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Identification of onion cultivars for commercial production in Canterbury, New Zealand






New Zealand Journal of Crop & Horticultural Science 23(3): 299-306

Identification of onion cultivars for commercial production in Canterbury, New Zealand

Onion (Allium cepa L.) cultivars were evaluated to identify those that were sufficiently adapted to produce profitable crops for export in Canterbury, New Zealand. Cultivars were chosen from latitudes similar to Canterbury within four main geographic regions: North America, northern Europe, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand. Cultivars were grown for three seasons and evaluated for maturity, yield, bulb size, bulb shape, skin colour and number, single centredness, and propensity to bolt. The characteristics were assessed relative to the industry standard, 'Pukekohe Longkeeper'. No one cultivar was better than 'Pukekohe Longkeeper' in every characteristic. North American cultivars had good size, shape, skin colour, skin retention, and single centredness. but they were later maturing than 'Pukekohe Longkeeper' and had a high propensity to bolt. Northern European cultivars had a similar tendency to late maturity and high bolting percentage. A group of Japanese cultivars were earlier maturing than 'Pukekohe Longkeeper' (up to 30 days) and had a low bolting percentage, but they were lower yielding. Another group of Japanese cultivars were higher yielding but they were later maturing with a bolting incidence of 35-50% and were variable in their single centredness and skin colour. Australian cultivars were very similar to 'Pukekohe Longkeeper', with negligible bolting. One New Zealand cultivar had a similar yield and 7 days earlier maturity. Only one cultivar, 'Eskimo', of Japanese origin was superior to 'Pukekohe Longkeeper' in environmental adaptation and quality. 'Eskimo' was higher yielding, early maturing, and superior in colour, skin retention, and single centredness. Bulb shape and bolting incidence were acceptable.

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Accession: 002863646

DOI: 10.1080/01140671.1995.9513902



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