A website from UGA Cooperative Extension
Here is an aerial view of onion seedbeds taken in Tattnall County in October 2019. As you can see in the photo, there are several “weak” areas in the field with poor growth. This is caused by Stubby Root nematodes. Picture credit: Aubrey Shirley, Tattnall County Extension.

Over the last several years, we have documented nematode issues in Vidalia Onions. Most of the time, the problems and damage occur in seedbeds. The Stubby Root nematode is to blame most of the time. We are learning more about this pest and ways to control it. Please see the publication below that my colleague, Dr. Abi, has written that includes some basic information and control strategies for this pest.

As we have begun to look at control options for this pest, there are a few key points we have learned.

  1. This nematode is often found infesting seedbeds.
  2. Vapam (metam-sodium) seedbed treatments do not appear provide adequate control.
  3. This nematode can be a problem in transplanted fields, especially if that area was used for seedbeds, or if onions are continuously cropped in the same field.
  4. Limited experience has shown that rotation away from a host crop or keeping land fallow for several months can provide suppression of this pest.