By Clint Thompson
High wind speeds a week ago bruised some of Georgia’s Vidalia onion plants. Fortunately, it happened now as opposed to two months later closer to harvest. That’s the feeling shared by Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension Area Onion Agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia.
“That bruising where the onions got beat up by the wind, rain and sand, that’s not a good thing. (But) I would rather have that happen early on in the season when the plants are small as opposed to big plants,” Tyson said. “The closer you get to harvest, sometimes more things like that can hurt you. Luckily at the beginning of the season, those plants should recover okay.”
According to the UGA Vidalia Onion Extension Blog, the bruising was isolated to leaves that were exposed to the natural elements, such as the wind and rain. Tyson said the weather station at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center recorded more than 4.5 inches of rain on Jan. 2 with 45 mph wind gusts.
What onion growers do need to monitor is the onset of any bacteria or fungal diseases as a result of any injury to the crop.
“It’s another reason to stay up on your spray program and try to stay on top of that as best you can,” Tyson said.