Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Enrollment

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  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
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  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

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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.

Assessing Biocontrols for Pink Root Mitigation and Yield Impact in Onions

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: March 25, 2019

Thanks to the generous support of the members of the New York Onion Research and Development Program (ORDP) board, Ethan Grundberg and Amara Dunn began evaluating commercially available plant growth regulators, biostimulants, and biofungicides for potential suppression of pink root and impact on yield in transplanted bare root 'Highlander' onions during the 2018 growing season.  As discussed in the proposal for "Assessing Biocontrols for Pink Root Mitigation and Yield Impact in Onions", few conventional fungicides are labeled for pink root management in New York and even fewer are labeled for use as pre-plant dips for bare root transplanted onions.  The goal for the first year of research on this project was to screen a large number of what were broadly designed as biological products, many of which are already being used by onion growers, in order to narrow the focus of future research efforts to find solutions for managing pink root in transplanted onions. 


Onion Thrips Management Recommendations for 2018

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: June 7, 2018

Onion thrips populations have exceeded action thresholds in a few hot spots in Orange County. Review Dr. Brian Nault's insecticide recommendations for onion thrips management that incorporate newly registered products in New York State.


Allium Leafminer Spring Flight Update

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 31, 2018

The spring flight of the new invasive insect pest, the allium leafminer, is coming to an end. However, the larval stage of the pest will remain active for a couple of more weeks and can cause significant damage to garlic, scallions, onions, and chives. Read more about how to continue to protect your spring allium crops and how to prepare for the fall flight.


Lookout for Leek Moth

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 17, 2018
Lookout for Leek Moth

Leek moth adults emerge in mid April to mate and lay eggs. This year the first moths were caught in Essex on April 21.  The larvae will hatch in a couple of weeks and can do considerable damage to garlic scapes so this is a good first place to look when scouting.

Be cautious when buying and selling onion transplants between growers in the infested areas. We have seen leek moth appear in new locations when infested plants were brought in from farms to the north. 


Responding to Hailstorms 2018

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 16, 2018

The fierce storm that hit much of the Eastern New York region south of Albany on Wednesday, May 15, 2018 caused tremendous wind, water, and hail damage. For growers wondering how to respond to hail damage to young plants, read more about how to best protect your crops.


Allium Leafminer Spring Flight Has Begun

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 3, 2018

The new invasive insect pest, the allium leafminer, has begun its spring flight. Adults are expected to be active for about four weeks; see what management options are available to reduce damage to your allium crops.


Be on the Lookout for Southern Blight

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 27, 2018

Southern Blight (Sclerotium rolfsii) was found on golden storage beets this winter in Dutchess County. The fungal pathogen is fairly new to New York and poses a threat to a wide range of vegetable crops. Early detection and proper diagnosis are key to managing this disease.


Allium Leafminer Active in Southern Pennsylvania

Teresa Rusinek, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 18, 2018
Allium Leafminer Active in Southern Pennsylvania

A new invasive insect pest in the Northeast known as the Allium leafminer (ALM), Phytomyza gymnostoma, damages crops in the Allium genus (e.g., onion, garlic, leek, scallions, shallots, and chives) and is considered a major economic threat to Allium growers. Originally from Europe, ALM was first detected in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in December of 2015 and in New Jersey and New York in 2016. As of fall 2017, ALM activity has been confirmed throughout eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, southeastern New York as well as Thompkins and Suffolk counties.


Onion and Seed Corn Maggot Concerns in a Cold, Wet Spring

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 18, 2018

Last year we saw a lot of problems with root feeding damage from maggots early in the season, which has growers on edge about pest pressure this year. Seed corn maggots can damage a variety of crops, and in previous years have been observed on everything from sunflower shoots in the greenhouse to pea seedlings and onion transplants in the field. Onion maggots are more particular, and will only feed on allium hosts.


2018 Eastern New York Fruit & Vegetable Conference Vegetable Presentations

Last Modified: April 2, 2018
2018 Eastern New York Fruit & Vegetable Conference Vegetable Presentations

Presentations from the 2018 ENYCHP Eastern New York Fruit & Vegetable Conference held February 20th and 21st for the vegetable sections. 

