The California Garlic and Onion Research Advisory Board says they continue to provide funding for research to fight against the industry’s major threat. White rot disease continues to be an issue and management options are limited.
California Garlic and Onion Research Advisory Board CEO and Tech Manager Bob Ehn says growers have had to abandon land where the disease has appeared. Ehn says farming in a field where th disease is present doesn’t work but there is promising bio-stimulant research being developed in Oregon and the Central Valley.
Ehn says the bio-stimulant research uses the growers’ own product to help fight the disease by incorporating left over crop into the soil. The industry is excited about the promising results because the alternative is no longer an option. The old management option was imported, which made it an expensive, and it had supply issues.
More About White Rot
From the UC IPM website: The pathogen persists as small, dormant structures, called sclerotia, in soil. Sclerotia can survive for over 20 years, even in the absence of a host plant. Disease severity depends on sclerotia levels in the soil at planting. As few as one sclerotium per 10 kilograms of soil can initiate disease. Only one sclerotium per kilogram of soil can cause measurable disease loss, and 10 to 20 sclerotia per kilogram result in infection of essentially all plants. Read more from the UC IPM website.