Pest & Diseases
Common pests include the Chinese rose beetle, which feeds on the leaves of the plant; Fijian ginger weevils, which burrow into roots and can kill plants; the ginger maggots feed on rotting roots and plants, and can transmit disease to healthy crops; while cornstalk borer caterpillars can damage shoots and plants in dry conditions.
Nigra and turmeric root scale (thought to be eradicated from Hawaii) feed on sap and can diminish plant vitality. Various diseases can wilt plants and cause root rot, including bacterial wilt and soft rot, fusarium yellow and rhizome rot, bacterial leaf blight, pythium soft rot, and red rot.
Other diseases that can cause root defects such as lesions, cracking, russeting, and rot include root-knot and burrowing nematodes, leafspot, and alligator skin.
Storage & Packaging
Proper postharvest storage is critical to prevent spoilage by fungi and bacteria. Washing, drying, and curing for 3 to 5 days reduces the risk of mildew on root ends. Cured ginger will store 60 to 90 days at 54 to 57°F and 85 to 90% relative humidity; or 4 to 6 months at 55°F and 65 to 75% relative humidity.
References: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, United Nations FAO, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, University of Hawaii.
GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL
There are no U.S. or Canadian good arrival guidelines at present for ginger root.