Onion Yield and Quality Affected by Soil Water Potential as Irrigation Threshold

in HortScience
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  • 1 Malheur Experiment Station, Oregon State University, 595 Onion Avenue, Ontario, OR 97914

Onion (Allium cepa L., `Great Scott') was grown on silt loam soils and submitted to four irrigation thresholds (-25, -50, -75, and -100 kPa) in 1992 and six irrigation thresholds (-12.5, -25, -37.5, -50, -75, and -100 kPa) in 1993 and 1994. Irrigation thresholds (soil water potential measured at 0.2-m depth) were used as criteria to initiate furrow irrigations. Onions were evaluated for yield and grade after 70 days of storage. In 1992 and 1994, total yield, marketable yield, and profit increased with increasing irrigation threshold. In 1993, total yield increased with increasing irrigation threshold, but marketable yield and profit were maximized by a calculated threshold of -27 kPa due to a substantial increase of decomposition during storage with increasing threshold.

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