Upstate Commercial Fruits and Vegetables

August 30, 2021

Andy Rollins is the commercial fruit and vegetable Agent serving five counties in the upstate: Cherokee, Greenville, Spartanburg, Union, and York. He has also assisted growers from across multiple states this past year.  He has several research projects that he has been helping with or has been leading:

He’s involved with conducting on-farm research trials of sun-protectant materials for peaches. Bacterial canker is the disease he has been concerned about with this study and is learning what factors affect the infection.  Grant money was provided by the SC Peach Council last year, and he continued some aspects of it this growing season.

  • Hehe Wang established a bacterial spot survey across the entire state. Rollins assisted with one of these surveys on a commercial farm, on which we installed a weather station. Leaf and disease samples were also regularly collected as part of the study.
  • He established a trial looking at bloom and fruit thinning products used on the farm with Dr. Juan Carlos-Melgar. The trial was repeated with different equipment and times during the day, allowing him to learn the differences between the two different varieties.  We are planning to repeat this trial in the coming growing season.
  • He assisted Dr. Churamani Kanal and one of his students with a nematode survey of a few farms in the upstate area. We still have many farms to finish taking that data from as he wants to survey as many growers as possible.
  • He assisted with establishing and rating two different herbicide trials in partnership with Dr. Wayne Mitchem of North Carolina State University and Chris Holmberg. In one of those cases, a cooperating grower will be changing his use of herbicides based on those results as the new product did show superior ratings to the grower standard.

Rollins has the responsibility of conducting commercial production meetings for commercial fruit and vegetable producers in the upstate.  He also helped with a commercial strawberry program from another state, held an online zoom meeting for small fruit producers, and held a commercial peach production meeting this past winter.  There were many other online meetings that he assisted with and advertised to growers of other crops.  At these meetings, we shared research learned over the past year and any pertinent industry information.

The 2022 commercial peach production meeting will be Thursday, January 20th, the commercial strawberry production meeting on the 3rd or 4th week of February, and the commercial vegetable production meeting on the 3rd or 4th week of March.  Once dates are confirmed, growers will be notified via the respective mailing lists.  If you are interested in being added to this distribution list, please contact Kim Dillard at (864) 596-2993 or

An essential part of his duties is to address grower-specific production problems conducted via on-site visits. He made every effort to keep himself and others safe by abiding by Clemson University’s COVID-19 guidelines.  He is so thankful for his job and the opportunity to serve upstate fruit and vegetable producers.  He appreciates everyone for supporting Clemson University Cooperative Extension.

Andy Rollins, Upstate Commercial Fruit & Vegetable Agent


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