White rot disease has forced garlic and onion producers to abandon land in the Central Valley over the last several years. Garlic and Onion Research Advisory Board CEO Robert Ehn says their policy is to not go back to land that has the disease in the soil.
Drought conditions over the last four years have complicated the issue, especially on the west side of the valley where allocations were minimal. Ehn says the two industries did pretty well considering what they had to deal with. “Believe it or not, with the bad conditions we had like the shortage of water and water quality issue, we hung in there,” Ehn says. “We were probably off two ton in garlic and maybe a ton and a half off in garlic.”
Early reports for the coming season have the industries excited as Ehn says numbers are expected to be up. “I usually get numbers from them for next year and the numbers are bullish,” Ehn says. “They’re probably back up 10-15 percent so that’s good news.”