Postharvest Handling of Garlic for Control of Pests and Disease

Final report for ONE19-351

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2019: $29,968.00
Projected End Date: 07/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Cornell University
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Crystal Stewart-Courtens
Cornell Cooperative Extension
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Project Information


This project sought to answer the question, “How do the conditions of postharvest curing and storage impact the levels of infection by Eriophyid mites and Fusarium spp. in garlic grown in the northeast?”  The results of these studies supported previous work indicating that drying garlic in hot (105 degrees F), dry environments is the fastest option, and that most growers are accomplishing this through high tunnel drying. Under these conditions, garlic can dry in as little as 6 days. While garlic dried warm and dry loses slightly less weight during the drying process than garlic dried hot and dry, garlic dried hot loses less moisture in storage. Cool, humid conditions are not ideal for drying or storage. Unfortunately, the garlic used in our climate controlled studies did not contain any eriophyid mites, resulting in no useful insights into their management.

Disease pressure in the lab study was fairly low, and insect pressure was nonexistent, though we were able to conclude that hot and warm drying with lower humidity results in lower disease incidence, and that cold storage also results in lower disease incidence. The lab and on-farm studies also confirmed previous recommendations to clip garlic prior to drying it, because it actually dries faster and suffers no additional loss of weight over garlic with longer stems. The on-farm survey data proved too noisy to derive much meaning from in many circumstances, though trends were observed, particularly in year one.

Results of these studies were shared during a garlic school held in March, which attracted over 60 registrants and over 400 recording views on YouTube. Findings were also published in The Natural Farmer, a newspaper which reaches 19,000 households in the Northeast.

Project Objectives:

The goal of this project is to answer the question, “How do the conditions of postharvest curing and storage impact the levels of infection by Eriophyid mites and Fusarium spp. in garlic grown in the northeast?” We will achieve this goal by addressing the following objectives:

  1. Study and understand the impact of curing temperature and humidity on the postharvest levels of Eriophyid mites and Fusarium spp as well as overall garlic quality.
  1. Study and understand the impact of storage temperature and humidity on the postharvest levels of Eriophyid mites and Fusarium spp as well as overall garlic quality.
  1. Document research findings in grower-focused guidance publications that address both the ideal conditions determined from experimentation and simple, cost-effective systems that can be used to achieve the target conditions.
  1. Share project findings in grower-focused educational events to support learning and adoption of improved practice.

Garlic growers have improved their growing techniques and drying techniques through support from previous research projects funded by SARE and other granting agencies. A remaining challenge for growers is storage of their crop either until planting or for sale at winter markets. Often, garlic that is of poor quality coming out of storage appeared healthy and in good condition after drying. Key storage issues include Fusarium, Botrytis, and the recently identified Eriophyid mite. Losses out of storage can be devastating and sometimes almost the entire crop is lost (grower reports; team farm visits).

New York is the fourth largest producer of garlic in the United States with the highest producing states all on the West Coast.  New York is also the seed source of choice for the Northeast and the Midwest, as New York-grown garlic performs better in these regions than seed produced on the West Coast. Garlic is grown on approximately 400 farms in New York, mostly in small acreages that follow low-input or organic practices and primarily supply niche local markets. The New York garlic industry has expanded tremendously from only 11 acres in 1992 to approximately 300 acres in 2012 (Census of Agriculture), and 10% of all New York vegetable farms report growing garlic, which is more than broccoli, cabbage, lettuce carrots or onions. The value of New York garlic production is not well defined.  However, assuming yields of 10,000 to 16,000 lb per acre and a conservative price of $9.00/lb, the industry is worth between $27 and $43 million annually.

In 2018, the project PI and a garlic grower implemented very different post-harvest practices on garlic from one seed lot grown in the same field prior to planting. Garlic handled by the team was of excellent quality, while the grower’s garlic was dehydrated with loose wrapper leaves and had some Fusarium. The practices differed in stem length, curing environment, and storage environment, so it isn’t clear which step in the postharvest process made the difference. These findings demonstrate the effects that postharvest practices have on garlic quality warranting further research.

The effects on garlic quality of storage conditions alone or the combined effects of curing and storage post- harvest practices are not well understood. We know through dozens of farm visits where storage is a problem that issues appear to arise unexpectedly, and a grower who has had excellent quality in past years can have a bad year with significant losses despite not making any changes to systems or practice. Because many drying and storage systems are passive, weather and associated temperatures and relative humidity seem to be significant factors. In order to justify improved environmental control systems, we need clear results indicating which environmental conditions lead to predictable success.

