Results from the 2016 onion variety testing in Northern Colorado have been announced by Colorado State University Adams County Extension and Dr. Thaddeus Gourd, extension director and agent (agriculture), along with Eric Hammon, agent (horticulture) and Cassey Anderson, master gardener coordinator (horticulture).
Testing took place at the Adams County Extension Office, and both trial sites were set up on farms owned by Bob and Robert T. Sakata. One site was north of Wattenberg (Struck location) and the other northwest of Brighton (Stieber location).
The Northern Colorado Onion Variety Trials Field Tour and breakfast were held on Aug. 18, again sponsored by Jose Solorzano of American Takii.
The report from Dr. Gourd’s office said, “In general, weather conditions were similar to last year, that is, cooler and wetter than normal in the spring followed by hot dry conditions in July through September. Onions were planted at the Stieber location on March 15 and at the Struck location on March 14, 2016. The Stieber location used flood irrigation and the Struck location used sprinkler center pivot irrigation.”
Both locations were subject to research evaluations that included emergence, thrips, pink root severity, maturity, yield and storability. “Onion emergence evaluations occurred on June 9 at the Stieber location and June 8 at the Struck location. Good emergence of the onions was noted at both locations,” the report said.
“Thrips populations were counted on July 7 at the Stieber location and June 27 at the Struck location. The Stieber location averaged 39.4 thrips per onion plant, and the Struck location averaged13.3 thrips per plant. The Iris Yellow Spot Virus (IYSV) assessments were not taken because of very low disease incidence at both locations. The pink root severity assessments were performed on Aug. 22 at the Stieber location and Aug. 23 at the Struck location. This disease pressure had a significant impact on onion yield. Some varieties appeared to exhibit tolerance the pink root pathogen. Maturity data was taken on Aug. 19 and Sept. 1 at the Stieber location. At Struck location, maturity data was taken on Sept. 1 and 26.”
Harvest at the Stieber location took place on Sept. 16, followed by processing on Sept. 19. Harvest at the Struck location was on Sept. 27 with processing the next day. For all 2016 onion variety trial results in Northern Colorado, visit the Adams County Extension website at www.adamscountyextension.org.