Growing onions
Farmer's Weekly|Farmer's Weekly 24 September 2021
Cutworms and thrips are major threats to onion plants, and must be dealt with timeously to save your crop, says Bill Kerr.
Bill Kerr

Cutworms are a danger to many crops, including onions. The trouble is that they are a hidden danger, and it is often a case of out of sight, out of mind!

Cutworms are sporadic and may do little or no damage for a few years and then catch you by surprise. They can survive for ages on what appears to be a clean land with no plants, as they can consume dry plant debris.

Because of this, onion growers need to be constantly aware of the possibility of cutworms lurking in the soil.

Before land preparation, walk through the land and examine any weeds that might be growing there. If cutworms are present, you will see evidence of their activity. A larva typically attacks the first part of the plant it encounters, usually the stem of a seedling, and cuts it down. If the weed is small, the larva will pull it into the soil, with the tips of the leaves protruding.

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