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20235118141172

Project Grant

Overview

Grant Description
Short-day, sweet onions are grown in southern US states. Currently, most onion production in these states use manual harvesting due to the fragile nature of the short-day varieties. Limited availability and increasing cost of labor has resulted in decreased US short-day onion production and a lack of competitiveness with foreign sources.

The South Texas Onion Committee has stated that the development of a viable mechanized harvest system is a high priority. Onion harvesters developed for long-day onions in northern states have been tested with short-day onions, but growers did not judge those results to be satisfactory. Too many bulbs were damaged to be acceptable for the fresh market. However, past attempts were limited to substituting the mechanical harvester for manual labor and did not take a whole system approach.

This proposed work will address the multiple aspects needed to achieve a successful harvest system; identification of suitable cultivars, ability to evaluate cultivar suitability for mechanical harvest, the cultural practices needed to properly prepare the bulbs, and the design of the mechanical elements to minimize damage during harvest, grading, and packing. Probability of adoption of these advances will be maximized by partnering with equipment manufacturers, seed companies, and technology providers.

Active participation by the stakeholder advisory panel and scientific advisors is integrated into the proposed research and outreach activities. This project includes short-day onion areas of Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, and California, representing the full range of growing conditions for short-day onions.

Outcomes (cultivar damage thresholds, a harvest suitability instrument, improved cultivars, economic analyses) directly address four of the five focus areas of the SCRI, with greatest impact on plant breeding/genetics and improved production efficiency.
Place of Performance
College Station, Texas 77843-0001 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Related Opportunity
USDA-NIFA-SCRI-009765
Texas A&M Agrilife Research was awarded Mechanized Harvest System for Short-Day Onions in Southern US Project Grant 20235118141172 worth $5,219,756 from the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability in September 2023 with work to be completed primarily in College Station Texas United States. The grant has a duration of 4 years and was awarded through assistance program 10.309 Specialty Crop Research Initiative.

Status
(Ongoing)

Last Modified 9/6/23

Period of Performance
9/1/23
Start Date
8/31/27
End Date
18.0% Complete

Funding Split
$5.2M
Federal Obligation
$0.0
Non-Federal Obligation
$5.2M
Total Obligated
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Interactive chart of timeline of amendments to 20235118141172

Subgrant Awards

Disclosed subgrants for 20235118141172

Additional Detail

Award ID FAIN
20235118141172
SAI Number
None
Award ID URI
SAI EXEMPT
Awardee Classifications
Public/State Controlled Institution Of Higher Education
Awarding Office
12348T INSTITUTE OF FOOD PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABILITY (IFPS)
Funding Office
12348T INSTITUTE OF FOOD PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABILITY (IFPS)
Awardee UEI
KU3DCFJJTVN3
Awardee CAGE
00JP8
Performance District
TX-10
Senators
John Cornyn
Ted Cruz

Budget Funding

Federal Account Budget Subfunction Object Class Total Percentage
Integrated Activities, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture (012-1502) Agricultural research and services Grants, subsidies, and contributions (41.0) $5,219,756 100%
Modified: 9/6/23