Since 2011, the project PI has been leading work on garlic production, with projects addressing garlic bloat nematode (ONE 11-149), post-harvest handling (LNE 12-319), fertility, and most recently Fusarium disease management (LNE 16-353). During the Fusarium project, the garlic team observed that Fusarium diseases of garlic appeared to be part of a complex, often acting as a secondary pathogen following injury by another fungus, environmental stress/damage, or insect/nematode feeding. In 2016, the garlic team identified another pest of garlic that was often associated with Fusarium, the Eriophyid mite, which caused severe clove dehydration in storage and lead to substantial crop losses on several farms. Very little is known about the lifecycle, or how to manage this newly rediscovered pest in New York.

The field-based Fusarium management study has taught us that successful suppression of this disease is based on an integrated approach which minimizes injury, promotes plant health, and avoids environments conducive to disease. There are still unanswered cultural control questions which we will continue to pursue, but post-harvest quality management, particularly in storage, is now the most significant issue still facing the garlic industry.

Basic guidance related to postharvest handling of garlic indicates a field drying step just following lifting is helpful to minimize mechanical harvest and handling damage.  After this step, a more complete curing step is suggested, but often with very little guidance about the conditions to follow (Gross, 2014). Some producers follow the guidance for onions (80 F, 70-80%RH, with air flow to ventilate), but variably so. Often, the level of effort is low and the level of control is also.

More recent research points to the benefit of a high temperature curing step (Abd-el Rahman, 2009). This approach utilizes heated air and improved RH control to expedite the curing process and improve the quality of the cured leaf laminate (Eshel et al, 2014).  The impact of these processes on diseases and pests which proliferate in long term storage is not well described.  Currently some growers in the northeast are using high tunnels to increase heat and decrease relative humidity during drying based on positive research results (Stewart 2013), but this passive system may still be contributing to long term storage issues. Ventilation is typically focused on mixing the air in the space, not always providing adequate air exchange with outside air, and almost never provides air flow through the curing bed of product. It is likely that there are microclimates of high temperature and high humidity in the areas closest to the curing bulbs and the impact of this deviation in environmental condition is not clear.  Additionally, this step is usually carried out in spaces with large diurnal swings in temperature and humidity which may also have a role in the quality of the resulting bulbs.

The project co-PI from UVM Extension, Chris Callahan, has also been focused on postharvest handling of various crops of economic significance to the region.  In an earlier SARE grant (ONE13-176) he formalized a curriculum around storage for farmers and processors.  This work helped to translate existing evidence-based knowledge from larger volume production regions into practitioner-focused workshop events and associated resources to improve long-term storage conditions of various crops including garlic. This work highlighted the need for focused work on curing and precooling which materialized as a later SARE project (LNE16-347).

Post-harvest management of Fusarium disease has been extensively studied in grain crops, with work in wheat and corn demonstrating methods to eliminate Fusarium in storage. A study in field corn eliminated Fusarium from seed through sealed storage at both 86°F and 10% seed moisture for 10 months and at 77°F with 14% seed moisture for 6 months (Kabeer et al, 2007). 77° F is considered within the range of optimal short-term storage for garlic; what is not clear is how this affects Fusarium in higher moisture garlic seed.

Eriophyid mites, specifically Acerius tulipae, has been identified as a world-wide pest of garlic and has been specifically studied in other production regions. Work conducted in south-western France on growth rates on green garlic leaves indicates that the optimum temperature for development is 25°C and 100% relative humidity. At these conditions, mites develop from egg to egg in about 20 days. As relative humidity drops below 75% and temperatures rise above 30° C, egg mortality increases. 45° C for just one hour leads to complete egg mortality, and temperatures below 6° C pause development (Courtin et al, 2000). This work needs to be replicated on storage garlic.


Abd-el Rahman, M. M., & Ebeaid, M. T. (2009). Some Factors Affecting Artificial Curing of Onion Bulbs and its Effects on the Storability. Misr J. Ag. Eng - Process Engineering, 26(2), 905–921.

Courten, O; Flauvel, G; and Leclant, F. Temperature and relative humidity effects on egg and nymphal development of Aceria tulipae (K.) (Acari : Eriophyidae) on garlic leaves (Allium sativum L.). Ann. appl. Biol. (2000), 137:207—211

Eshel, D., Teper-Bamnolker, P., Vinokur, Y., Saad, I., Zutahy, Y., & Rodov, V. (2014). Fast curing: A method to improve postharvest quality of onions in hot climate harvest. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 88, 34–39.

