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- Author or Editor: Alicia Rivera x
Onion (Allium cepa L.) bulbs produced in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in 2014 and 2015 had unusually high incidence of internal decay. This decay was not detectable externally, leading to marketing problems when bulbs were packed and shipped to markets. The onion growing seasons in 2014 and 2015 were unusually hot, suggesting a connection of heat stress to bulb internal decay. Field studies to investigate the effect of temperature on onion bulb internal decay and yield were conducted in 2016–18 with drip-irrigated onions at the Oregon State University, Malheur Experiment Station located in eastern Oregon. Two long-day onion cultivars were submitted to four cultural practice variations to affect soil and bulb temperatures: bare soil check, supplemental heat using electric heat cables, white kaolinite clay application to the bulb sides and soil surface, and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw mulch. The treatments established significant midafternoon average bulb and soil surface temperature gradients in the following order of increasing temperature: straw mulch, kaolinite, check, and supplemental heat. Averaged over years and cultivars, straw-mulched onions had the highest yield of bulbs larger than 102 mm diameter. Averaged over years and cultivars, onions receiving supplemental heat had the lowest total and marketable yield with no difference among the other treatments. Straw mulched onions had higher total and marketable yield than the bare soil check treatment in 2017, the hottest year. Averaged over the 3 years and two cultivars, marketable yield and yield of bulbs larger than 102 mm diameter decreased with increasing midafternoon bulb temperatures. Kaolinite application did not increase bulb yield nor bulb size compared with the bare soil check. The incidence of internal bulb decay was low all 3 years. In 2017, onions receiving supplemental heat had the highest internal decay and the straw-mulched onions had among the lowest internal decay. There was little difference in the measured soil moisture among treatments. Straw mulching may attenuate the negative effects of excessive heat on yield and bulb internal quality for long day onion production.
Each year ≈24,000 acres of onions (Allium cepa) are produced in the Treasure Valley of eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho, which accounts for 20% of U.S. dry-bulb onion acreage. Onions in this region are long-day onions and are irrigated by either furrow irrigation or drip irrigation, with drip irrigation having become the predominant system in the past 10 years. Onion production in the Treasure Valley faces many biotic pressures and changing market conditions that renders cultivar development and testing of critical importance to the onion industry. Direct-seeded yellow, white, and red onion cultivars have been evaluated yearly at the Malheur Experiment Station, Oregon State University, in Ontario, OR, USA, since 1975. From 2010 to 2020, 10 onion seed companies participated in the trials. There were 21 to 32 yellow cultivars, two to 10 red cultivars, and one to seven white cultivars entered in the trial each year. Only five cultivars were entered all 11 years. Total yields for the yellow cultivars ranged from an average of 680 cwt/acre in 2010 to 1277 cwt/acre in 2018, and averaged 961 cwt/acre over the 11 years. Yield of yellow bulbs larger than 4 inches (colossal and super colossal) ranged from 13% in 2010 to 61% in 2018, and averaged 34% over the 11 years. Single centered yellow bulbs ranged from 46% in 2013 to 70% in 2014. Total yields for the red cultivars averaged 520 cwt/acre and total yield of white cultivars averaged 988 cwt/acre over the 11 years. Over the 11 years, single-centered bulbs of red cultivars averaged 65% and single-centered bulbs of white cultivars averaged 45%. Some newer cultivars show improvements in single centeredness, resistance to Iris yellow spot virus, and yield of larger bulbs over cultivar Vaquero, which was released in 1993, indicating the success of breeding efforts. Yields of five yellow cultivars that were in the trials every year since 2010, increased over time. This increase can be partly attributed to improvements in cultural practices over the years: adoption of drip irrigation, more intensive nutrient management, refined onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) control, and higher plant population.
