Onion Hybrid Performance, 2003
Hendrickson and Matt Swanson
study was conducted at the NDSU Carrington
Center on a loam soil with a 7.8 pH
and 3.2% organic matter. Pelleted and
raw seed were planted on May 2, 2003
in 3-inch paired rows on 18-inch centers at 167,000 seeds/A while sets were
planted by hand on in 12-inch rows at 130,000 bulbs per acre. The experimental design was a randomized
complete block design with four replicates.
Best management practices were used for fertility, weed, disease, and
insect control. Hybrids were lifted 0 to
14 days after the half-down date. All
hybrids were lifted and harvested by September 29. The onions were topped and cured in a forced
air drier. Split
and diseased bulbs were graded as culls regardless of diameter.
Results: Variability within the trial was high due to
onion theft prior to harvest. Because of
this, some plots were deleted from the data set to try and reduce the
variability. Onion yields ranged from
79.3 to 985.0 cwt/A (Table). With the
exception of the onions started as sets, less then 25% of the total yield was
from onions smaller than 3 inches in diameter.
Onion sets performed poorly again this year. Onion yields were 86 and 88% lower when Sabroso and Vaquero hybrids were started as sets vs. seed. The Sabroso and
Vaquero sets also had the highest percentage of split bulbs.