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Pacific Northwest onion producers important contributors to national profile

Publications issued by the states of Washington and Oregon detail the importance of onion production in the Pacific Northwest.

The Pride of Washington State was released this past October and provided a snapshot of production during the 2010 crop year. Onions ranked No. 11 among the state's top 40 commodities that year, with an approximate value of production of $168.8 million. Washington ranked second in the nation for all summer onions, accounting for 21.4 percent CropOverveiwAccording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, onion production acreage in Washington and Oregon remained relatively unchanged in 2011 when compared to the previous season. (Photo courtesy of Lora Abcarian)of national production.

The report set per-acre production for non-storage onions at 33,000 pounds per acre in 2010, with a value of $16,533 per acre. The per-acre production for storage onions was 61,000 pounds per acre, with a value of $6,170 per acre.

The publication, Oregon Agriculture: Facts and Figures, was revised Aug. 22, 2011. Looking at the 2010 crop year, onions ranked eighth in the state's top 40 commodities list at a value of $130.29 million. Oregon was ranked third nationally for storage onion production, accounting for 14 percent of production. A total of 14.236 million hundredweight of storage onions were produced in 2010.

Onions produced in Malheur County are part of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion growing region represent significant volume for the state.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided detailed data for both Washington and Oregon in its Vegetables 2011 Summary, issued this past January. According to NASS, a total of 20,000 acres of summer storage onions were harvested in Washington in 2011. Yield per acre was set at 650 hundredweight, and production was set at 13 million hundredweight. The value of production was $104.13 million.

In 2011, Washington harvested a total of 2,200 acres of summer non-storage onions, which includes Walla Walla sweets and other non-storage varieties. Per-acre yield was 350 hundredweight, and production was set at 770,000 hundredweight. The value of production was $17.556 million.

NASS also provided data that reported Oregon onion outside Malheur County during 2011. According to the report, a total of 9,500 acres of summer storage onions was harvested. Yield per acre was set at 685 hundredweight, and production was set at 6.508 million hundredweight. The value production was $42.593 million.