Onions - Independent assessment of field and storage potential of varieties


FV 348d - Onions - Independent assessment of field and storage potential of varieties

Start Date: 
Completion Date: 
Project Leader: 
Bruce Napier, NIAB
FV 348d

Industry representative: Tom Will, VCS

HDC project cost: £94,700


Project summary:

 The aim of the work is to provide independent assessment of the yield, quality and storage potential of new onion varieties propagated from both seed and sets.


Aims and objectives:

  1. Project aim(s):

Main aims

  • To provide independent evaluation of new, drilled and set onion varieties for field characteristics, yield and storage potential and compare with existing commercial varieties.
  • Analysis of data
  • Comparison and analysis of data


  1. Project objective(s):
  1. To assess replicated field plots and harvested material from 3 set trials (in 2016) and 2 drilled trials (each year).
  2. To present the results at knowledge exchange events (field & harvest open days each year and Carrot & Onion Conference 2015 and 2017).
  3. To provide results to levy payers through updates (to coincide with open days) and a final report.


Benefits to industry

Relatively small differences between varieties can have a significant impact on profitability. 

Independent, relevant results are essential if growers are to maximise their profits.  The wrong variety choice or use of incorrect husbandry on an otherwise suitable variety can be costly.

The proposed work will assist all sectors of the industry:

  • growers to choose and manage the best varieties for profitable production. Emphasis is placed on recording leaf habit in this proposal as changes in herbicide availability are likely to result in more frequent passes with mechanical weeding machinery. Also neck finish which can effect storage potential.
  • breeders to promote those varieties that offer advantages over existing commercial varieties. 
  • the packing and retail trade to identify the best varieties for quality and market suitability.
  • the UK vegetable industry to provide value and quality to maintain and expand its market share.
  • The identification of varieties that are more suitable for long term storage under commercial storage conditions – which will reduce losses and waste – and hence to assist in the appropriate choice of variety.


Click here to view summary tables of provisional results from AHDB Horticulture funded FV 348d.