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Onions

Onions Onions are one of the most important vegetable crops in New York State with annual sales of approximately $52 million. New York accounts for 97% of the onion production in the North Eastern United States and ranks sixth in the nation. Approximately 12,000 acres of yellow pungent cooking onions are grown from direct seed, predominantly on organically rich muck soils. This crop is stored and marketed until April. Sweet and red varieties are also grown, mostly from transplants. Hundreds of small-scale diversified farms grow onions intensively on plastic beds on less than an acre. These onions can grow very large and be lucrative in the market place where they are sold through produce auctions, farmer's markets, roadside stands and CSAs.

Continued intensive production of onions in New York has led to an array of perennial pest challenges, as well as the introduction of new pests, so that management of the onion complex in New York requires a very strategic research-based approach. Cornell Cooperative Educators and Cornell faculty work together to conduct research on many aspects of onion production in the state. Below you will find educational information and results of our research trials.

Most Recent Onions Content

Relative Performance of Onion Fungicides

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 17, 2014
Relative Performance of Onion Fungicides

Botrytis leaf blight (BLB) and purple blotch (PB) are two of the most common and important leaf diseases of onions in New York. BLB is favored by cool and wet conditions, optimum: 59-65 degrees F + 12 hours leaf wetness, infection greatly reduced above 81 degrees F. PB is favored by warmer and humid conditions, optimum: 77 degrees F + 90% RH, minimum 55 degrees F; maximum 97 degrees F. Several fungicides are labeled in New York for control of both of these diseases.

To determine which fungicides were best for controlling BLB and PB in New York, head to head comparisons of the different fungicides were evaluated in four on-farm small plot trials, in Elba (2006), Sodus in (2007), Pembroke (2008) and Linwood (2008). Seven to eight weekly fungicide sprays were made per season starting in mid- to late-June using a back pack sprayer. Quantitative evaluations were made including number of BLB and PB lesions per plant, % leaf dieback, plant health ratings, yield and grade.

Responding to Hailstorms

Crystal Stewart, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: June 26, 2013
Responding to Hailstorms

While no one wants to think about the possibility of hail hitting their beautiful crops just as they start to respond to the heat and take off, the likelihood that we will see more hail seems pretty high. So let's talk about it.

Role of Adjuvants in Bacterial Diseases of Onions

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: February 26, 2013
Role of Adjuvants in Bacterial Diseases of Onions

Bacterial diseases of onions have become an increasing threat to the sustainability of the New York onion industry with losses of 40% or more occurring in some lots in some years. Recently, a New York onion grower suggested that the penetrating surfactants that Cornell entomologists strongly recommend to improve efficacy of insecticides for onion thrips control might be allowing for easy entry of bacterial pathogens into the leaves, thus increasing incidence of bacterial bulb decay.  In this study we applied adjuvants LI700, MSO, Kinetic, Dyne-Amic and HiWett in combination with bacterial pathogens of onions to onion plants to see if higher levels of bacterial bulb decay resulted with adjuvants compared to water plus bacteria.  Preliminary results indicated that a single application of adjuvant plus bacterial had no effect on bacterial bulb decay.  The effect of multiple applications of adjuvants on bacterial bulb decay warrants further research.


More Onions Content

Spring Application of Winter Rye Grain for Weed Control in Summer Vegetables
2009 Elba Muck Soil Nutrient Survey Summary
Exploring the Relationship Between Nitrogen, Plant Spacing and Bacterial Disease
Preventing Muck Soil Erosion by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production
O-zone Injury on Vegetables
Leek Moth Control and Information
Seed Treatments for Onion Maggot Control in Onions
Stop the Rot! - Using Cultural Practices to Manage Bacterial Diseases of Onion
Fall Application of Dual Magnum for Yellow Nutsedge Control in Muck Onions
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Upcoming Events

Effective Orchard Spraying & Navigating NEWA Workshop- Champlain Valley

March 28, 2017
8:00am- 4:00pm
Chazy, NY

Effective Orchard Spraying - Morning
Understand how to improve your timeliness and therefore apply sprays when needed and not be forever chasing the calendar. Correct application at the correct time will allow you to make better use of your time and materials over the season.

