Improved cultural practices reduce Vidalia Onion losses

Improved cultural practices reduce Vidalia Onion losses

Bacterial rots in onions present chronic problems in onion-growing regions in the U.S., especially Georgia, and these have been responsible for significant economic losses in yield and quality.

A collaborative effort between University of Georgia Extension plant pathology specialists and county Extension agents was initiated using USDA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative funding to reduce bacterial (storage) rot losses through improved irrigation methods, fertility, pesticide programs and cultural practices.

Three years of multiple field trials showed that the impact of improved cultural practices and pesticide programs is considerably greater than irrigation practices and nitrogen fertility programs in reducing storage rots. In using the improved management strategies, economic losses due to bacterial storage rots are potentially reduced by 55%, accounting for a savings of $190 per acre.

If the improved management strategy were used over Georgia’s entire onion acreage (10,000 acres), a total savings of $19 million could be gained.

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