Gross, K. (2014). USDA Handbook 66: The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Retrieved from

Kabeer, F; Hill, M.J.; and Hampton, J.G. Effect of maize seed storage conditions on the survival of Fusarium spp. Seed Science and Technology Vol 25, p. 329-332. 1997.

Mann, L. (1952). Anatomy of the Garlic Bulb and Factors Affecting Bulb Development. Hilgardia - A Journal of Agricultural Science Published by the California Agricultural Experiment Station, 21(8), 195–231.

Stewart, C. (2013) Garlic post-harvest trial results. New England Fruit and Vegetable Conference Compendium, p. 122-124.

Stewart, C and Hay, F.S. (2017) Eriophyid mite: Micro-scourge of garlic. Produce Pages, Vol 3 issue 4, 12-14.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Jean-Paul Courtens - Producer (Researcher)
  • Chris Callahan (Educator and Researcher)
  • Christine Hoepting, Crys (Educator and Researcher)
  • Paul Arnold - Producer (Researcher)
  • Ed Fraser - Producer (Researcher)
  • Adam McAllister - Producer (Researcher)
  • Paul Fenton - Producer (Researcher)
  • Andy Harrington - Producer (Researcher)
  • Anita Amsler - Producer
  • Mike Johnson, Crys - Producer (Researcher)


Materials and methods:


Year one: Collection of post-harvest curing condition information at up to 25 farms

Purpose: Understand the in-situ curing conditions at various farms with various physical setups and controls.

Hypothesis: Postharvest curing conditions at farms are varied due to the physical arrangement and controls used.

Protocol: Garlic of one seed origin is grown in one location and then harvested, topped, bagged, graded to ensure uniform distribution, and immediately distributed in mesh onion bags to up to 25 farms across New York with a variety of drying and storage conditions, and due to geographic range, a variety of weather conditions. Growers self-report curing and storage conditions through a brief survey, and collect dates garlic is moved to different environments. Photos are encouraged. Data loggers (Omega OM-92) are placed with garlic, and log temperature and relative humidity in proximity to the survey bulbs during the curing and storage steps.  Site visits are conducted to capture setup and to take calibrating measures of temperature (calibrated Delta-Trak digital thermometer), relative humidity (Weksler sling psychrometer) and air speed (hot wire anemometer). Bulbs are collected in late September and rated for Fusarium severity (% clove infestation from representative sample) and eriophyid mite severity (% coverage from representative sample). Healthy garlic not destroyed by sampling is re-planted for year two study. 


Year one: Assessment of stem cutting effects on long-term storage

Hypothesis: cutting the stem does not affect the storage life of garlic

Protocol: One partner farm houses a sample of garlic with tops left on and one with tops left off in a traditional tunnel drying system. Garlic is trimmed to 1.5 inches when dry and moved into storage at 65 to 75 degrees and 75% relative humidity. In late September it receives Fusarium and mite rating, as well as weight loss from drying to September. Garlic is assessed again monthly until February. Data are analyzed with a paired T-test.


Year one: Post-harvest curing condition trials

Purpose: Understand the impact of curing air temperature and relative humidity on bulb quality and prevalence of postharvest pest and disease.

Hypothesis: Curing of garlic using two different air temperatures and relative humidities will result in statistically significant differences in the quality of cured garlic and in the prevalence of Eriophyid mites and Fusarium spp.

Protocol: Garlic of single production origin will be held at one of four curing conditions for at least 10 days. Weekly samples will be taken to be measured for weight (and weight loss from start), neck firmness (measured with penetrometer), cross sectional clove / leaf laminate morphology (digital photography and measurement), microscopy (digital imaging), and water activity for a given sample volume and location during curing, and bi-weekly samples will be taken during storage. Visual appearance, weight loss (~10-11% target), and neck firmness (quantitative penetrometer measure to be determined based on tactile experience) will be used to assess completion of curing.  Both mite and fusarium populations will be measured at the start of the curing process and at the end of curing / start of storage, and then at the end of storage. Multiple two-way analyses of variance will be used to test for the significance of impact on quality characteristics by curing and storage conditions.

