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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan

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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan

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Marisa M. Wall and Joe N. Corgan

A 2-year field study was conducted to evaluate the effects of maturity and storage on fresh-market onion (Allium cepa L.) quality. Four short-day onion cultivars (`NuMex BR1', `NuMex Sunlite', `NuMex Starlite', and `Buffalo') were seeded in early October each year. Bulbs were harvested at five times; the first and second harvests were when 20% and 80 %, respectively, of the bulbs in a plot had mature necks; the third, fourth, and fifth harvests were at 5,10, and 15 days after the second harvest date, respectively. After curing for 3 days, bulb firmness, weight, and incidence of disease were evaluated for all harvests. Bulbs were re-evaluated after 10 and 20 days storage in a shed under ambient conditions. `Buffalo' and `NuMex Surdite' bulbs had the lowest incidence of disease before storage. For all cultivars, average bulb weight increased and firmness decreased with delayed harvest. Percent diseased bulbs increased for all cultivars as harvest was delayed in 1991 but not in 1992. The optimum harvest time was at 80% maturity. In storage, average bulb weight and firmness decreased, and the incidence of bulb diseases increased.

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Marisa M. Wall and Joe N. Corgan

Individual onion (Allium cepa L.) bulbs were evaluated for pungency by measurement of enzymatically produced pyruvate and by flavor perception. In four separate experiments, pyruvate values were highly and significantly correlated to mean sensory ratings. Correlation coefficients (r) were 0.92, 0.84, 0.95, and 0.79, and regression coefficients (R2) were 0.84, 0.71, 0.91, and 0.62. The high correlations indicate that pyruvate analysis can be used as a reliable selection technique for pungency in onion breeding programs.

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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan

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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan

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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan

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Arthur D. Wall and Joe N. Corgan

In dry climates, onions usually have the roots undercut at maturity before harvest. In a 2-year study, dehydrator onions were uprooted at maturity to simulate undercutting, and harvest was delayed for several time intervals. Treatment effects on fresh and dry yield, the number of bulbs per plot, bulb fresh and dry weights, and percent dry weight of bulbs were measured. Plots were considered mature when 80% of the tops had fallen. Delaying harvest 15 days after maturity without uprooting did not reduce yield significantly. Yield and both bulb weight and percent dry weight tended to decline when harvest was delayed >15 days after maturity, especially if plants were uprooted. This suggests that undercutting of onions should not be performed until just prior to harvest and that harvest should not be delayed >15 days past maturity. Yield losses in delayed harvest treatments were attributed primarily to Fusarium basal rot.

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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan

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Christopher S. Cramer and Joe N. Corgan