Vidalia Onion Crop Producing Excellent Plant Stands So Far

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Onion

Photo by Clint Thompson/Shows Vidalia onion plants during last season.

By Clint Thompson

Georgia’s Vidalia onion crop is progressing nicely with strong plant stands, believes Chris Tyson, University of Georgia (UGA) Extension area onion agent at the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Center in Lyons, Georgia.

“Right now, we have a good-looking crop. So far, going out and looking at fields, I’m seeing really good plant stands everywhere. On everybody’s minds was last season when we had that hard freeze and lost a lot of the crop; 25% or more of the crop. We’ve got much better stands this year,” Tyson said. “They’re really, overall, good to excellent stands so far. The crop hasn’t put on a lot of foliage growth, because it’s been so cool, but we’re not really worried about that. It’s not really an issue.”

What is more concerning is the increased rainfall growers in Southeast Georgia have observed in recent weeks. According to the UGA Weather Network, Vidalia, Georgia, received 7.78 inches of rainfall from Dec. 1 to Jan. 14, compared to 3.46 inches last year and 6.58 two years prior.

The added moisture is concerning, in particular with the larger volume of rain being recorded. Growers are unable to get in the fields and apply spray applications, especially for disease inoculum.

“Probably the biggest thing right now is we’re in a pattern of frequent rains. If it continues, that’s going to hold us up or delay us from putting out fungicides and fertilizer and just getting into the field in general,” Tyson said. “Growers are going to have to be real judicious in how they time their sprays. They’re going to have to make the most of it.”