The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is reminding producers that the cull onion disposal deadline is approaching.

Ada, Canyon, Gem, Payette, Owyhee, and Washington counties must dispose of cull onions by March 15.

Idaho State Statute 02.06.05, subsection E, states that all cull onions in these areas "shall be disposed of by a method approved of in Section 641 of this rule, to prevent sprouting. Disposal of all existing cull onions and debris must be completed prior to March 15th, of each year." Onions sorted after March 15 must be disposed of within one week.

This disposal prevents the spread of the onion maggot, an aggressive pest that feeds on the roots of germinating seedlings as larva, and feeds later on expanding bulbs. This often leads to rot bulbs during storage.

Options for proper disposal include pit burial, feeding, composting, spreading, chopping, and shredding.

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