Question of the Week: Syrphid Fly

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

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This is a syrphid fly, sometimes referred to as a hover fly.  This is a beneficial insect whose larvae feed on aphids.  Syrphid flies and their larvae can be observed in a number of crops in South Carolina.  The adults are sometimes confused for bees, however they do contribute some to pollination.  To learn more about syrphid flies, take a look at this page.

 

Here is this week’s question:  What is this parasitic plant found in the top of a dormant hardwood tree?

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SC Tobacco Meeting – 12/14/17

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Cotton Marketing News – 11/20/17

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Question of the Week: Glyphosate

Last week the question was:  What caused the yellowing on the leaf margins of this kale?

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The yellowing on the leaf margins is the result of glyphosate.  The grower was spraying the row middles and some of the spray got on the leaves of the kale.  Glyphosate is a great weed killer, but it can also be a great crop killer if we aren’t careful about where we apply it and controlling off target movement.

 

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

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Strawberries Growing Well

The mostly warm weather we’ve had this fall has our strawberries growing very well.

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Last year the weather stayed warm most of the winter and we had too much growth.  The plants put on too many crowns over the winter (7 to 8 in a lot of cases), hurting our berry size and quality.  For good fruit size, we want to see 4 to 5 crowns per plant.  Luckily, according to the forecast, we’re going to cool down next week and we’ll hopefully have a more normal growing season this year.

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A few of these plants have fallen behind the growth of their neighbors.

If you start seeing some plants falling behind or looking stunted, check for a couple of things.  Check to see if the plant was transplanted to deep, like the photo below.

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This plant was transplanted too deep and the growing point is below the soil.

If the growing point is too low in the soil or covered by the soil, growth is going to be slowed and it will never catch up.  Ideally, we want to see the crown above the soil line and the uppermost roots just below the soil, like the photo below shows.

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Proper transplanting depth.  The growing point is above the soil line and the uppermost roots are just below the soil.

Another thing to check for is J-rooting.  J-rooted plants may be stunted or they may dry out and die.

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J-rooted strawberry transplant.

Planting too deep and J-rooting both occur from inexperience and/or getting in too much of a hurry while transplanting.  There’s not much that can be done for a plant once it is stunted, but it is a good learning experience for planting next year.

This fall, growers should keep an eye out for root and crown diseases like Phytophthora and anthracnose as well as four legged foliage feeders.  Take a look at the Southern Regional Small Fruit Consortium production and IPM guides for more info on strawberry production.

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Question of the Week: Parasitic Wasp

Last week the question was:  Why is this tan colored aphid so much larger than the others?

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This aphid has been parasitized by a parasitic wasp.  These tiny wasps use their stinger, or ovipositor, to insert an egg inside the aphid’s body.  Once the egg hatches, the wasp larva develops within the aphid causing it to blow up like the one pictured above.  When the wasp is mature, it will exit the aphid leaving an hole in the abdomen.

 

Here is this week’s question:  What caused the yellowing on the leaf margins of this kale?

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Soybean Variety Trial Field Tour – 11/2/17

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Question of the Week: Ambush Bug

Last week the question was:  What is the critter on this goldenrod?

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This is an ambush bug.  These beneficial insects are true bugs in the same family as assassin bugs.  They sit motionless, waiting for their prey to come by, which they grab with their front legs.  Ambush bugs are camouflaged very well and are difficult to notice unless you look carefully.   Take a look at this page for more info.

 

Here is this week’s question:  Why is this tan colored aphid so much larger than the others?

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Industrial Hemp Production Meetings

There will be five Industrial Hemp Production meetings coming up around the state in November.  Check the dates and locations below and visit the Clemson Industrial Hemp webpage for info on Hemp in SC.

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SC Corn and Soybean Meeting – 12/7/17

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