Growing Alliums for Storage & Long Term Sales Resource Guide

Last Modified: February 23, 2018

Pink Root on Your Onion Transplants: To Plant or Not to Plant?

Anne Mills, Field Technician
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 11, 2017
Pink Root on Your Onion Transplants: To Plant or Not to Plant?

Word on the Black Dirt in Orange County is that many growers are receiving Arizona-grown onion plants that are heavily infected with pink root.

Responding to Hailstorms

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, 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.

Exploring the Relationship Between Nitrogen, Plant Spacing and Bacterial Disease

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 8, 2013
Exploring the Relationship Between Nitrogen, Plant Spacing and Bacterial Disease

It is important to emphasize that "exploring" is in the present tense. In New York, we are just beginning to delve into the fascinating relationship between nitrogen, plant spacing and bacterial diseases of onions. Our preliminary results suggest that reduced soil nitrogen and tighter plant spacing results in less bacterial decay. In this article, we report preliminary findings from exploratory studies and the observations that lead to these trials. We stress that we are not making recommendations at this time. However, we are hopeful that further studies will lead to specific recommendations.

Preventing Muck Soil Erosion by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 7, 2013
Preventing Muck Soil Erosion by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production

The problem with using conventional tillage practices for onion production on muck soils is that it results in the subsidence of muck via wind and water erosion and oxidation of organic matter at a rate of one foot every 10 years, which is not sustainable for preserving these non-renewable natural  resources for long-term productivity. Onions are one of the most valuable vegetable crops produced in New York State with the majority of the 13,000 acres being grown on muck soil. Producing onions using conventional tillage practices results in degradation of soil health and increased subsidence.

O-zone Injury on Vegetables

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: August 22, 2012
O-zone Injury on Vegetables

Hot, humid weather with stagnant air masses may lead to ozone damage on crops. Ozone warnings were recently issued for much of New York. These warnings are intended for people with respiratory problems and let them know they should limit their outdoor activity and try to stay as much as possible in air-conditioned locations. These warning are also a good indicator that ozone damage may occur in plants.

Leek Moth Control and Information

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 24, 2012
Leek Moth Control and Information

Leek Moth was detected in four home gardens in Plattsburg, NY in 2009. It was first detected in Ontario, Canada in 1997 where it has become problematic especially to small-scale, organic growers in eastern Ontario and to commercial producers in western Quebec, who have limited insecticides available to them.

Leek Moth continues its spread to more farms and gardens across the U.S., a new comprehensive website is available to aid in the identification and management of this pest. This Cornell website features maps of the distribution of leek moth, protocols on insect monitoring and identification, best management practices for farms and home gardens, a photo gallery of damage symptoms and a comprehensive resource section.

Visit the Leek Moth website.


Seed Treatments for Onion Maggot Control in Onions

Last Modified: May 24, 2012
Seed Treatments for Onion Maggot Control in Onions

New York onion growers FINALLY have not one, but TWO new seed treatment options for control of onion maggot. Sepresto® was first introduced for the 2011 growing season, but is available only on Nunhem's onion varieties. Also available for the 2012 growing season on all onion varieties is Farmore® FI500. Both of these insecticide seed treatments are only available in packages that also include fungicides. Altogether, NY onion growers now have FIVE insecticides (counting diazinon), labeled for onion maggot control. Of these, 3 are seed treatments; decisions for which one to use must be made when seed orders are placed. In making these decisions, it is important to know the relative efficacy of the insecticides, what diseases the fungicides in the seed treatment packages control and how to extend the useful life of these precious new insecticides. The information that follows addresses these questions and should assist you in making a decision on how to control maggots as well as early season seedling diseases.

