, it would be a good idea for growers to submit samples for fungicide screenings.  Clemson Plant Pathologist Guido Schnabel performs these screenings each year free of charge.  Dr. Schnabel uses these samples to screen a number of fungicides and determine which ones most effectively control a particular grey mold population.  He then makes individualized management recommendations for each farm based on those results to ensure growers the best possible control.  Take a look at these instructions for collecting and submitting samples.


This time of year, the easiest place to find dead flowers to submit are around the base of the plant, right at or underneath the holes in the plastic.  Grey mold has developed resistance to a number of fungicides over the years; therefore, I highly recommend sending a sample to Dr. Schnabel each year.  Please consult your local Extension Agent if you would like help sampling.


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Farm Bill/Seed Cotton Update


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Question of the Week: Bark Lice

Last week the question was:  Where did the webbing on this pecan tree come from?


This webbing was constructed by bark lice.  These are very small, soft bodied insects that feed on fungi, algae, and dead organic matter.  Bark lice create the webbing on the bark of trees to protect themselves from predators.  This does not harm the tree and usually wears away later in the season.  For more info, take a look at this fact sheet.


Here is this week’s question:  What is on this wheat leaf?

Aphids of Wheat 1.jpg

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Tiller Counts in Wheat

We have a decent looking wheat crop right now.  With the forecast looking a little warmer over the next 10 days, now is a good time to do some tiller counts.


We should be seeing at least 50 tillers per square foot.  If we are under that, we may want to split our remaining N into two applications.  If over 50, we can apply the remaining N in one shot later in February to make sure it’s all out by the time jointing starts.


Plant with 3 tillers.

On a 7.5″ spacing, count the number of tillers in 19″ of row (7.5 x 19 = 144 square inches or 1 square foot).  Count a few different areas of the field to come up with an average tiller count.  The field pictured above was just over 50, so it will have its remaining N put out in one shot in a few weeks.

Take a look at the “Fertility” and “Tiller Counts” sections of the Wheat Cheat Sheet for more info.

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Question of the Week: Cold Soil

Last week the question was:  What’s causing the purple coloration of the leaves in rapeseed fields?


Red or purple coloration is usually a sign of phosphorus deficiency, but this time of year we frequently see this in the rapeseed fields, though plenty of phosphorus is present.  This happens when the temperature of the soil is too cool for the roots to grow and take up phosphorus.  We see this in young corn first thing in the spring as well.  As the soil warms, we should expect the plants to green back up as root growth picks up.


Here is this week’s question:  Where did the webbing on this pecan tree come from?


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2018 Clemson Peanut Money Maker Guide

Clemson Extension Peanut Specialist, Dan Anco, has just released the 2018 version of the Peanut Money Maker Guide.  You can view and download the pdf here:  2018 Production Guide web

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Mandatory Dicamba Trainings

For those that need to attend the EPA mandated dicamba training, here is current list of scheduled trainings around the state.  This is for all applicators including those working under the supervision of a licensed applicator (i.e. anyone riding the sprayer) who plans to use the new dicamba formulations (Engenia, Xtendimax, and FeXapan) in 2018.


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Question of the Week: Chanterelle

Last week the question was:  What mushroom is this?


This is a chanterelle.  Chanterelles are edible mushrooms that are valued around the world for their unique tastes.  Though these wild mushrooms are safe to eat, there are many species that are not.  To the untrained eye, they are difficult to identify, so the safest thing to do when hunting mushrooms is just go to the grocery store.


Here is this week’s question:  What’s causing the purple coloration of the leaves in rapeseed fields?




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Watch out for Sclerotinia White Mold


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