On the 15th of February 2017 Washington State University personnel conducted the storage evaluation of the annual onion cultivar trial, this trial is supplying stakeholders in one of the biggest onion growing areas of the United States with information on the storage quality of onion cultivars.
This big onion growing area is called the Columbia Basin and is characterized by many large scaled highly professional farms, with impressive acreages of onion cultivation.
After harvest the onions are being stored in optimal conditions to hopefully maintain the most optimal quality after a long storing period. The period when the onions are coming out of the storage depends on contracts or the current market situation.
In some cases onions are stored all the way to May or even longer.
Hazera hosted this evaluation this year for the second time in their facility in Pasco, Washington.
Personnel of the Washington State University are helping the industry by conducting a large trial of 45-55 onion cultivars each year, which is providing all the stakeholders of much valuable information.
The cultivars are from different seed companies and are planted in March-April in replicated plots in a grower’s commercial onion field.
The plots are harvested and stored separately, all kinds of data, ranging from yields, sizes, culls, firmness and uniformity are measured and evaluated.
In the Hazera R&D facility an inspection table was set up, onions were measured on firmness (by hand) and on uniformity (by eye). Later they were cut to count the number of single centers and possible diseases were analyzed.
Later in the year results are distributed among the stakeholders.