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Attention Garlic Growers – GGAO Stem and Bulb Nematode Project

The Garlic Growers Association of Ontario has received funding from the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP) for a two-year project on “Preventative Measures and Management Practices for Stem and Bulb Nematode in Garlic”.

This project which involves a team of researchers from across the province has three objectives:

 1. Determine the extent of stem and bulb nematode infestation in garlic across the province and identify the prominent race(s).

2. Verify that the nematode-free, virus-tested seed production system developed by the SPUD Unit, University of Guelph in 2010 is repeatable and determine the cost of seed.

3. Educate growers on the spread, symptoms, biology and control of this pest including the use of nematode-free seed.

The project starts this June with the collection of garlic bulb samples at the GGAO Field Day June 12th at August’s Harvest and the Garlic Field Day June 26th at Beaver Pond EstatesPlease try to bring samples to these grower days. These garlic samples will be tested for the presence of stem and bulb nematodes with the results available in late fall.  The extracted nematodes will be analyzed over the winter to determine the race or races of stem and bulb nematode in Ontario, and their distribution.  The number of samples that can be submitted by each farm is limited.  Check out the Sample Submission form on the GGAO website for more information.

 The SPUD Unit planted over 12,000 virus-tested, nematode-free garlic plantlets in the screenhouse in New Liskeard May 9-12 and hopes to have 10,000-20,000 “clean seed” single-clove bulbs available this fall.  Provided the production system works, this will be the culmination of a series of projects supported in part by the GGAO since 2006 to develop a “clean seed” garlic program.

 This clean seed will be distributed to members of the GGAO at a cost of $0.80 per bulb (clove) in the fall of 2011 on a first-come, first-paid basis.  The amount of seed available will depend on how much is actually produced.   The amount each farm can access will be determined based on acreage.  Watch the GGAO website for further details.

 The final part of the project is a series of workshops held over the fall and spring of 2011/12 to educate growers on the results of the survey, the biology of this pest and its control including how to grow clean seed.  These workshops will be held in a couple of locations to be accessible to as many garlic growers as possible.

 The research team involved in this project include Becky Hughes, Project Lead, SPUD Unit, NLARS, University of Guelph; Michael Celetti, Horticultural Crops Pathologist, OMAFRA; Dr. Qing Yu, Nematogist, AAFC; John Zandstra, Researcher, Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph; Margaret Appleby, IPM Systems Specialist, OMAFRA; and Marion Paibomesai, Vegetable Crops Specialist, OMAFRA.

 Stay tuned for further details at

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