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Title: A fresh-market onion production system for Oklahoma using short and intermediate cultivars

item Webber Iii, Charles
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: Hortscience Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2008
Publication Date: 7/21/2008
Citation: Shrefler, J., Roberts, W., Taylor, M., Webber III, C.L., Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2008. A fresh-market onion production system for Oklahoma using short and intermediate cultivars [abstract]. HortScience. 43(4):1227.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Onion is a useful fresh-market specialty crop for some Oklahoma producers. In the state, bulb onion is traditionally established using bare-rooted transplants of short day cultivars which are set in the field in February or March. For commercial scale production this can be a problem because weather conditions during this period may not be suitable for field work. Over a period of several years and through a combination of replicated field trials and grower experience it was determined that using a mix of short day and intermediate day cultivars provided several advantages for small-scale commercial growers. At planting time, the use of a mix allows the producer to complete field operations associated with transplanting later into the spring. Similarly, at harvest, the marketable time period is extended later into the summer due to the delayed maturity of the intermediate day onions as compared to the short day types. Plant sourcing and postharvests handling also become important factors. Local production of transplants may offer some benefits to producers. A possible production system using high tunnels has been developed and is available for grower implementation. Similarly, storage studies have shown that intermediate day onion cultivars can be held safely for several weeks following harvest, a practice that provides the grower with flexibility in delivering onions to market.