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Demonstration of the Northeast Weather Association and Blight Alert to Onion Growers in New York State 1997

Project Leaders: Maire Ullrich, John Mishanec, Carol MacNeil, Teresa Rusinek

Objectives:

1. Transfer proven research into practical, broad-based use and demonstrate the effectiveness/impact of Blight Alert on commercial onion farms.

2. Integrate Blight Alert and the Northeast Weather Association into existing onion IPM educational programs.

3. Provide a comparison between Blight Alert and conventional pest management procedures so participating growers can evaluate them.

Results:

The 1997 season was the first in which faxes were used to deliver weather and disease forecasting information to the growers. Blight Alert fields required 36% fewer pesticide applications, used 44% less product per acre, and cost $100 less per acre to manage than conventionally managed fields. Harvest evaluations showed no differences between Blight Alert and control fields in onion quality or biomass.