|BACTERIAL DISEASE MANAGEMENT OF ONION
To submit comments online, click here. Be sure to include the Agency Name and docket number in your comment: Organic Exemption from Conventional Commodity Check-offs Rule: AMS-FV-14-0032-0001(Dec. 16,2014) (Federal Register Number 2014-29280)(79 Fed. Reg. 75006 et seq.)
Beth K. Gugino and Emily E. Pfeufer, Associate Professor and Post-doctoral Scholar
Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology,
The Pennsylvania State University, 219 Buckhout Lab, University Park, PA 16802
Bacterial diseases are considered the most significant production constraint reducing fresh market onion quality and quantity in PA and the northeastern U.S; far surpassing losses due to other diseases, insect pests or weed competition. In recent years, crop losses due to bacterial diseases have exceeded 60% for some PA farms. Losses from bacterial disease have been attributed to a number of different bacterial pathogens that cause center rot or bulb surface rot type symptoms. Center rot is characterized by a single or a few discolored scales (Figure 1A) within the onion bulb, with the only outer indication of symptoms identified by a discolored ring in the freshly-cut neck, often originating from one or more leaves that become bleached and collapse (Figure 2). Surface rots are characterized by discolored, macerated tissue in one or more of the outer fleshy scales, which sometimes may originate at injured areas of the bulb (Figure 1B). Losses in PA are more frequently the result of center rot-type symptoms which are caused by Pantoea agglomerans
and P. ananatis
Figure 1. Bulb symptoms characteristic of center rot (left) and surface rot (right). Photo credit: Beth Gugino
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Comment now on Organic Exemption from Conventional Commodity Check-off
The USDA has recently published its proposed rule to exempt more organic farmers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The proposed rule
would extend the exemption for organic farmers, handlers, marketers and importers to products that are certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” and also to those who produce, process, handle or import both organic and conventional products.
If you are a certified organic operator who is subject to a conventional commodity research and promotion order or a federal marketing order program, you are encouraged to submit comments to the USDA and let them know this exemption is important to organic agriculture.
The deadline to submit comments is Thursday, January 15
, before midnight