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David Sparks, Ph.D. Rotting Onions
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: March 22, 2017

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More than 14 storage facilities were damaged by one of the worst winters in a hundred years and millions of pounds of onions were lost when storage sheds were crushed under deep snow.


Now onion producers are in a race against the clock to dump the rotting onions before onion maggots hatch. Producers must keep the pests away from onion fields and storage sheds before they start hatching in the coming weeks or run the risk of contaminating this years crop. "It's been a long winter. We finally started demolition after about six weeks of waiting. Starting to deconstruct all of the buildings and tear down walls and empty onion bins. Shea Myers at Oyhee Produce packs and ships onions all over the USA. His operation is just one of the many onion shippers hit hard this winter by heavy snow loads collapsing storage facilities. At his sheds alone, 22,000,000 pounds of onions were lost. He estimates structure losses and damage at close to $10 million. Now, as the weather improves the cleanup shifts into high gear. Myers says he still has around 400 truckloads of onions to move and time is of the essence. I would hope we are done in one month. If we are not done in a month we are going to have a hard time with all of the construction that has to be done as well. I guess I'm hopeful that it won't take that long.”


The packing shed survived the winter which Myers is thankful for. O

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