The onion industry in New Mexico is nothing to cry about. In fact, last year about 6,500 acres of onions were harvested in the state with a farm-gate value of $128 million
At New Mexico State University, researchers with the onion breeding program look into ways of developing high-yielding, high-quality, bolting-resistant and disease-resistant onions to provide the best onions, which are the basis of most recipes. On June 29, the public will have a chance to learn more about that research during this year’s onion field day at the Fabián García Science Center, 113 New Mexico State Road 101 near the NMSU Las Cruces campus.
Chris Cramer, horticulture professor in the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, said the state’s 6,500 acres of onions produced a total of 221,000 tons, making it the third most valuable crop in New Mexico, ranking above chile peppers.
At this year’s field day, Rolston St. Hilaire, head of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will welcome attendees, who will then be able to head into the field to see where all of NMSU’s onion research takes place. Researchers will also give talks about various onion projects.
Research topics include a survey of New Mexico onion fields for bacterial diseases, seed regeneration of onion plant introduction accessions, photosynthesis and physiology of New Mexico-grown onions, breeding for Fusarium basal rot resistance, breeding for Iris yellow spot resistance, estimating onion yield loss caused by thrips, and improving weed control programs for onions.
Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. Registration will be at 8:30 a.m., and the field day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 575-646-2729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CUTLINE: At New Mexico State University, researchers with the onion breeding program explore ways of developing the best onions, which are the basis of most recipes. On June 29, the public will have a chance to learn more about that research during this year’s onion field day at the Fabián García Science Center, (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)