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January 25, 2023

Northwest storage onion quality has been excellent this season. A cold, wet spring along with a warmer-than-average summer reduced the number of onions growers could store through early spring 2023. These weather swings could also pose quality issues over the last few remaining months of season.

  • Dry Scale
    • Dry scale develops when an onion is starting to bulb
    • When growth is hindered due to excessive heat or lack of adequate water, the inner bulb may set a small layer of dry skin around the top of the bulb, which the outer layers will grow around as the onion continues to mature, leaving what looks like a gap between the layers
  • Translucency
    • Translucency is characterized by a grayish, watery texture within the outer layer(s) of an onion when cut in half
  • It can form in storage, as well as in transit
  • In storage, onions at the bottom portion of a storage pile endure pressure from the weight of the onions above
  • Watery Scale
  • Onions with watery scales have an off-color, water-soaked appearance internally
  • The defect will develop due to lack of nutrients, sub-optimal water treatment, and sharp temperature changes
  • Suppliers are unable to detect defects during the sorting and packing process; the defects are internal and appear under the dry, outer skin of the onion

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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