Brighter Days: Sunshine Sparks Growth in Vidalia Onions

Clint Thompson Georgia, Onion, Top Posts

Georgia Vidalia onion producers experienced much-needed sunshine last week. It allowed them to get back into the field and apply fertilizer and fungicide sprays, says Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension Area Onion Agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia.

Photo by UGA/Shows Chris Tyson in an onion field.

“Growers were wide open last week trying to get caught up with fertilizer and with fungicides. I feel like, for the most part, we got caught up or close to being caught up with what we needed to be,” Tyson said. “If we had another rainy week, we would have probably been in trouble then, if we weren’t able to get in the fields last week.”

Plants had been slowed a bit amidst the excessive rainfall Georgia experienced most of February. But they showed encouraging signs of growth during the 70- and 80-degree temperatures.

“I tell you, they really have made some headway in the last week with the warm weather and sunshine. They have grown a lot,” Tyson said. “They have that ability to catch up really fast when we get favorable weather. We are still a little below average on our size of the crop and where we should be, but we’ve gained a lot of ground in the last 10 days.”

Main Concern Now

Tyson said growers’ biggest concern now is staying up to date on their fungicide applications.

“We just want to make sure we’re caught up in managing our diseases with our fungicide sprays to the best of our ability. As we enter into this second phase of the crop where it’s going to start to get big tops and start bulbing, we’re watching for Botrytis and Stemphylium, (Center Rot) and Downy Mildew. That’s the main thing really, that’s on a lot of their minds I think,” Tyson said.