Onion growers have new tool versus fungicide-resistant disease

Five years ago, onion growers in New York state started reporting large incidents of premature leaf death in their fields. It affected nearly 75% of growers’ crops and put a dent in the state’s onion industry, which has a four-year average value of $44.7 million, based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Researchers identified the culprit as Stemphylium leaf blight (SLB), a relatively new and increasingly devastating disease. In a recent study, researchers at Cornell AgriTech have identified better ways to manage SLB and use fungicide more effectively.