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Onion Disease Investigation in Orange County 1997

Project Leaders: John Mishanec, Maire Ullrich and Teresa Rusinek

Objectives:

1. Confirm or dispel growers' concerns about disease exposure where Blight Alert is practiced.

2. Enhance onion research efforts by intensely collecting cultural practice information.

3. Increase understanding of why some problems (such as diseases and mites) are serious for some growers while nonexistent for others.

Results:

Due to low disease incidence in 1997 no clear correlation between infection rates and practices has become evident. Variety seems to be a factor in both bacterial soft rot and black mold incidence, but more data is needed to confirm this. It does not appear that any specific fungicide is making a difference in infection rates or that Blight Alert has any effect on onion quality. "Expertly maintained" storage areas had less decay than other types of storage. This should be investigated further.