Curing Conditions:

T1 = 80 °F            RH1 = 90% RH

T2 = 80 °F            RH2 = 70% RH

T3 = 105 °F          RH3 = 90% RH

T4 = 105 °F          RH4 = 70% RH

Storage Conditions:

T5 = 32 °F            RH5 = 70% RH

T6 = 32 °F            RH6 = 90% RH

T7 = 60 °F            RH7 = 70% RH

T8 = 60 °F            RH8 = 90% RH



Year two: Post-harvest assessment, part two

Hypothesis: Identical to Test A, expanded geographic range (data were not analyzed in time to inform second year protocols)



Year two: Assessment of stem cutting effects on long-term storage

Identical to year one protocol

Research results and discussion:

Test A:   During the year one survey of grower practices, two of the top three highest ranking treatments of 21 were cured in a high tunnel with the sides rolled up and the doors open (natural/passive ventilation) and then stored just inside an open door of a steel barn (passive ventilation). The only difference between the two treatments was that No. 1 was cured and stored with the tops on and No. 3 was topped to 1.5 inch necks prior to curing. The garlic was cured in a single layer on top of wooden pallets and stored in a pile 5 layers deep. The temperatures during curing were some of the hottest in the trial (average: 75 ⁰F, maximum: 123 ⁰F). During storage, temperatures never dropped below 50 ⁰F, did not exceed 90 ⁰F and averaged 65 ⁰F (Table 13 of 2019 Garlic post Harvest Practices Survey Final Report).

The worst treatment in the trial was No. 21, which was placed in a damp basement with no ventilation. It had the highest disease ratings (Fusarium and black mold) and the softest bulbs in the trial. This treatment had the most consistent temperature and RH in the trial where it stayed between 66 and 68 ⁰F, and between 75 and 100% RH during the entire curing and storage process.

This work supported previous research by Stewart Courtens indicating that drying in high tunnels is a consistent method of quickly and effectively curing garlic, followed by cooler, dry storage

2019 Garlic Post Harvest Practices Survey FINAL Report ALL 
Copy of Post harvest garlic study year one Hoepting

Test B: Garlic for this experiment was mowed by the grower cooperator, resulting in no ability to complete the fully uncut vs cut comparison. We included a 6-7 inch vs 1-2 inch comparison in the formal studies in Test C as a measure of compensation.

Test C: Garlic produced by PI Stewart Courtens was harvested and a randomized sample was extracted and sorted into three primary sub-samples; (1) medium to large bulb size, trimmed to 2-3” stalk, (2) small to medium bulb size, trimmed to 2-3” stalk, and (3) mixed bulb sizes, trimmed to 6-7” stalk. The overall sample size was 553 bulbs weighing 41.9 kg (76 g/bulb mean average including stems)

Figure 1 (below) - Primary sub-samples developed from one single harvest sample of a source garlic population. From top to bottom: Garlic bulb size and stem lenghts in various samplesmixed bulb sizes with 6-7” stalk, medium to large bulb size with 2-3” stalk, and small to medium bulb size with 2-3” stalk.

These three primary sub-samples were further divided into four roughly equal secondary sub-samples to allow for application of 4 curing treatments as follows:

Curing Trials

Treatment C1

Cool and Humid

Treatment C2

Cool and Dry

Treatment C3

Warm and Humid

Treatment C4

Warm and Dry


80 F / 90 % RH

80 F / 70 %RH

105 F / 90 %RH

105 F / 70 %RH

S1 - Primary Sub-sample 1 - Large, trimmed 2-3"

Sample S1C1

Sample S1C2

Sample S1C3

Sample S1C4

S2 - Primary Sub-sample 2 - Medium, trimmed 2-3"

Sample S2C1

Sample S2C2

Sample S2C3

Sample S2C4

S3 - Primary Sub-sample 3 - Mixed, trimmed 6-7"

Sample S3C1

Sample S3C2

Sample S3C3

Sample S3C4

Secondary sub-samples were weighed and put into curing test chambers held at the curing conditions for each treatment. The secondary sub-samples were weighed daily for the first week and then every two or three days for the next several weeks. Visual and physical inspection of individual bulbs was conducted to determine curing completion.  The qualitative measures of curing completion included: neck stem stiffness, ease of outer leaf delamination (peeling), degree of separation between clove and inner leaf, and feeling for residual moisture where clove tips met the surface of the stem.  Weighing and curing continued until completion of curing was confirmed with visual qualitative measures and also confirmed by noting that the change in mass resulting from drying for a given secondary sub-sample became asymptotic. This was at approximately 25-27% total mass loss from drying for S1 and S2 sub-samples (trimmed to 2-3”) and 37-40% total mass loss from drying for S3 sub-samples. The difference between these sub-samples was believed to be associated with the extra mass and leaf material included in S3 resulting from less stem trimming.

