Edisto fall field day for row crops, vegetables and beef cattle

By Tom Lollis

Soybean rowsSouth Carolina farmers are always on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability. One source of information is the field days that are held at Clemson’s research and education centers.

“We provide information for the farmer who grows cotton, soybeans, peanuts, melons, vegetables or beef cattle,” said Steve Meadows, resident director at Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.

At the fall field day, Clemson peanut experts showed farmers which fungicide programs work best, how in-furrow and foliar insecticides affect tomato spotted wilt and how liquid inoculants and inoculant mixes work. Producers also saw peanut variety trials and plots that show the effects of growth regulators and injury from three cornered alfalfa hopper, and a how to use a pressure washer to evaluate peanut maturity.

Cattle farmers saw demonstrations on how to manage legumes in pasture systems, how to manage clovers interseeded into permanent pasture sod, which alfalfa varieties work in grazing systems, and saw new varieties of fescue that are free of the fungus that causes livestock losses from fescue toxicity.

Beef producers heard reports on the benefits of preconditioning cattle, retaining ownership of cattle sent to feedlots and improved production and profits to be had through crossbreeding.

Vegetable farmers received information on new compounds to control caterpillars in collards, new products to control aphids, comparisons of insecticides for common squash pests, fungicide treatments for Athena cantaloupe and their effects on diseases such as gummy stem blight, alternaria, and downy mildew.

They also saw 16 varieties of seedless watermelons and 26 varieties of palm melons. Other research plots showed the effects of a seaweed extract called BM 86 on fruit set in the palm melon variety Mohican, nematicide options for double-cropped squash, and the effects of treatments to control viruses in Mystic Plus pumpkins.

Cotton and soybean producers saw research results on control strategies for piercing/sucking insects in cotton, the state cotton and soybean variety trials and Clemson’s soybean variety development program.

Clemson experts also discussed the Integrated Resource Management Program, which explores ways to make more efficient use of the farm’s total resources to produce a better, more profitable product.