By Kathleen Thomas Gaspar
Attendees at this year’s Idaho-Malheur County Onion Growers Annual Meeting are in for a great day of reports, updates, trade show exhibits and the much-anticipated announcement of the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees on Feb. 5 at the Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, OR.
Stuart Reitz, director of the Oregon State University Experiment Station in Ontario, told us, “Both Greg Yielding and René Hardwick from the NOA will be attending. René will talk about NOA marketing programs a little before lunch, and Greg will give a presentation at lunch to introduce himself to the locals.” In addition, Stuart said, “Rep. Greg Smith will give an update on the new rail reload facility under construction in Nyssa.”
Smith, an Oregon State Representative, worked with fellow State Rep. Cliff Bentz and the legislature in designing the bill, is also executive director of the Malheur County Development Corp. Construction of the transload facility is on track for this year, with funding of $26 million coming from a $5.3 billion Transportation Bill signed into law by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in August 2017.
The Feb. 5 event will kick off with registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m., followed by the traditional Welcome/Seed Bucket/Door Prizes by Paul Skeen of the Malheur County Onion Growers Association.
The first report of the day will be given by Brian Taylor of the Research Committee at 8:35, with Joel Felix of the OSU/Malheur Experiment Station reporting on effective yellow nutsedge management through crop rotation at the farm level from 8:40-9:10 a.m. James Woodhall from the University of Idaho will discuss soil-borne diseases of onions in the Treasure Valley from 9:10-9:40, and Clint Shock with the OSU/Malheur Experiment Station will report on environmental effects on onion yields from 9:40-10:10. A seed report from Deron Beck of Monsanto/Seminis is slated for the 10:10-10:25 slot, with a break from 10:25-11 to follow.
The session will take up again with Gina Greenway from the College of Idaho (featured image) providing an analysis of price behavior in Idaho from 11-11:30, and René Hardwick, Director of Public and Industry Relations for the National Onion Association, will discuss the association’s marketing programs from 11:30-11:45. Greg Smith’s update will be given from 11:45-noon, and the annual Luncheon, presentation of Hall of Fame Inductees and elections will take place from noon to 1 p.m.
NOA Executive Vice President Greg Yielding will also be introduced at that time. The trade who will run from 1-1:30, and Dell Winegar with the Idaho Onion Growers Association will lead the Welcome/Seed Bucket/Door Prizes from 1:30-1:35.
The first session of the afternoon will be presented by Brenda Schroeder from the University of Idaho from 1:35-2:05, taking a look at “resistance to Fusarium proliferatum in the cultivar trials and detection of onion bulb rot in storage using field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry.”
Tad Comer with TKI will report on improving Metam applications from 2:05-2:35, and a seed report from BASF/Nunhems will be given by Bryan Bair, Michael Straugh and Ashley Southerland from 2:35-2:50. A break is scheduled from 2:50-3:10, after which Stuart Reitz will provide two reports. The first, running from 3:10-3:40, will be on Thrips/IYSV management in the Treasure Valley, and the second, from 3:40-4, will be an update on the implementation of FSMA.
“If people are interested, there will be three pesticide continuing education credits for Idaho and Oregon, and there will be 5.5 credits for people who are certified crop advisors (CCA),” Stuart said.
Featured image: 2019 Meeting Speaker, College of Idaho’s Gina Greenway.