The total curing time varied between primary sub-samples and treatments as follows.


S1 - Primary Sample 1

Large, trimmed 2-3"

S2 - Primary Sample 2

Medium, trimmed 2-3"

S3 - Primary Sample 3

 Mixed, trimmed 6-7"

Treatment C1

Cool and Humid

80 F / 90 % RH




Treatment C2

Cool and Dry

80 F / 70 %RH




Treatment C3

Warm and Humid

105 F / 90 %RH




Treatment C4

Warm and Dry

105 F / 70 %RH




The findings from this curing trial are:

  • Garlic trimmed to 2-3” stems cures more quickly than garlic cured with 6-7” stems.
  • Garlic cured at higher temperature and lower humidity (C4) cures much more quickly than at lower temperature and higher humidity (C1)
  • In the curing conditions tested, temperature was a more significant influence on curing time than humidity.

At the end of the curing trial, each of the secondary subsamples were further split into four tertiary subsamples for a storage trial according to the following plan. Samples were stored from September through April, when the final assessment was conducted by Stewart and Callahan.

Storage Trials

Chamber 1

Chamber 2

Chamber 3

Chamber 4


Treatment S1

Treatment S2

Treatment S3

Treatment S4


32 F / 70 RH

32 F / 90 RH

65 F / 70 RH

65 F / 90 RH

Population 1 - Large, trimmed close

S1/C1, C2, C3, C4

S1/C1, C2, C3, C4

S1/C1, C2, C3, C4

S1/C1, C2, C3, C4

Population 2 - Medium, trimmed close

S2/C1, C2, C3, C4

S2/C1, C2, C3, C4

S2/C1, C2, C3, C4

S2/C1, C2, C3, C4

Population 3 - Mixed longer stem

S3/C1, C2, C3, C4

S3/C1, C2, C3, C4

S3/C1, C2, C3, C4

S3/C1, C2, C3, C4

During the storage experiment the warm/humid storage unit failed, rendering data from that treatment unusable. Data from the additional treatments are summarized in this graph: Storage graph callahan 

Key findings from the storage trial are:

  • Cold, dry storage shows the least mass loss, while warm dry storage shows the most
  • Dry curing results in less mass loss in storage than humid curing, though these differences were smaller than the effect of humidity in storage
  • Garlic with long stems lost more total mass than garlic with short stems in storage, though it is hard to factor in the weight of the stem itself when making these measurements

Disease incidence increased in humid curing conditions, with incidence of both surface molds and internal breakdown increasing. Lowest disease incidence was observed in cold, dry storage, regardless of curing method. An anomaly from the study was warm, humid storage following hot dry curing, which had lower than expected disease incidence. Disease pressure was notably low in all treatments as compared to most on-farm studies. Percent marketable bulbs from long term storage

No mites were detected in any of the samples evaluated during the disease and insect evaluation.

The complete drying and storage data sheets are available here: Garlic Curing Trial Sheets Final

Test D: During 2020 Hoepting completed surveys of 20 curing locations, most of which were within 1-2 hours of Albion, NY due to Covid restrictions. The conditions in which garlic were kept were quite diverse, making it difficult to draw meaningful conclusions as we had in year one. Data are included for reference, but conclusions for the project are based on year one survey data supported by Test C.

Copy of 2020 post harvest practices garlic competition TREATMENTS
clove evaluation summaries Sep 25 2021

Test E: 

This test was completed in 2021 using 50 bulbs of similar size which had tops cut at two inches and 50 bulbs of similar size that had their tops intact. All bulbs were dried in the high tunnel with passive heating and active ventilation on mesh benches. When the garlic was dried it was weighed, and then tops were clipped to final length on all samples for storage.  Garlic were then weighed again for final analysis by paired t-test. The t-test did not reveal a significant difference (P-value .32) between cut and uncut garlic weight after storage.

Stem cut vs uncut

Research conclusions:

These experiments sought to confirm previous work on post-harvest handling best practices with a broad survey and a more controlled lab study. The lab study in particular was extremely useful, providing a more complete picture of when garlic loses most of its moisture and quality in drying and storage.

The results of these studies supported previous work indicating that drying garlic in hot (105 degrees F), dry environments is the fastest option, and that most growers are accomplishing this through high tunnel drying. Under these conditions, garlic can dry in as little as 6 days. While garlic dried warm and dry loses slightly less weight during the drying process than garlic dried hot and dry, garlic dried hot loses less moisture in storage. Cool, humid condition are not ideal for drying or storage.

