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The department of plant pathology of Washington State University in Pullman, WA, will be awarded a $1 million grant to participate in a national project that will study onion productivity and profitability.

"The long-term goals of the project are to develop, fully deploy and evaluate a sustainable on-line information-management platform called Onion ipmPIPE -- Pest Information Platform for Extension & Education -- to integrate innovative diagnostic tools and optimize sound pest management decision-making in specialty crops such as onions," the university said in a prepared statement.

"The Plant Pathology Department at WSU has one of the strongest and most successful vegetable pathology research and extension programs in the country today," Hanu Pappu, chairman of the department of plant pathology, said in the statement. "This grant enables us to carry out a comprehensive study at the regional and national levels and to better manage the diseases affecting onion production."

The national project includes key industry researchers from seven states, and information gleaned will benefit all domestic onion-producing regions.