Seeds of native plants are needed for rangeland restoration in the Intermountain West. Many of these plants are rarely cultivated and relatively little is known about the cultural practices required for their seed production. Irrigation trials were conducted for five perennial Lomatium species over multiple years. Lomatium species grown at the Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, Ontario, OR received 0, 100, or 200 mm of irrigation per year. Seed yield responses to irrigation were evaluated by linear and quadratic regression. In general, seed yields from the three species grown for 10 years responded linearly or quadratically to irrigation. To improve the accuracy of estimated irrigation water requirements, regressions were also run on seed yield responses to irrigation plus precipitation during the previous spring; spring and winter; and spring, winter, and fall. Over multiple years, Lomatium dissectum (Nutt.) Mathias & Constance and L. triternatum (Pursh) J.M. Coult. & Rose seed yields were best estimated by a quadratic response to irrigation plus spring precipitation with highest yields at 243 and 255 mm, respectively. Lomatium grayi (J.M. Coult. & Rose) J.M. Coult. & Rose seed yields were best estimated by a quadratic response to irrigation plus precipitation during the fall, winter, and spring with highest yields at 358 mm. Two of the Lomatium species were grown for the last 6 years. The seed yields of L. nudicaule (Pursh) J.M. Coult. & Rose did not respond to irrigation. Seed yields of Lomatium suksdorfii (S. Watson) J.M. Coult. & Rose responded linearly to irrigation in 2015.
Seeds of native plants are needed for rangeland restoration in the Intermountain West. Many of these plants are rarely cultivated and relatively little is known about the cultural practices required for their seed production. Irrigation trials were conducted over multiple years for two perennial Eriogonum species, Eriogonum umbellatum Torr. and Eriogonum heracleoides Nutt. The two species grown at the Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, Ontario, Ore., received 0, 100, or 200 mm·year−1 of drip irrigation. Seed yield responses to irrigation were evaluated by linear and quadratic regression against 1) applied water; 2) applied water plus spring precipitation; 3) applied water plus winter and spring precipitation; and 4) applied water plus fall, winter, and spring precipitation. In general, seed yields responded quadratically to irrigation. For E. umbellatum, over 11 years, highest seed yields averaged 260 kg·ha−1 and ranged from 207 to 508 kg·ha−1. For E. heracleoides, over 6 years, highest yields averaged 353 kg·ha−1 and ranged from 168 to 588 kg·ha−1. Adding spring precipitation to applied water improved the accuracy of estimated water requirements for maximum seed production of E. umbellatum. For E. heracleoides, adding precipitation to applied water did not improve the accuracy of estimated water requirements for maximum seed production. Averaged over 11 years, seed yield of E. umbellatum was maximized by 209 mm·year−1 of spring precipitation plus irrigation. Averaged over 6 years, seed yield of E. heracleoides was maximized by 126 mm·year−1 of applied water. Both species required relatively small amounts of irrigation to help assure seed yield, and the irrigation needed for E. umbellatum could be adjusted by taking spring precipitation into account.
Increasing the supply of native wildflower seed is essential for restoring burned and degraded wildlands in the Intermountain West. Limitations to wildland seed collection necessitate development of effective cultural practices to improve reliability of seed production in agricultural fields. Irrigation trials were conducted over multiple years for three perennial species in the Fabaceae family [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright, Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby, and Astragalus filipes Torr. ex A. Gray]. Each of the three species was grown at the Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, Ontario, OR and received 0, 100, or 200 mm·year−1 of drip irrigation in four equal biweekly increments during bud formation and flowering. Seed yield responses to irrigation were evaluated by linear and quadratic regression against 1) applied water, 2) applied water plus spring precipitation, 3) applied water plus winter and spring precipitation, and 4) applied water plus fall, winter, and spring precipitation. In general, seed yields responded quadratically to irrigation. Adding fall, winter, and spring precipitation to applied water improved the accuracy of estimated water requirements for maximum seed production of D. ornata and D. searlsiae. For D. ornata, the highest yields averaged 396 kg·ha−1 and ranged from 146 to 545 kg·ha−1. Averaged over 6 years, seed yield of D. ornata was highest with applied water plus fall, winter, and spring precipitation totaling 393 mm. For D. searlsiae, the highest yields averaged 260 kg·ha−1 and ranged from 51 to 424 kg·ha−1. Averaged over 6 years, seed yield of D. searlsiae was highest with applied water plus fall, winter, and spring precipitation totaling 412 mm. Seed yields of A. filipes ranged from 7 to 110 kg·ha−1 depending on year and averaged 40 kg·ha1 over 6 years. Seed yields of A. filipes did not respond to irrigation in any of the 5 years of testing.