Disease pressure in the lab study was fairly low, and insect pressure was nonexistent, though we were able to conclude that hot and warm drying with lower humidity results in lower disease incidence, and that cold storage also results in lower disease incidence.

The lab and on-farm studies also confirmed previous recommendations to clip garlic prior to drying it, because it actually dries faster and suffers no additional loss of weight over garlic with longer stems.

The on-farm survey data proved too noisy to derive much meaning from in many circumstances, though trends were observed, particularly in year one.

Participation Summary
10 Farmers participating in research

Education & Outreach Activities and Participation Summary

20 Consultations
1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 Online trainings
1 Published press articles, newsletters
3 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary:

487 Farmers participated
8 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities
Education/outreach description:

Garlic school: March 2022. Topics included: Results of controlled atmosphere drying and curing study (Callahan), Fusarium management strategies (Stewart-Courtens), and fusarium biocontrol studies by Dr. Frank Hay. Registration list attached. Garlic school was posted on you-tube and has received 427 views to date after being featured on one of the Facebook garlic pages by a school attendee:

Articles: "summary of post-harvest survey for garlic disease and insect management": Hoepting, pending

Overview of garlic best practices based on research results, to be released fall 2022 in The Natural Farmer (part two, winter 2022, is more post-harvest related). TNF Garlic article (only part one)

Factsheet: "Best practices to reduce diseases and increase storage life of garlic in the northeast" to be published Winter 2022.

Garlic Curing Trial Summary Slides2019

Fusarium management field trial



Learning Outcomes

Key areas in which farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitude, skills and/or awareness:

(Survey response wasn't mandatory so numbers were typically low)

  • 100% of survey respondents indicated that they better understood Fusarium management
    • 60% indicated they planned to plant on raised beds
  • 67% indicated they would cure garlic at above room temperature
  • 80% indicated they would cut the tops on garlic prior to curing

The feedback on the garlic Facebook page, which lead to 427 YouTube views after over 100 comments on the Facebook post, was that the information on post-harvest handling was extremely helpful and that many growers would change their techniques. Gratitude was expressed for research-based information.
91786167541_2022-03-22_PollReport-without emails



Project Outcomes

25 Farmers changed or adopted a practice
1 Grant applied for that built upon this project
1 Grant received that built upon this project
$25,950.00 Dollar amount of grant received that built upon this project
4 New working collaborations
Project outcomes:

Cooperating farmers and meeting participants were consistently convinced by the project results that curing garlic in warm, low humidity environments is essential to obtaining a high quality product. Most growers were also convinced that topping garlic prior to curing is at least not harmful to the garlic, and are willing to do so. For many topping the garlic and moving it into high tunnels to dry go hand in hand, since topping garlic allows it to more easily be placed on benches. 

Because we were unable to find any eriophyid mites on the garlic in this project, we developed and are implementing a second SARE partnership grant specifically addressing management techniques for eriophyid mites on multiple farms. Our use of climate controlled drying chambers did help us better understand the limitations of using the curing process for eriophyid mite control, and shifted us towards examining biocontrol techniques.

Being able to study curing and storage techniques developed with growers over the course of many years was a very enriching experience for me personally because it allowed me to better understand exactly how the garlic was changing on a day-to-day basis during drying. This study allows us to write more equivocal post-harvest handling recommendations, which will continue to help people make the switch towards hot dry curing with cut tops on garlic. 10 years ago these practices were almost unheard of, but our work has dramatically shifted how the industry handles garlic.

Assessment of Project Approach and Areas of Further Study:

The survey portion of this project had too many variables uncontrolled to provide meaningful data, and did not provide much useful information. It did however allow us to provide intensive outreach to a targeted group of growers, which is in itself valuable.

The pandemic naturally shifted our outreach efforts during this project, and we were not able to provide the in-person outreach that we normally would. I was pleased with the interest in the project online, by growers who we may not have otherwise interacted with. Having garlic school online also allowed colleagues from across the Northeast to learn about our work, which was very valuable.

It seems that there will always be emerging pests and diseases to address in horticulture crops, and garlic is no exception. We are currently working across the northeast to develop a team to study Garlic Anthracnose, an emerging disease of garlic which is increasing in severity each year.

The results of this study are valuable to garlic growers at any scale across the northeast.

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.