By Clint Thompson
Georgia Vidalia onion producers are already preparing for the upcoming season.
Chris Tyson, University of Georgia (UGA) Extension area onion agent, discusses what growers are doing now with planting season less than a month away.
“A lot of growers have been putting in orders for seed. We’re now at the time where we’re getting our seed beds prepared to plant seed. We usually start planting seed about the first week of September, but we have to get the land ready to do that a good bit before,” Tyson said.
“A lot of growers have been making their onion seed beds. They’re getting ready to fumigate or apply nematicides or both. Some of that has already started, and we’ll be doing that for the next few weeks, doing preparations like that.”
Tyson said growers will apply Telone for nematodes and Vapam for weed control. Farmers have to allow the beds time to absorb those fumigants before plants are planted.
“We have to get moisture right for the type of fumigation that we’re doing. It helps if we don’t have to water with a pivot and make it a little bit easier for us. It can also get too wet, so we just have to watch it,” Tyson said. “At this time of year, it’s more of a problem to be too dry than to be too wet. The next three or four weeks, the weather can make a big difference on how easy we can get everything done. Right now, we’re in pretty good shape.”