Navigating NEWA - Afternoon 
Learn the ins-and-outs of the NEWA system (Network for Environment and Weather Applications). Learn how to efficiently navigate the NEWA interface, including how to get weather data, access station specific pages, and effectively utilize models for insects, diseases, crop thinning, and irrigation.

Bring your Laptop or Smart Device!!

***PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! ***


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Hudson Valley Orchard Scouting & NEWA Orchard Models Workshop

March 30, 2017
10:00am-3:00pm
Highland, NY

Interested in learning how utilize the NEWA orchard models and learn pest scouting techniques to improve your orchard pest management?  NEWA Coordinator Dan Olmstead, HVRL entomologist Peter Jentsch, HVRL plant pathologist Dr. Srdjan Acimovic, and ENYCHP tree fruit specialist Dan Donahue will be presenting a workshop at the Cornell Hudson Valley Research Lab on March 30th from 10 am to 3:00 pm. 
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Pruning Demonstration Day

March 30, 2017
2pm-5pm
Red Hook, NY

You are invited to join Laura McDermott and Jim O'Connell, Berry Educators for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Eastern NY, for a pruning demonstration on mature blueberries on Thursday, March 30th.

This workshop is free, but please preregister with Jim O’Connell no later than March 28th, 2017 by email (jmo98@cornell.edu) or phone (845-943-9814) so we know how many people to expect. 

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Announcements

White Rot Update

NOW AVAILABLE: White Rot Fact Sheet: Click Here

Earlier in June I sent a garlic sample to the diagnostic lab hoping that I was wrong. The sample was covered in small black sclerotia, the size of poppy seeds, and white fungal hyphae crept up the stem. The results, unfortunately, matched the field diagnosis: White Rot. Within a couple days additional calls came from up and down the Hudson Valley as well as one in Western NY with similar suspicions. These samples have also gone to the lab for verification, but it looks like the latest pest to move back into the state is this nasty fungus. 

White Rot, Sclerotinia cepivorum, decimated the onion industry in New York in the 1930's before being eradicated through careful management. More recently, in 2003, it infected 10,000 acres of garlic in California, leading to the abandonment of some garlic fields and adoption of strict containment rules. White rot has been confirmed in Northeastern states over the last decade as well, with New York being one of the last to discover the disease.

The primary reason that White Rot is such a concern is because the sclerotia, or reproductive structures, can remain dormant in the soil for up to 40 years, attacking any allium crop planted into the soil under favorable conditions. This spring was ideal for infection due to the period of cool, moist weather we had. Optimal temperature for infection is 60-65 degrees F, but infection can occur anywhere from 50-75 degrees F.
Once garlic has white rot, it generally declines rapidly. Leaves will yellow and the plant will wilt, not unlike a severe fusarium infection. However, unlike with fusarium, white rot infected bulbs are covered in black sclerotia and white fungus. To add to the confusion, another disease CAN look similar. Botrytis also causes black sclerotia and white fungal growth. However, Botrytis sclerotia are quite large, often larger than a pencil eraser.

So, what do we do now? We're still working on long-term management strategies, but the most important steps to take now are vigilance when culling (look at the plants you are pulling for symptoms like you see in this article, and if they are present, call us to take a sample and have the disease verified) and, if you see anything suspicious, reduction of movement of inoculum. The main ways diseases get moved around are by dumping culls (compost, field edges, etc) and my moving soil on equipment. Throw away your culls, and wash equipment that may have come in contact with suspicious garlic or the soil it is growing in. Everything from cultivation equipment to harvest bins should be cleaned. 

We will keep learning about this disease and will keep sending out information, particularly to help you make decisions about what to sell and buy. For now, remember that the west coast has learned to manage the disease, and we will too. -Crystal Stewart, ENYCHP




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