Science into practice - onions on trial

The aim of HDC project FV 348 was to provide an independent assessment by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany of the yield, quality and storage potential of new onion varieties propagated from both seed and sets during 2009 and stored over the winter until May.

Small differences between varieties can have a significant impact on profitability. Breeders are constantly producing new and improved varieties and an independent assessment of "new versus old" is essential to enable growers to maximise their profits. The wrong variety choice or use of incorrect husbandry on an otherwise suitable variety can be a costly decision. The successful identification of varieties that are more suitable for long-term storage will reduce losses and assist in the choice of variety.

FV 348 aimed to help growers to choose and manage the best varieties for profitable production, breeders to promote those varieties that offer advantages over their competitors and the packing and retail trade to identify the best varieties for quality and market suitability in order to support the UK vegetable industry maintain and expand its market share. The full results from this project are available on the HDC website.

Other news

The HDC was delighted to support the Contact Conference on 12-14 January, with presentations from technical manager Jason Pole and board representative John Adlam.

There is an HDC protected ornamentals panel meeting on 24 February at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

Soft Fruit Review 2010-11 is now available. Please contact Jenny Hill at the HDC for your copy.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activities, visit

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