The growing conditions of North Dakota are characterized by short frost-free seasons (< 120 days), long photoperiods, a large fluctuation in summer temperatures, and fertile soils especially in the Red River Valley region. Commercial production of vegetables in the state has been increasing with renewed interests in fresh and processed products. Currently, about 1,200 acres are devoted to vegetable production in the state with most of it conentrated in the eastern part of the state. This excludes 158,000 acres used for potato production. The top ten vegetables, excluding potato, are onion, carrot, sweet corn, squash, cabbage, red beet, muskmelon, asparagus, pumpkin, and garlic in the descending order of acreages devoted. While onions are grown mainly for fresh markets, carrots are produced for both fresh and dehydrated products. Acreages for these two crops are expected to expand, especially for supplying onions for ringing operations and carrots for dehydration and p-carotene extraction. Each year, selected cultivars of onions, carrots and other vegetables are evaluated for their performance in this northern growing environment.
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