Stop the Rot! - Using Cultural Practices to Manage Bacterial Diseases of Onion

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Stop the Rot! - Using Cultural Practices to Manage Bacterial Diseases of Onion

Narrow plant spacing reduced bacterial bulb decay by 53 to 64%
Do you know how easy this is? A simple modification to adjust your planting configuration is all it would take to drastically reduce losses from bacterial bulb decay. Our studies showed that when plant spacing was reduced from 6 or 8 inches to 4 inches with 3 or 4 rows per 3-foot plastic mulch bed (row spacing: 4 rows = 6 inch; 3 rows = 8 inch), this provided 53 to 64% control of bacterial bulb decay at harvest (Table 1). Marketable yield also increased by 1.4 to 2.4 times, representing an increased net economic return of $43 to $258 per 100 feet of bed, due to increased weight of marketable jumbo-sized bulbs (Table 1). We learned that wide plant spacing produces big bushy plants with more leaves, thicker necks, delayed maturity and bigger bulbs. Unfortunately, it was these bigger bulbs that rotted! By narrowing plant spacing, we got fewer colossal-sized bulbs, which we more than made up for by having significantly more healthy jumbo-sized bulbs to market (Table 1).

Alternatives to black plastic reduced bacterial bulb decay by 59 to 75%
This is also a very simple and easy modification for small-scale growers producing onions on plastic mulch to make to their cultural practices that could go a very long way towards reducing bacterial bulb decay. Our studies showed that reflective silver mulch, biodegradable black plastic and bare ground had significantly 1.8 to 2.8 times higher marketable yield than black plastic (Table 2). Reflective silver and biodegradable black plastics had significantly 3.7 and 3.6 times, respectively, higher jumbo weight than black plastic, which resulted in an increased net return of $96 to $215 per 100 feet of bed compared to black plastic (Table 2). All of the alternatives to black plastic had significantly lower soil temperatures compared to the black plastic; we suspect that the higher temperatures of the black plastic are more favorable for development of bacterial diseases.


Fall Application of Dual Magnum for Yellow Nutsedge Control in Muck Onions

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 14, 2011
Fall Application of Dual Magnum for Yellow Nutsedge Control in Muck Onions

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) pressure is very high in certain muck areas where onions are grown. It appears to have become more of a problem in recent years. Onion growers and chemical company representatives believe that applying Dual Magnum, active ingredient metalochlor, in the fall can significantly reduce nutsedge pressure the following spring. However, weed scientists across the country do not believe that fall applications of metalochlor would have any effect on nutsedge populations the following spring, because the dissipation of metolachlor, is relatively rapid, 4-7 weeks in the northern United States. Dual Magnum is labeled as a fall application in field corn and soybeans only in Iowa, Minnesota, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For this use, there are restrictions on the label that state the date after which Dual Magnum may be applied, that soil temperature in the top 4 inches must consistently be 55°F and lower, and that tillage following incorporation must not exceed the 2-3 inch depth of incorporation.


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Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Blueberries

Blueberries

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

2020 Fall Round Up: Fall Management for Your Livestock, Pasture, and Business

October 29, 2020

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators Ashley Pierce, Aaron Gabriel, and Dayton Maxwell.  This dynamic and slightly humorous group will discuss strategies for overwintering pastures in combination with management guidelines for helping livestock enter the winter season with adequate body condition.  Farm visioning, mission development, and farm goal setting will conclude the one-hour program. 

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2021 Fruit & Vegetable Conference

February 16 - February 18, 2021

The Eastern NY Fruit & Vegetable Conference, normally held at The Desmond Hotel in Albany, will be going virtual 2021.  The ENYCH team will try to coordinate with other regional fruit and vegetable teams from across the state to offer a larger statewide virtual meeting.  These are tentative dates for now.  Additional information will be continued to be shared as it becomes available. 

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Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Growers-are you running low on fall pumpkins, etc?

The Produce Auctions located around the state may have what you need.  Check out all of the opportunities here: https://harvestny.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=4

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

2020 Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 12 9/30/20

September 30, 2020
The September 30, 2020 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Farmers Benefits from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 or CFAP (1:10)
Reflections on the Challenges and Successes Faced by Vegetable Growers in 2020 (4:40)

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