New Crop Profile for North Carolina Cucumber

Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,

Crop Profiles provide current agricultural data to government agencies (EPA and United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] Office of Pest Management Policy [OPMP]), IR-4, State lead agencies, Extension, farmers, agricultural commodity organizations, health professionals, and others with an encyclopedia of crop production and pest management information for U.S. agricultural crops on a state-by-state basis.

Six contributors from North Carolina State University (Ryan Adams, Wendy Britton, Katherine Jennings, Lina Quesada-Ocampo, Jonathan Schultheis, and James Walgenbach) have released a new full crop profile for the NC cucumber. The profile details worker activities; production practices, counties, and facts; pests including insects, pathogens, weeds, nematodes, and mites. Each pest is outlined by name (common and scientific), importance, symptoms, chemical controls, products/brands, biological controls, physical controls, and cultural controls.

Chemical controls are also outlined in detail including fumigant, fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, miticide, and nematicide. Each chemical control has active ingredient(s), a description, brands, CAS, PC, Pests, REI, PHI, and FRAC.

Key Facts:

  • North Carolina is ranked #3 in cucumber production (processing and fresh market) in the U.S. and in 2020 represented 11% of total U.S. production.
  • Over 90% of the North Carolina counties grow and sell commercial cucumbers.
  • Cucumber beetles and pickleworms are the most important pests of cucumbers in North Carolina.
  • Other pests exist but are not limiting factors in cucumber production in most years.
  • Cucumbers are grown in two production seasons (spring and summer), and the average time from seeding to first harvest is 36 to 45 days.
  • Cucumbers are adapted to a wide range of soils, but grow best on fertile, well-drained, loamy soils.
  • Soil pH should be between 6 and 6.5.
  • Pollination of cucumber flowers by bees is important for production of quality fruit. Both honeybees and bumble bees serve as excellent pollinators.
  • In North Carolina, most cucumbers are hand harvested.