Clemson University researchers have received a USDA grant to find novel ways to improve crop nutrient use efficiency and pest management in organic watermelon.
The 2022 Clemson Watermelon Field Day is scheduled for July 14 at the Edisto REC in Blackville, South Carolina.
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The Clemson University Edisto Research and Education Center (EREC) Watermelon Field Day is back this year with researchers covering topics from herbicides to Clemson Cooperative Extension Service’s weather station network.

Gilbert Miller, Clemson Extension vegetable specialist, said the field day is schedule for July 14, with registration beginning at 8 a.m 8:15 a.m. at the Edisto REC, 64 Research Road, Blackville, S.C. 29817. The indoor program begins at 8:15 a.m.

Topics and speakers for the indoor program include Matt Cutulle, Clemson weed scientist, who will talk about watermelon herbicides. Cutulle will lead discussions on how to use effective pre-emergent herbicides in watermelon production, as well as the consequences of herbicide carryover for subsequent crops. In addition, he also will address the basic principles of Integrated Weed Management, using tools available to control problematic weeds

Tony Keinath, Clemson plant pathologist and Extension vegetable pathologist, will address gummy stem blight fungus resistance to Tebuconazole.

Tebuconazole is the active ingredient in a fungicide used by watermelon growers to help control gummy stem blight fungus. This fungus can spread quickly in a watermelon field with disastrous results. Although in past years Tebuconazole was very effective controlling gummy stem blight, the fungus is starting to show moderate resistance to this active ingredient.

Ben Powell, Clemson Pollinator Program coordinator, will talk about contract pollination for cucurbits. Powell’s discussion will center on how to ensure a watermelon crop is pollinated and how growers can protect pollinators.

Following the indoor session, participants will go to the field to view research plots and continue discussions, as well as harvest and sample 74 different cucurbit cultivars. The field session also will include several topics of discussion, including a demonstration of the Clemson Extension statewide weather station network.

Discussions also will be held on Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) and Biostimulant Test with Watermelons, Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD), as well as watermelon field trials.

For more information, contact Gilbert Miller at 803-284-3343 ext 271.


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