There have been reports in trade magazines about the positive response of growth regulators in dry-bulb onion production. Reports claim greater yields and larger size bulbs from treated fields. This project examined the effect of two growth regulators on onion bulb yield and size.
Materials and Methods
The growth regulators evaluated were Triggrr, manufactured by Westbridge, and Propel, manufactured by Entek. Trials were established on four grower fields in three locations, Ontario, Vale, and Oregon Slope, OR. Plots were 4-beds wide by 50-ft long. The first Triggrr application was made at planting by injecting the material into the soil through the planter shoe so that it was in close proximity to the germinating seed. The second application was made at the early bulbing stage by sidedressing the material into the bed approximately 2 inches to the side of the row. Propel was applied as a foliar spray at about mid-bulbing. The at planting Triggrr (soil) was applied at a rate of 23.9 oz/acre. The sidedressed Triggrr (foliar) was applied at 24.6 oz/acre and the Propel was applied at 23.9 oz/acre. The carrier was water at 30.7, 90.1, and 30.7 gal/acre respectively.
The application sites and varieties were as follows:
Table 1. Application of growth regulators on three onion varieties by sites and dates, OR, 1998.
|Planting||Triggrr sidedress||Propel application|
Results and Discussion
During the growing season no visible differences were noted in any of the plots. The two Ontario sites were decimated by a hail storm on July 4, which affected total size and yield. Twenty feet of the two center rows of each plot was harvested, and the onions were graded and weighed (Table 2).
Only one of the four trials had a significant response (P< 0.05) to the growth regulator. This was the Vale site (site 3) where the total yield was much less than at the Ontario site where the same variety was grown. The Ontario site also received hail, which reduced yields on all of the farms within the hail zone. Two of the sites had the untreated check as the highest yield, although this was not significantly different from the treatments. It is possible that the onions at site 3 were under stress during the growing season, and that stress may have enabled the growth regulators to stimulate additional growth. There may be some environmental conditions under which these materials enhance growth, but, if so, these conditions were not identified in these trials.
Table 2. The effects of Triggrr and Propel growth regulators on onion bulb yield and grade, 1998.
|Site 1||Viper||Triggrr at planting / sidedressed||111||551||41||592||704|
|(Ontario)||Triggrr as sidedress only||90||538||36||574||665|
|Site 2||Blanco Duro||Triggrr at planting and sidedressed||184||342||0||342||526|
|(Ontario)||Triggrr as sidedress only||172||316||0||316||488|
|Site 3||Viper||Triggrr at planting and sidedressed||74||343||148||491||566|
|(Vale)||Triggrr as sidedress only||65||404||145||549||614|
|Site 4||Vision||Triggrr at planting and sidedressed||53||490||277||767||820|
|(Oregon Slope)||Triggrr as sidedress only||58||578||236||814||871|