With extremely hot weather expected to return later this week, onion growers are reminded to keep a close eye on their fields. Washington State University’s Tim Waters says, much like potatoes, water management is very important when temperatures soar. He said the biggest problem to watch for is thrips. Waters said thrips really build up under these hot dry conditions and can reproduce very rapidly.
“We’ve see Iris Yellow Spot Virus, which is transmitted by Thrips, we’ve see it in the Pasco area, the Othello area, the Warden area, so, that’s not as much of a concern this time of year for growers. When you get that early in the crop then it becomes more of an issue. We still want to manage the thrips for a couple more weeks, but the virus transmission is not as important as it was a month ago.”
Waters adds some growers have reported tip burn, which occurs when onions transpire the water quicker than it can be absorbed through the roots.
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