University of California

Machine harvesting fresh market onions


Hunter Johnson
Joseph H. Chesson
Keith S. Mayberry
Robert G. Curley
Clay R. Brooks

Authors Affiliations

Hunter Johnson, Jr. is Vegetable Specialist, Cooperative Extension, University of California, Riverside; Joseph H. Chesson, formerly Agricultural Engineer, USDA Agricultural Engineering, U.C., Riverside, is now with USDA Agricultural Research Service, Wenatchee, Washington; Keith S. Mayberry is Farm Advisor, Cooperative Extension, Imperial County; Robert G. Curley is Agricultural Engineer, Cooperative Extension, U.C., Davis; Clay R. Brooks is Assistant Development Engineer, Cooperative Extension, U.C., Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 31(6):4-7. DOI:10.3733/ca.v031n06p4. June 1977.

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Fresh market onions traditionally have been harvested by hand throughout the nation. A tractor-drawn horizontal blade severs the root system just below the bulbs; then tops and roots are clipped off with hand shears. The bulbs are stored in the field in burlap bags for a few days to cure. Many attempts have been made to mechanize topping and clipping, but, although some efforts have been moderately successful, none are used in California today. The principal reasons have been either damage to the bulbs or the inability of the equipment to remove tops and roots to market standards as capably as removal by hand.

Johnson H, Chesson J, Mayberry K, Curley R, Brooks C. 1977. Machine harvesting fresh market onions. Hilgardia 31(6):4-7. DOI:10.3733/ca.v031n06p4
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